The following is a press release issued by the Mendocino Arts Center:
The Mendocino Art Center (MAC) presents the Artists in Residence (AIR) Exhibit and the showing “Emmy Lou Packard: Artist of Conscience,” April 8 through May 1.
MAC’s Artists in Residence Exhibit, an eagerly anticipated annual showing, features a wide spectrum of new artwork – including functional and sculptural ceramics, paintings and jewelry. AIRs showing their work will be Winchi De Jesus, Miles McCreary, Grace Potter, Austyn Taylor and Nan Whitney
The AIR program brings both emerging and established artists from across the country to this unique northern California region, providing creative space for artists to expand and explore their craft, collaborate and create new bodies of work.
Winchi DeJesus is a multimedia artist who explores and examines emotions through the creation of their work. With an influence from the Sloppy Craft Aesthetic, Winchi pushes to leave the visual presence and processes of the artist visible, rather than an outward appearance of it being machine made. There are hidden stories and exposed vulnerabilities within everything they make, and each piece is used as a tool to navigate the complexities and rhythms of life.
Miles McCreary’s studio practice began as an extension of his previous career as a chef; he just wanted to make simple plates and bowls for people to eat from. He looks at his work in clay more broadly now as a process of learning to make compelling and comfortable objects that serve their purpose well. “Pottery, like good food, has the ability to nourish,” Miles says. “This is my hope for the objects I make: that they feel good to use, again and again.”
Grace Potter makes ceramic sculptures that layer animal skeletons atop bodies as individual figures, on vessels and within mythological and ecological narratives. Motivated by the vast complexity, diversity and essential interconnection within natural systems, she reveals inner structures that foster a sense of wonder and connectivity with nature. “Skeletons tell stories of millions of years of complex relationships,” Grace says about her work, “and in the context of myth, bones symbolize something within psychic life that endures even when bodies die.”
Austyn Taylor draws from ancient and contemporary sources to create works of “folk pop.” Bright primary colors, repeated animal tropes, and a gestural handling of materials create sculptures that lay somewhere between “hype” and “hope.” Taylor says of her characters, “The works are meant to be lived with socially – they capture chaotic energies and defuse errant emotions acting as vibrational stabilizers when brought into homes.”
Nan Whitney is a self-taught instinctual abstract artist. Her paintings are intuitive, energetically gestural, and textural – a visual narrative and an exploratory dance between color, shape and line. “Through my mark making and fluidity of movement I explore my vulnerability, courage and expression of spirit,” Nancy says.
“Emmy Lou Packard: Artist of Conscience” will explore the life and artwork of this much loved artist who spent 10 years living in Mendocino, and was responsible for spearheading an effort that resulted in saving our natural headlands from private development. See the work before it travels on loan to the Richmond Art Center, June 21 through August 20, 2022.
There will be a free Second Saturday Gallery Reception, April 9, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., with the opportunity to meet the Artists in Residence while enjoying snacks and wine.
Admission to the gallery exhibits is free. For more information please call 707-937-5818 or visit MendocinoArtCenter.org. The Mendocino Art Center is located at 45200 Little Lake Street (at Kasten Street) in Mendocino. The gallery is open daily, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.