Venessa Gromek is a recent graduate from Weber State University and is originally from the Chicago area. Gromek has shown at multiple galleries in Salt Lake City Utah including, the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art and CUAC Contemporary Art. She is heavily influenced by the Outdoor industry and this is seen in her most recent show at UMOCA called The Sublime is Light and Easy-to-Assemble. She is also a co-founder of O-Town Arts, a studio space/gallery that is determined to get the contemporary art scene to Ogden, UT.
2013 Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City UT, The Sublime is Light and Easy-to-Assemble
2010 Weber State University Browning Center, Curated
2012 CUAC, Salt Lake City UT, After The End, Curated by Adam Bateman
2012 O-Town Arts, Ogden UT, IMV: An Exercise in Pretension, Curated
2012 The Barker Hanger, Los Angeles CA, Co/Lab 2012, Curated by Adam Bateman
2012 Undisclosed Location, Each Memory Recalled Must Do Some Violence To Its Origins, Curated by Aaron Moulton
2011 CUAC Gallery, Ephraim UT, Utah Ties Juried Exhibition, Curated by Michelle Pobar
Rewards and Recognition
2011 1st Place at the CUAC Utah Ties 2011 Juried Exhibition
These sculptures, made of tent poles and lace, address the compact and portable aspects of sculpture. This idea stems from my work in the outdoor industry and my interest in how that industry intersects with the tradition of sublime in the landscape.
The work may resemble a tent, the reality is that these sculptures take the function out of the tent. They do not provide shelter and are in fact impossible to enter. The only similarity the work has to a tent would be the ease in which they are assembled and disassembled, and by sharing comparable functioning parts like tent poles, cam-straps, and eyebolts.
Tent design has advanced drastically in the outdoor industry. While certainly still functional, what used to be simple triangular forms are now turning into complex shapes that are pushing the boundaries of the materials. These inviting recreational tents play a big role in providing the sublime in present day landscapes. They are light and easy to assemble, which makes searching out the sublime easier.
The Hudson River School addressed cultural traditions of experiencing the outdoors. They traveled the American West in search of new expanses of the wilderness. Today, the outdoor industry strives to provide that same level of euphoria. They cater to a group of people with the common desire to explore nature.
By creating sculptures constructed of tent poles and lace, I am countering the traditionally heavy and masculine sculpture seen in art history. Each sculptures’ inherent relationship to a tent contextualizes them with landscape issues, while their form with issues related to modern sculpture; all of which are focused on providing a level of the sublime to the viewer. Much like the outdoor industry provides for its customers.
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