TO FORTIFY THE FOREST |Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings from 2012 to 2015

Oakstop Gallery

1721 Broadway (2nd Floor)
Oakland, CA 94612

A group of works on canvas and paper created over the past three years.  The mental escape of California and Michigan’s forests serve as a starting point in the artist’s altered and uncanny vistas that consider the changes in our environment and abstraction within plant life.

Exhibition runs from September 12 to October 31, 2015

Collector’s Preview:  Saturday, September 12 2pm to 5 pm

First Friday Reception + Artist’s Talk: October 2 5pm to 9pm

Gallery information:

Phone: +1-510-698-9370

Email: info@oakstop.com

Hours: M-F, 8:30am – 8:00pm

STRIATION: A Solo Show of New Mixed Media Work

May 1 to June 20 | BETTI ONO GALLERY

Mixed media paintings on panel and drawings on paper of invented landscapes and liquid-scapes populated with beings that are both gnarled and permeable.

Opening reception: Friday, May 1 | 6 to 9pm

Artist talk: Saturday, May 16 | 2-4pm First Friday catalog debut: June 5

Official Satellite Exhibition for Pro Arts East Bay Open Studios

Week 1: June 6 and 7 | 11am-6pm

Week 2: June 13 and 14 | 11am-6pm

Betti Ono Gallery 1427 Broadway, Oakland, CA

WEB: http://bettiono.com

PHONE: 510-473-5919 HOURS: Wed. to Sat. 12-5pm

Unearthed, Unveiled Exhibition: Project Statement

Forging Ritual

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To be a maker of art objects at a time when our visual media are increasingly presented in virtual forms, without a tangible body; in a place where artists are becoming increasingly more cramped for space; I am more careful and mindful each time I use my creativity to bring another object into the world. “What purpose will this artwork serve in my life, and what purpose do I want it to serve for my viewer?” These are the types of questions I ask myself as I construct my cut paper pieces. In this body of work, the choice to make paintings in a physical form rather than digital is more than a technical preference but a way for me to explore why a still, one-of-a-kind image deserves to occupy space in our lives.

I grew into my identity as a painter because I realized my need to create is linked to my mental health. In my early work, expression was everything to me: My work’s primary purpose was to construct  a visual language to communicate my identity to the world and I thought very little about what would happen to my work once it was completed. However, in recent years, I find myself needing my artwork to be more than an expression of my identity but also an ingredient for my legacy, and an emblem for my spiritual path

In my research for the body of work presented in Unearthed, Unveiled, I studied abstract paintings by Lee Krasner and Arthur Dove and the Oceanic Arts collection at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco. I’m fascinated how artworks made on opposite ends of the globe from each other all use mark-making (carved marks, brushstrokes and drawn marks) as a storytelling tool. In Lee Kranser’s series Night Journeys, she created works that used wild, gestural arcs as a conduit to work through her marriage strife and her insomnia. A few decades earlier, Arthur Dove used paint to transform the random rhythms found in nature into spiritual and sensual symbols. Artists in Papua New Guinea and Northern Australia use patterns, geometric forms and cross-hatching to form a personal visual language to describe real events, but also dreamed experiences in bark paintings and polychromed sculpture. In tandem with the artists I described above, I, too am energized by the rhythms in nature; the cathartic quality of the painterly gesture and the idea of art-making as a spiritual practice.

Over the past four years, I have been exploring the possibilities of using cut paper as a means to develop my own visual language. Within these works, I’m interested in displaying a sense of tension between opaque sharp-edged forms and the more diaphanous delicate forms. The systems I’ve developed to mix collage, painting and drawing provide me a formal structure for conveying this tension, and also a narrative stage. A rite of passage, a first attempt at communication, an excavation of something long hidden: These are the events portrayed on my narrative stage. The title Unearthed, Unveiled resonates because the essence of this work is about the revealing and examining of a hidden life-form…a latent intelligence that yearns to be given the chance to communicate.

In my quest to create artwork that goes beyond being autobiographical and identity-centric, I’ve started to think of my art practice as a way to form new icons—symbols that speak to a mixing of influences and the overlapping of cultures and belief systems that so enrich our community and my life. My hope is that these artworks create a grounding and iconic impact each time the viewer passes by, but also a layered visual that invites an ever-changing interpretation.

New Cut Paper Paintings On Display June 2014

Unearthed, Unveiled

An Exhibition of New Mixed Media Works by Jamie Treacy and Nicole Dixon

Press Release

Included Works Online Gallery + Price List

Project Statement

Exhibition Dates: June 5 – June 28, 2014 

Open Studios Hours: June 7 – 8 and 14 – 15 | 11am – 6pm |

East Bay Open Studios Map Numbers: 174 & 173

Preview Night: Thursday, June 5 | 7-9 pm       

Opening Reception: Friday, June 6 | 6-9 pm

Artists’ Talk:  Sunday, June 8 | 2-4pm

Betti Ono Gallery

1427 Broadway, Oakland, CA WEB: http://bettiono.com | PHONE: 510-473-5919

A culmination of nearly a decade of artistic conversation between two artists whose works may seem divergent, given that one is abstract and the other is figurative, but they are indeed telling the same story in two different languages.  

In Jamie’s work, abstracted mechanical and organic beings interact in ways that are both ritualistic and faux-scientific as they arrange themselves into invented emblems. Jamie’s intensely-hued cut paper works teeter between landscape-like and gaseous or liquid expanses where creatures mingle free from gravity. The viewer can expect to see an in-depth exploration of color-field and surface interaction as he combines a variety of papers with drawing and painting materials.  Jamie’s mixed media paintings are presented as works on heavy-weight watercolor paper, and on wood panels.  

Nicole imbues and anoints her figures with totemic symbols to empower them for metaphysical and archetypical journeys.  The canvases are layered with acrylic, watercolor, paper, photos, fabric, charcoal, pastel, gold leaf, and other embellishments that each add their own resonance to the images.  Her heavy-handed high-contrast color palates, and sharp shadows and highlights are a reflection of the deep-seeded intensity her figures emote.  

The two artists have found common ground in their desire to unearth and unveil a life force through their artwork.  They demonstrate that the art object is more than a tool for documentation or expression, but a tool to connect the viewer with a spiritual state.

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Touching A New Intelligence – Exhibition of Work in Cut Paper

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Project Statement

This group of cut paper paintings is inspired by a short-story titled “Cruciger” by Erin Cashier. In this story, a massive and autonomous ship named Duxa voyages to a liquid planet inhabited by beings that communicate with glyphs on the surface of their skeleton-free bodies. Duxa arrives programmed with the task of refashioning this liquid world to ready it for human life. Duxa explores the native beings by treating them as play things as she experiments with them until they expire. However, after learning the creature’s glyph language, she communicates with them and becomes aware how complex they are and that her experiments are causing them great pain. Duxa experienced a shift in focus from seeing the liquid planet as a zone in need of refashioning, to a realm already inhabited by intelligent and important beings.

The work in this exhibition explores the relationship between the experimenter and the subject being experimented on. In these cut paper and painted worlds, devoid of gravity, a hesitant dialogue is taking place between the mechanical experimenter and its diaphanous and delicate subject. I’m imagining a time or a place when humanity may need to learn about life in a completely different context, and what instruments might we use to interact if faced with communication opportunities beyond our human capabilities. When building my cut paper compositions, I start with painted color fields that I imagine to be a mysterious liquid environment…something akin to the plasma world that Stanislaw Lem describes in his novel Solaris. From this environment, as if pulling rocks out of a nebula, cut paper structures begin to reveal themselves.

In this liquid environment, there are forms that appear vulnerable and there are forms capable of inflicting harm. Drawing on my love of the patterns and adornments in the traditional art of Papua New Guinea, I create the vulnerable forms by layering a variety of papers and then adding drawn and painted elements to enhance their color and surface. The sharper edged “harm inflicting” forms appear by jutting in from the periphery, or by encapsulating a test subject. These “mechanical instruments” are meant to record and interface with intelligent life, but they can just as easily destroy it.

In my own casual research on the intelligence of different animal species; from the octopus to the elephant to the raven, I’m interested in how intelligence manifests itself in startlingly diverse ways. I used to think that the branch of evolution that lead to human intelligence was the most complex on earth, but I’m now learning that there are other ancient departures from our common ancestors that have evolved into complex beings that manipulate their environments, communicate across great distances, participate in complex societies, and have memories. As Erin Cashier’s “Cruciger” so eloquently reminds us, we must tread lightly, and learn gently so that we do not destroy what we cannot understand.

– Jamie Treacy

Exhibition Information:

Solo Show of Work by Jamie Treacy
Curated by Demetri Broxton

City of Berkeley Customer Service Center Lobby
February 28 – May 16, 2014
1947 Center Street
Berkeley, CA 94704

Works are on view during the following hours:
Monday – Thursday – 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

All Fridays – CLOSED