Jodi Hays

 I come from gardeners, teachers, believers, sinners, moonlighting loggers, makers, milliners, cooks, healers, pharmacists, and grocers. I come from the American South, a place where the kitchen and pharmacy are the same room. In many ways, I see my work as that same room—an expansive space for building and coming together. Landscape and the material vocabulary of the American South influence my abstraction. Mining a southern povera, I use reclaimed textiles, fabric, and cardboard. These materials serve as stand-ins for expressive marks and resourceful labor.

Jewel Ham

 bell hooks describes “talking back” as “a form of conscious rebellion against dominating authority.” My work intends to speak with the same voice, approaching narrative portraiture as an act of resistance.

Valeria Guillen

 I treat painting as a quiet platform for discussion. I see it as an object, though living in a place of discontent where it does not fit, it rests in space. I have collected pictures throughout the years, passed down from family members, Internet-crowdsourced stills, structural renderings that I have never seen in person, all with a common denominator: awkwardness. When composing a painting, the skeleton builds itself through the bombardment of these visual stimulants. The practice questions the clash of all this mixture and reveals the problem of a now-hybrid society.

Crystal Gregory

 If the nature of architecture is fixed and permanent, then the opposite would be a textile—collapsible and movable. Further consideration, however, would show more common links than differences. Both mediums define space, create shelter, and allow privacy, though textile has the advantage of flexibility. It is a quasi-two-dimensional plane that has the ability to fold, drape, move, and change in response to its surroundings.

Rigoberto Diaz

 I develop works that explore space as a symbolic platform to generate reflections and questions about memory. At the same time, I show an interest in space as a system in which life forms, behaviors, and information are constantly being produced. As I approach these dynamics, I try to find new interstices that allow us to make visible and understand those areas of confluence of relationships. The field of action is extensive: libraries, warehouses, housing prototypes, schools, publishing houses, shelters, prisons, political institutions, and so on.

Rachel de Cuba

 In interdisciplinary work using digitally and physically manipulated materials, I seek to pull back a veil on power structures, migration, and gender roles. Creating work focusing on the power of softness and the memorable qualities of delicate objects, I question the structures of memorialization. While the digitally developed materials look to surrealist storytelling approaches, the physical materials explore the abstractions of storytelling within a family heritage. Engaging every sense within a work, I look to recreate a living extension of myself, birthing work to create dialogue.

Kyrae Dawaun

 With regard to language as an infrastructure, my pertinent exercise is its interrogation beyond the constraints of denoted words, discovering it settled into its varying regional connotations and tones. The instinctive selection of word is reflexive of quotidian scenarios inspiring the inquiry into the actions present in intimate human exchange and politics. It is a careful act to challenge the language you are governed by. Abstraction in form, composition, and arrangement of the imagery meets the obfuscation I resort to in contest to societal distortions guided by misgovernment.

Stephanie Cobb

 My work is a private moment made public. My interest in image-making has always been predominately figurative; I select subjects that are closely tied to personal experiences. Only closeness between artist and sitter will allow for intimacy in a portrait. My hope is to evoke with clarity our closeness, or our distance.

Emma Childs

 Emma Childs uses eloquent shapes and thoughtful pops of color to create objects that physically interact with their environment. Through her minimalist approach, Childs transforms experiences and emotions into simplified form, color, and geometric edges. The results are eye-catching compositions, which tell complicated and interconnected narratives in an accessible way. Childs’s paintings are layered depictions of existence in the worlds we build around ourselves.

Thomas Bils

 Thomas Bils investigates the mutability of truth and narrative. Reflecting during the beginning of the opioid crisis on the absurdities familiar to him from growing up in the suburban South, Thomas crafts images that are often drawn from personal experiences, carefully blurring the borders between fact and fiction. In these slippages of recollection, he takes on the role of unreliable narrator to develop a situational ambiguity, prompting the viewer to identify where the fabrications occur in an attempt to grasp meaning and order.

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