Open August 26 – September 26
Art Gym Gallery is excited to exhibit In Absentia, this year’s Create Award residency exhibition. In Absentia showcases the work of printmaker Thinh Dinh, painter Grace Hoag, and performance artist Justice Miles as they share what they have been working on throughout their 6 month residency at Art Gym. Please join us for an opening reception on Thursday, August 26 from 5-8pm. Please keep in mind that masks are required to enter the building.
After immigrating to the United States from Vietnam at a young age, Thinh Dinh, a recent graduate from UC Boulder states that he didn’t feel attached to Vietnam, yet felt like an outsider in my his new “home.” In his work, he creates liminal spaces, a state of in-between-ness and ambiguity that encourages transition, through fictitious landscapes to explore the reconstruction of cultural identity filtered by childhood memories and feelings of displacement & isolation. Using silhouettes from found vessels as a framing device he create a visual language that fuses these two worlds. The commentary focuses on consumerism, constructions of cultural identity and his reflections on contemporary events. These spaces serve as mind maps, with symbols & memories nested within one another, an odd mix of old & new. His imagined landscapes are the result of the collision between East and West, inviting viewers to ponder the immigrant experience.
Grace Hoag, a recent graduate of the University of Northern Colorado makes large scale acrylic paintings on canvas that explore themes of mental illness and the processes of coping and healing. She use the painting process to better understand her disorders. The paintings are physically large and psychologically heavy; these elements dominate, skewing one’s sense of stability in body and mind. She uses strange proportions, layers of disharmonious colors, and a variety of brushstrokes to create disquieting moods in the paintings. Grace paints one hour at a time: the length of a therapy session – and uses a meditation statement or key word while she works to imbue the paint with memory of that feeling. The colors she uses tend to be pastel or vibrant, but by thinly layering them over days and weeks, creates color mixes that evoke complex emotions. Her painting process, like recovery, is repetitive: reground and repeat.
Justice Miles, who received her MFA from the University of New Mexico, creates dances that grapple with existing in a liminal space. As a biracial African American/Norwegian American woman, she is interested in creating work that explores the in-between spaces of flamenco and contemporary dance while also examining themes around history, race, and identity. Her latest performance, “Floral Tea”, however, presents a new theme for her work: healing. She wanted to create something healing at this point in her life, so she turned towards the vibrant vibrations and energy that plants exuded. The mythological, medicinal, artistic, and historical information that exists on plants seems to hold an endless well of artistic inspiration. While historically women and flowers seem to have existed hand in hand as muses to man, she was interested in creating dances that stemmed not from depicting a romanticized muse but were about a life. “Floral Tea“ is an experimental dance/movement film about a magical tea that transports a woman to a dreamworld where she embodies various plants’ lives.
Please also join us on Friday, September 10 at 4pm, when Thinh, Grace, and Justice will be giving artist talks discussing their work and process throughout the duration of the Create Award Residency. Lastly, there will be a closing reception on Saturday, September 25 from 3-6pm.