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Opening Reception: Symmetry Breaking

Emily Counts, Jovencio de la Paz, Jo Hamilton, Anya Kivarkis, Brenda Mallory, Kristen Miller, Emily Nachison and Jane Schiffhauer

Exhibition runs October 3 – December 10, 2017
(Closed holiday weekends: Nov 10 – 11 and Nov 23 – 27)

The Art Gym will present Symmetry Breaking featuring eight contemporary visual artists from the Pacific Northwest: Emily Counts, Jovencio de la Paz, Jo Hamilton, Anya Kivarkis, Brenda Mallory, Kristen Miller, Emily Nachison and Jane Schiffhauer. This exhibition, curated by Blake Shell, showcases the work of artists who engage or intersect with craft materials or processes.

image: Brenda Mallory, Drive Belt #2, Rubber drive belts, wood, paint, 2016, 46 x 20 x 1.5 inches (detail)

Emily Counts was born in Seattle, Washington, where she currently lives and works. She studied at the Universität der Künste in Berlin and the California College of the Arts, where she received her BFA. Her work has been exhibited in Portland, Oregon, at Nationale, Carl & Sloan Contemporary, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, and Nisus Gallery; in Tokyo at Eitoeiko and Gallery Lara; and in California at the Torrance Art Museum, Garboushian Gallery, Mark Moore Gallery, and Durden & Ray. As an artist in residence, Counts has created work for associated solo exhibitions at Raid Projects in Los Angeles and Plane Space in New York. She has received grants from the Oregon Arts Commission, the Regional Arts & Culture Council, and the Ford Family Foundation. She is currently a member of Soil Gallery in Seattle, Washington, and is represented by Nationale and Garboushian Gallery.

Jovencio de la Paz received an MFA in fibers from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2012 and a BFA in fiber and material studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2008. He has exhibited work in solo and group exhibitions both nationally and internationally, most recently at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, CO; Ditch Projects in Springfield, OR; Threewalls, 4th Ward Project Space, Roots & Culture Contemporary Art Center, and Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago, IL; the Museum of Contemporary Craft and Carl & Sloan Contemporary in Portland, OR; Soil Gallery and the Alice in Seattle, WA; Space Gallery in Portland, ME; the Sculpture Center in Cleveland, OH; and Uri Gallery in Seoul, South Korea, among others. He regularly teaches at schools of art, craft, and design throughout the country, including the Ox-Bow School of Art in Saugatuck, MI; the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, ME; and the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN. He is also a cofounder of the collaborative group Craft Mystery Cult, established in 2010.

Jo Hamilton’s crocheted portraiture is a fascinating combination of traditional technique with contemporary subject matter. A native of Scotland, Hamilton earned a degree in painting and drawing from the Glasgow School of Art, but after moving to Portland, she translated her artistic vision into the medium of crochet, which she first learned as a child from her grandmother. She has made large-scale cityscapes as well as larger-than-life portraits of subjects ranging from masked women to commission subjects to mug shots of people processed through the Multnomah County jail.

Anya Kivarkis is currently associate professor and area head of jewelry and metalsmithing at the University of Oregon in Eugene, where she has been teaching since 2004. She received a BFA in jewelry and metalsmithing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1999, and an MFA in metal from the State University of New York at New Paltz in 2004. Kivarkis has received a Hallie Ford Fellowship in the Visual Arts, two Oregon Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowships, an Oregon Career Opportunity Grant supported by the Oregon Arts Commission and the Hallie Ford Foundation, a University of Oregon Fund for Faculty Excellence Award, and a Rotasa Foundation grant. Her work has been included in publications such as Metalsmith, American Craft, and Italian Elle, among others, and in collections such as the Tacoma Art Museum in Tacoma, WA; the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art in New Paltz, NY; the Rotasa Foundation in Mill Valley, CA; the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, OR; and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Eugene, OR. She is represented by Sienna Patti in Lenox, Massachusetts, and Galerie Rob Koudijs in the Netherlands.

Brenda Mallory is a longtime resident of Portland, Oregon, but she grew up in Oklahoma and is a member of the Cherokee Nation. She has a BFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art and a combined BA in linguistics and English from UCLA. She has received grants from the Oregon Arts Commission, the Ford Family Foundation, and the Regional Arts & Culture Council. In 2015 she received an Eiteljorg Museum Contemporary Native Art Fellowship, and in 2016 she was a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Fellow in Visual Art. Mallory has held residencies at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, CO; Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts in Pendleton, OR; Glean in Portland, OR; and Arizona State University’s Multiple Artists Printing (Indigenous and Native Geographies), or Map(ing), project. Mallory is primarily known for sculpture and installation, mining natural materials and mimicking organic processes with her generative installations. Texture and repeated rhythmic forms are instrumental to her abstract compositions, which deal with concepts of disruption and repair.

Kristen Miller received a BFA in textile design from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, in 1987, and an MFA in fiber from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, in 1993. Her residencies include the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Woodside, CA; the Oregon College of Art and Craft Junior Residency Program in Portland, OR; and the Centrum Art and Education Residency Program in Port Townsend, WA. Her work has been exhibited at the Portland Art Museum in Portland, OR; the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University in Salem, OR; and the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Recent exhibitions include the International Fiber Art Fair and the Seoul Arts Center Hangaram Art Museum in Seoul, South Korea, and a solo show, Darkness and Light, at PDX Contemporary Art in Portland, Oregon. Miller lives in Portland and is represented by PDX Contemporary Art.

Emily Nachison is an artist and educator based in Portland, Oregon. Born in San Diego, California, Nachison received a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2006 and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2010. Nachison has had numerous solo exhibitions and has been included in multiple group shows across the country, at venues such as the Museum of Contemporary Craft and Disjecta Contemporary Art Center in Portland, OR; New Mexico State University Art Gallery in Las Cruces, NM; and the Sheppard Contemporary at the University of Nevada in Reno, NV. In 2016 she was an artist in residence at the Wassaic Artist Residency in Wassaic, NY, and at the Kutztown University Marlin and Regina Miller Art Gallery in Kutztown, PA. She has lectured at the American Craft Council in Minneapolis, MN; the Portland Art Museum in Portland, OR; Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI; and the School for American Crafts at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY. Her work has been featured in such publications as American Craft, Interior Design, Art Ltd., and Bad at Sports. Nachison is the chair of the Fibers Department and an assistant professor at the Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, Oregon.

Jane Schiffhauer is originally from New York, but she has lived in Portland, Oregon, where she raised her two sons, for more than twenty years. She earned her MFA in visual studies at the Pacific Northwest College of Art after earning a dual BS degree in communications and management from Syracuse University. She has also pursued BFA studies in graphic design at Kent State University in Ohio and has studied photography at Parsons in Paris, France. Her work has been shown locally and nationally and is held in numerous private collections. She has been awarded several artist residencies within the United States. Schiffhauer founded the Rainmaker Artist Residency (2014–2017) and has sat on the boards of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA), Cascade AIDS Project, and Chamber Music Northwest.