Reception: Friday, May 26, 2023, 6-8 pm
Isla de Lechuga is based on a fictional island created in the imagination of Colombian American artist, Rachel Stallings Thomander. For the last three and a half years, coinciding with the birth of her first son, she has been in communication with the island which she envisions is located off the coast of Colombia. Initially, the island was a way to talk about being bi-racial – a place where people speak both Spanish and English, and experience two cultures at once. Intentionally not utopian, the island acts as a prompt to engage the imagination and explore possibilities.
The environment on Isla de Lechuga cultivates a rich exchange between childhood and adulthood, serving as a catalyst for creative exploration – where things can happen in a fantastical realm. Thomander channels information about the island inhabitants – their traditions, use of symbols, fables, and rituals. The sensory elements in the artwork are opportunities for audience engagement, and emphasize the tactile, sonic, or visual capacities of the mediums. For Thomander, objects are swept into a cycle of rhythmic improvisation where color or texture merges with her vision to mutually compose – leaving impressions on the body. Her gesture to the utilitarian manifests a sensory practice, reorienting our relationship to familiar and familial objects. Ultimately, her contact with Isla de Lechuga allows her to act as a channel, to participate in worldbuilding, and to express her inner world as a parent.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Rachel Stallings Thomander is a Colombian American multidisciplinary artist. In 2013, she received a BFA in Studio Art from Brigham Young University. In 2018, she received an MFA in Art Practice from UC Berkeley, and was awarded the Graduate Opportunity Program Fellowship. From 2017-2018, she and her husband co-founded and co-directed Lago Projects, a community-building art exhibition space in Oakland, California. In 2019, she was an Artist in Residence at Facebook and completed a permanent installation at their San Francisco office. In summer 2021, She attended the Elizabeth Murray Artist Residency by Collar Works. She is a co-founder and contributing member of Scary Sugar Collective, who has curated and self-published two books highlighting the work of twelve emerging artists, writers and designers. Scary Sugar Collective held a booth at the San Francisco Art Book Fair at Minnesota Street Project in 2022. Her curatorial work and artwork have been featured on KQED Arts, It’s Nice That, i-D, Salt Lake City Weekly, and Artsy. She has exhibited work at Mestizo Institute of Culture and Arts, Tropical Contemporary, CTRL+SHFT, Nous Tous Gallery, Guerrero Gallery, SOIL, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Richmond Art Center, and Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. She lives and works in Santa Cruz, California with her husband and two sons.
Hours: Wed – Sat, 11 – 5 pm
Location: 86 N. Main St. Ephraim, UT, 84627
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Categories: Exhibitions | Exhibitions To the South
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