‘DIALOGUES’ features works by Marcie Paper

SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts continues “DIALOGUES” through Nov. 15, featuring finely crafted works that suggest an exchange of ideas and opinions by six emerging and established artists from throughout the country.

Gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by appointment.

“DIALOGUES” features figurative ceramic sculptures by Carrianne Hendrickson, New York; colorful abstract paintings by Marcie Paper, New York; elegant ceramic sculptures by Jeff Pender, North Carolina; and thoughtful figurative paintings by Christopher St. John, New Mexico.

Also showing, a collaborative “DIALOGUES” project by Debra Blair, New Mexico, and Marti Bledsoe, Colorado, in the SHY RABBIT print studio gallery.

Whether abstract, figurative, or purely sculptural, the paintings and ceramics selected for inclusion in “DIALOGUES” contain a conversational element special to each piece. They were chosen for their ability to speak in unique ways to and with the viewer, sometimes subtly but often overtly.

These works suggest an exchange of ideas and opinions. They hint at a conversation held privately between the artwork and its maker. They announce the internal dialogue taking place between the figures in the paintings or on the ceramics. They have a narrative quality, obvious or hidden, that tells a story to be interpreted differently by each viewer interacting with the work. Abstract compositions contain a musical or lyrical element, suggestive of a conversation.

“DIALOGUES” includes five finely detailed and very colorful abstract paintings by New York artist Marcie Paper. Paper’s work was so well received in “Forms, Figures, Symbols” at SHY RABBIT in 2006 that she was invited back to participate in “DIALOGUES.”

Paper received her bachelor of science degree in art therapy along with her bachelor of fine art degree in 2-D studies from Bowling Green State University, Ohio, in 2003. She received her master of fine arts degree in painting from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 2006.

For the past five years, Paper has been tracking her experience and daily events as they manifest into memory.

“I honor my everyday experiences and seemingly insignificant events for the role that they play and the impact that they have on, my ever-changing, present moment,” states Paper. “By tracking these events through paint, digital video, audiotape, and embroidery, I have been able to hold on to a little longer, understand a little better, and have physical evidence of, my existence.”

In a diarist manner, Paper records the state of her life on a daily basis using paint. Events both minor and major, anxieties, and emotions felt from day to day are transformed into abstracted symbols. With each day the paintings progress, and a new layer of symbols and patterning both cover and transform the layers left from the day before.

“I use sanding and erasures to reveal layers that still hold importance for me, and often use a figure-ground reversal to create shape out of past experiences,” Paper continues. “As days go by and the paintings as well as the animations move through compositions, early layers become vague and disrupted as well as enhanced by new information. My final product is an intensely layered record of my current state of being bearing the history of my recent past. In this way I am trying to make visible the transformation of my experiences into that of memories.”

Paper’s interest in memory has been fueled by her personal experience with memory loss owing to the fact that her father was diagnosed with a brain disorder that has left him with no short-term memory. Through this experience she has gained an appreciation for the mundane and an interest in both short and long-term memories.

“I question our relationships to both short and long-term memory,” Paper comments. “When do our daily experiences transform into our recollections of the past? How much of our long-term memory is a sum of small insignificant events? How do short and long term memory influence each other, and what is lost in the translation? If we loose our short-term memory, is it just a matter of time before we ultimately loose our long-term memory? What is the impact of memory on our concept of ourselves and our placement within the world?

“It is through this investigation into memory that my work has come to deal more exclusively with short-term memory and the supposedly insignificant events that make up our days, and, more importantly, our understandings of the present moment and consequently, ourselves. I track my memories, being watchful for events and specific memories to be lost, wondering what aspects of my life will persevere and make it into the ‘long term’ category. I have come to see my work as both a record of my memories, as well as physical attempts at holding on to something that is more significant and elusive than I had previously thought it to be”, Paper concludes.

Paper’s work has been included in numerous juried, invitational and solo shows, including the International Awards Exhibition, Gallery Twenty-Four, Berlin, Germany; New Work, three person show, Gallery at 38 Cameron, Cambridge, Mass.; and the fourth annual Women’s Caucus for Art International Video Shorts Festival, Barnard College, New York, N.Y., juried by Sheryl Mousley, Walker Art Center.

SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts is located at 333 Bastille Drive, two blocks north of U.S. 160, off of North Pagosa Boulevard. The 4,000 square foot arts facility houses a ceramic studio and fine art gallery, two mixed-media workshops, and two large exhibition spaces.

For more information on SHY RABBIT, visit www.shyrabbit.com or call 731-2766. For more information on “DIALOGUES,” visit www.shyrabbit.com/Exhibits.html.