Thoughts & Exploration

New Work: Gender & Sexuality Expectations

Over the 5 week break between semesters, I began working on 5 new paintings with the goal of further defining the imagery and color scheme for a 4’x8′ participatory work that will be a part of MCAD’s Minnesota Mean student project.

This week, I sat down to analyze what these new works are communicating through a breakdown of a brand new arrangement of imagery:

Nails (physically hammered into the painting)
Black String (wrapped around the nails)
Stems/Fruit/Vegetable associations

WIP Clown

The predecessor for this new visual vocabulary, a WIP nicknamed “Clown”.


What I found in these elements is a complex language of finding a solution, an understanding, or feeling of being “whole” as a woman and a survivor of sexual violence. These paintings are a display of my conflicting ideas about gender and sexuality, through bodily associations, personal color symbolism, and attempts at tension versus acceptance, societal expectations versus self worth.


As I cut out and put the finishing touches on these works, I will continue to think about how these paintings function alongside or in contrast to the participatory pieces I’ve created, and what message specifically do I intend to communicate with my audience as I move forward.


Drips (Cross Pollinate)

Tres Johnson, a creative and DJ, opened Drips earlier this year in Council Bluffs IA with the idea to create a cooperative space for artists, business meetings, and gallery.  It is a much needed niche in an area that is really coming up in the art scene.

I remember when I was first starting to explore the art community in Omaha and coming across these colorfully painted music records hanging on a community gallery wall.  Since then I really admired Tres’ work and what I’d describe as his down to earth, straightforward, innovative pieces.

Friday, November 15th we’ll be showing together at Drips with the theme of natural and the unnatural (Cross Pollinate).

It will be an interesting mix of organic versus hard edge shapes, bursts of color, and a nice variety of price points for gift ideas. Journey with us from ambient to dance music all night!

(detail) Tres Johnson, Dream big series