In the Downstairs Front BOX, Daniela Koontz and Taylor Waldt's floral works flirt with kitsch but aim for the hauntingly beautiful and unsentimental in, The Origin of Fruit.In the collaborative exhibition Sky Island, Tierra Firme, artists Sarita Westrup and Analise Minjarez investigate ideas of place, identity, and aesthetics along the Texas-Mexico border in the Downstairs Front BOX. In the Window BOX, Bryan Keith Gardner investigates whether human beings are the unique individuals they assume they are, or cosmic bugs hurtling through space on a giant rock with no real explanation of the cosmos and our purpose, in the exhibition Bugs.The exhibitions continue through October 29, 2016.
An opening reception will be held on Saturday, September 17, 2016 from 7 - 9PM at BOX 13 ArtSpace, 6700 Harrisburg, Houston, TX 77011. The Origin of Fruit | Daniela Koontz & Taylor WaldtDownstairs Front BOXIn the painting tradition, flowers have long been symbolically associated with renewal, the fleeting nature of existence, and feminine fertility. They are also often inseparable from kitsch, romance, and overt sentimentality. Koontz and Waldt's floral works flirt with kitsch but are aiming for the hauntingly beautiful and unsentimental. Waldt's paintings use rich floral fabrics as a motif into which she inserts subtle self-portraits. Perhaps part of a poorly manicured hand will be pulling back a curtain? The lush florals compete visually with the honest portrayal of herself. Koontz's newest drawings use floral imagery to conjure invented astronomy. Neither macro nor micro, but rather little eruptions of wonder. Koontz and Waldt would like to provide a little space for euphoric emotions in our increasingly chaotic world.
Daniela Koontz is originally from Los Angeles, but has been having a love affair with Houston for a little more than a decade. She's a fan of glam rock, sci-fi movies, juicy paintings, good eating, and well-designed gadgets for the kitchen. Koontz holds degrees from UC Berkeley, UT El Paso, and an MFA from the University of Houston. As an artist, she has published archaeological drawings of Mesoamerican low-relief sculpture in academic books and journals, and has shown her work in numerous group shows throughout the state of Texas. She has also taught art, bartended, arranged flowers, delivered pizza, worked as a fry cook, slide librarian, and as an archaeologist in Honduras. She currently is an active member of BOX 13 ArtSpace where she has a studio next to Taylor Waldt.
Taylor Waldt was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She received her BFA in Studio Art from Texas State University in 2014. In her infant art career, Waldt has already participated in a residency through Aurora Residencies, been a finalist for the Hunting Art Prize, had an internship at Lawndale Art Center, and became a resident of the fantastic BOX13 ArtSpace. Through painting, Waldt has been examining what it means to me to be a female in society today. Much of her work visually contains the elements of pattern and the female figure. The female figure is often a self-portrait to create a more personal connection with the work. In her more recent work, the figure is usually contained within the pattern, or reacting with it in some way. These elements combine to create a visual representation of the term "wallflower," as well as react to ideas of beauty and society expectations that are thrust upon her. Sky Island, Tierra Firme | Sarita Westrup & Analise MinjarezDownstairs Back BOX
Tierra Firme, a collaborative effort by artists Sarita Westrup and Analise Minjarez, investigates ideas of place, identity, and aesthetics along the Texas-Mexico border. Sky Island features works completed during their stay at the Guadalupe Mountains National Parks as Arts in the Parks volunteers. A place of natural and cultural crossroads, Tierra Firme focused on contemporary social practice with traditional ideas of craft during their time at Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Connecting concepts of identity in relationship to place, Tierra Firme invited the Texas public to construct a woven landscape in an interactive sculpture titled Land Loom. Both the collaborative and individual works in Sky Island emphasize exploration of regional identity and interconnections with the land.Tierra Firme is an experiential research project that investigates the place and identity of artwork along the Texas-Mexico border. The project promotes cultural and social understanding by interviewing artists, teaching workshops, and creating original artworks in the border region. For more information about Tierra Firme, visit www.tierrafirmeproject.org.
Sarita Westrup is a fiber artist and art educator from the Borderlands of Texas and Mexico. She was born in Edinburgh, Texas and raised in McAllen. Her sculptural work explores identity in relationship to place through the use of found objects and weaving techniques. www.saritawestrup.com
Analise Minjarez is a fibers artist and educator from El Paso, TX. Minjarez creates fiber sculptures and installations using natural dyes, hog gut, and plastics to highlight the contextual differences between materials. Her objects investigate Mexican-American identity and the metaphysical awareness created by the landscape of the Texas-Mexico borderland.www.analiseminjarez.com Bugs | Bryan Keith GardnerWindow BOX
Bryan Gardner is an artist from the muddy bayous of Southeast Texas. He grew up in relative isolation both geographically and socially. Due to the many hours spent alone he developed a passion for drawing at a young age. These activities were not always encouraged in his rural area. Many around him actively discouraged his artistic endeavors, seeing it as a useless waste of time, even suffering the occasional accusation of being satanic. He went on to receive a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the University of Houston Clear Lake. He now lives in Jersey City, New Jersey and is a Masters of Fine Arts candidate at the New York Academy of Art where he studies ecroche, life drawing and figure modeling.