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Visualizing Spaces

Robert Burnier, Su A Chae, Nasreen Khan, Diego Morales-Portillo,
Brenda Mallory, SaraNoa Mark, Deb Sokolow, Janie Stamm

March 12 – April 23, 2022

New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art, University of Southern Indiana is proud to present Visualizing Spaces, a group exhibition featuring works by Robert Burnier, Su A Chae, Nasreen Khan, Diego Morales-Portillo, Brenda Mallory, Deb Sokolow, and Janie Stamm. The exhibition runs from March 12 – April 23, 2022, with gallery hours from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Central, Tuesday – Saturday. 

What is this space we occupy?
How did it get to be how it is: the landscape, the built environment, the people here, and the terminology used?
What is sacred here?
What should have been honored here, that has in fact been honored or disgraced?
What has been honored here that actually deserves it?
What happens when we hang on too tight, and what happens when we let go?
Who belongs here?
Who is utopia for?

Building on New Harmony, Indiana history as the location of multiple utopian experiments, Visualizing Spaces examines themes around the search for utopia. The exhibition anticipates and engages the hopes, myths, failures, and fallout which occur in pursuing an ideal reality. Abstracted landscapes, impossible architecture, and resourced materials serve as both critique and creation of an idea of place. Centering around the question “who is utopia for?” Visualizing Spaces recognizes the past as what was lost, the present as what could have been, and the future as an imagined world for all.

Visualizing Spaces builds upon the Social Alchemy exhibition series and supports the upcoming Social Alchemy Symposium that will be held in-person and online on April 10– 13, 2022. Social Alchemy is led by Indianapolis’ Big Car Collaborative.

Robert Burnier lives and works in Chicago, IL. Burnier received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute in 2016 and a BS in Computer Science from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania in 1991. Recent solo exhibitions include ANDREW RAFACZ (Chicago, IL), The Arts Club of Chicago (Chicago, IL), Elastic Arts (Chicago, IL), and David B. Smith Gallery (Denver, CO). Recent group exhibitions include David B. Smith Gallery (Denver, CO), LVL3 Gallery (Chicago, IL), Vacation (New York, NY), Korn Gallery at Drew University (Madison, NJ), Mana Contemporary (Chicago, IL), The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL), Elmhurst Art Museum (Elmhurst, IL), and Corvi-Mora (London, UK). Independent Curators International commissioned a series of works that were presented at NADA Miami (2014) and NADA New York (2015) respectively. His large-scale installation Black Tiberinus on Chicago’s riverfront was unveiled in 2018. Burnier has exhibited at art fairs in Chicago, Miami, New York, Mexico City, and Copenhagen.

Su A Chae is an artist with a research interest in the role of painting in the digital age. Chae received an MFA in Painting from Indiana University Bloomington and an MA and a BA in Business from Ewha Womans University in South Korea. Chae attended the Tyler School of Art Summer Painting & Sculpture Intensive and Penland School of Craft. Chae was a grant finalist for the Hopper Prize and a recipient of the Higher Education Partner Program Scholarship of Indiana University and the Windgate Scholarship Awards of Penland School of Craft. Her work has been exhibited at the Painting Center (New York, NY), Ortega y Gasset Projects and Paradise Palace (Brooklyn, NY), 5-50 Gallery (Long Island City, NY), Collar Works (Troy, NY), Piano Craft Gallery (Boston, MA), Icebox Project Space (Philadelphia, PA), Young Space and Hopper Prize (Online) among many others. Her work has been featured in White Hot Magazine, I Like Your Work Podcast, Create! Magazine, Maake, Friend of The Artist, Studio Visit, and others. Chae was an artist-in-residence at Vermont Studio Center and ACRE (Artists’ Cooperative Residency & Exhibitions). Su A Chae is an adjunct professor at Indiana University.

Nasreen Khan grew up in West Africa and Indonesia. Her mother is Filipino-Chinese, and her father is Afghan-Russian. Her work wrestles with the gendered faith of her childhood and asks how the feminine divine can be celebrated. She often finds herself exploring the feminine appetites that her early faith asked her to restrain. Her art gives her the space to explore her diverse histories and traditions, using African symbolism or South Asian patterns. Most recently she has been working in wood: burning, carving, and painting it, drawing on the tradition of wood carving she observed in Indonesia. By using natural materials found here in Indiana, she explores what it means to be an immigrant artist. What does it mean to make art with the earth-based materials of this new country, while drawing on the strength and artistic traditions of a land left behind?

Diego Morales-Portillo is a multidisciplinary artist and graphic designer originally from Guatemala, living and working in Portland, Oregon. Morales-Portillo graduated as a bachelor in artistic drawing at the National School of Fine Arts of Guatemala in 2010, in 2015 he received a Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design and Advertising with a Cum Laude degree from the Universidad del Istmo, in 2019 he received the degree of Master's MFA in Visual Studies at Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, OR. Diego has presented his work in Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Italy, North Korea, Spain and the United States in exhibitions such as 2017 Pacific Standard Time LA/LA; Mapping Narratives: New Prints 2021/Winter at the International Print Center in NY (2021); auction and exhibition of Latin American art Juannio 2013, 2016, 2017, 2020. His work is in public collections such as Neo-Murales of the Rozas Botran Foundation and Imago Mundi of Luciano Benneton in Italy and Portable Works collection of the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) in Portland, Oregon. Diego had completed artistic residencies such as The Studios at MASS MoCA, Caldera Art residency and Leland Iron Works. Among other awards received by Morales-Portillo worth mention the 2nd place in the 2017 Auction of Latin American Art Juannio, a Full Fellowship at MASS MoCA sponsored by the Ford Family Foundation, Precipice Fund by PICA and The Andy Warhol Foundation; and Support Beam grant by RACC in 2020.

Brenda Mallory’s mixed media sculptural works are comprised of a variety of materials including cloth, fibers, beeswax, and found objects.  By creating multiple forms that are joined with crude hardware that imply tenuous connections or repairs, her work addresses ideas of interference and disruption in long-established systems of nature and human cultures. Mallory lives in Portland, Oregon but grew up in Oklahoma and is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She holds a BA in Linguistics & English from UCLA and a BFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art.  She has received grants from the Oregon Arts Commission, Ford Family Foundation, and the Regional Arts & Culture Council. She is a recipient the Eiteljorg Contemporary Native Art Fellowship, the Native Arts and Culture Foundation Fellowship in Visual Art and the Ucross Native Fellowship. She has participated in artist residencies including Ucross, Anderson Ranch, Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, Glean, Bullseye Glass, and Signal Fire Outpost, c3:initiative, and the Jordan Schnitzer Printmaking Residency at Sitka Center for the Arts.

SaraNoa Mark pursues a drawing practice that investigates traces left by time, as they exist in landscapes and in collective memory. Mark’s work has been supported by a Fulbright research fellowship in Turkey. SaraNoa was named a Visual Arts Fellow by the Luminarts Cultural Foundation. They have received grants from U.S. Embassy Grants Program in Turkey, The John Anson Kittredge Fund, Illinois Arts Council, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Individual Artists Program (DCASE), and a SPARK grant. Mark's work has been acquired by the West Collection through a LIFTS grant. Upon graduating from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts SaraNoa was awarded a European travel scholarship. SaraNoa was a BOLT resident at the Chicago Artists Coalition, and has held residencies at the Montello Foundation, Jackman Goldwasser Residency at the Hyde Park Art Center, The Lois and Charles X. Carlson Painting Residency, Sedona Summer Colony, and Art Kibbutz. Recent exhibitions of their work have taken place at the Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL; Bridge Projects, Los Angeles, CA; Davis & Langdale Company, New York, NY; Goldfinch Gallery, Chicago, IL; Tiger Strikes Astroid, Philadelphia, PA; Monaco, St. Louis, MO; Smithsonian Institution’s S. Dillon Ripley Center, Washington, DC among others. SaraNoa is one of NewCity’s 2021 breakout artists. She is a co-director at the 4th Ward Project Space in Chicago where she lives and works.

Deb Sokolow’s drawings focus on the idiosyncratic and humorous aspects of semi-fictitious built environments while hinting at the concealed agendas and social engineering involved in their design and use. Her work has been included in the 4th Athens Biennale (Athens, Greece) and in exhibitions at Museum für Gegenwartskunst (Siegen, Germany), Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven, Netherlands), The Drawing Center (New York), Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, D.C.), Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia) and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art (Hartford). Sokolow’s drawings have been reproduced for BOMB Magazine, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Best American Comics and in Phaidon’s Vitamin D2, a survey on contemporary drawing. Her work is in a number of permanent collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Sokolow is based in Chicago and a faculty member in the department of Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University.

Janie Stamm was born and raised on the edge of the Everglades in Broward County, Florida. She is a craft-based artist currently residing on the western banks of the Mississippi River in Saint Louis, Missouri. Her work focuses on preserving Florida’s environmental and Queer history in the face of climate change. She uses a craft-based practice to tell these stories.In the spring of 2019, Janie received an MFA in Visual Art from Washington University in Saint Louis. She was most recently the recipient of the 2019 John T. Milliken Foreign Travel Graduate Award, a Regional Arts Commission grant, a Critical Mass grant, a Dubinsky Scholarship to study at the Fine Arts Work Center, and the Frida Kahlo Creative Arts Award from Washington University in St. Louis. Her work was featured on the cover of the December 2016 issue of Poetry magazine and in the spring 2021 issue of CandyFloss Magazine. Janie has shown work throughout the country including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, and throughout the Saint Louis regional area. She is currently showing at Rivalry Projects in Buffalo, NY. She was an artist in residence at ACRE in Wisconsin, the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris, Aquarium Gallery in New Orleans, and SAFTA in Tennessee. Janie is an artist-in-residence at Craft Alliance and a resident teaching artist at the Contemporary Art Museum in Saint Louis. She is represented by Rivalry Projects in Buffalo, New York.

This exhibition is made possible in part by the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana, and the Indiana Arts Commission, which receives support from the State of Indiana and the National Endowment for the Arts.