Featuring artwork by Kenzie Adair & Austin Navrkal
July 12 - August 3rd, 2019
Opening reception: Friday, July 12th, 6-9pm
Friday, July 19, 6pm - Artist's Talk - Kenzie Adair
Saturday, July 20, 2pm - Artist's Talk - Austin Navrkal
This is a two person exhibition of mixed media paintings and sculpture.
Austin Navrkal was born in 1993 and grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He received a Bachelor’s of Art degree at Oklahoma State University. While here he had the privilege of studying under Brandon Reese and following his graduation, he apprenticed for Reese. Later he also became a studio technician for OSU. His time at these positions taught him about building, maintaining, and firing kilns, the up keep required for a studio, and how to interact and assist others. All this time spent in the studio has given Austin the chance to become proficient in ceramics. His art practices include sculptural and functional ceramic works. While in school he received the
distinguished honor to exhibit work at the OSU President’s Wilham House Exhibition in Stillwater. Since then he has been active in the communities of Tulsa and Oklahoma City. He has earned an Honorable Mention in Oklahoma Visual Artist Coalition’s annual show, Momentum, and been a part of Allied Arts’ annual Artini Art Auction. In Tulsa, Austin was selected to be a part of the Philbrook Museum of Art’s Gift Shop and soon after earned the opportunity to be in the Museum’s Director’s Office Exhibition. Austin has had a solo exhibition at Tulsa Artist Coalition and has three
upcoming shows; a solo exhibition at CMG Gallery and Edmond Fine Arts Institute in Oklahoma City and a group exhibition at Liggett Studio. With ambition to attend graduate school he is seeking out opportunities and experiences that will lead to new adventures and help further his progress as an artist and also a person.
Austin Navrkal's artwork is comprised primarily of ceramics and often use wood as an accent. He creates works that are are all hand built, using a variety of different techniques to do so. While glazing the ceramic pieces, the artist explores a range of firing techniques that are available today; electric, gas, and salt. These different processes give him the ability to have a wide range of color, texture, and variation.
My current body of work is informed by Ecofeminist philosophy, which links the commodification of the natural world with historical subjection of women and vulnerable people. Specifically, this work focuses on establishing equality between the body and the earth as its ecosystem. I am interested in the way reliance on unsustainable resource acquisition, ubiquity of synthetic materials, and consumption of digital imagery are creating physical and intellectual separation between the body and its native environment. This separation is necessary in upholding practices that serve human life over the environment as a whole and set a precedent for systemic inequality to exist on smaller scales. I obscure an established hierarchical relationship between the body and the earth by positioning synthetic materials and digital imagery relative to abstract bodily forms and organic elements. The resulting works are textured, layered spaces which decontextualize both organic and synthetic elements and allow for new visual and tactile relationships to emerge.
The formal components of my work include various representations of nature and the body, which range from realistic to highly-simplified icons. I use imagery and materials in different degrees of removal from their original state to highlight distortion. The setting of each piece is a patterned backdrop made of sewn or digitally printed fabric. Minimally processed organic elements, such as dried flowers and raw wool, are crossed with industrial materials, such as epoxy resin and polymer fabric, and applied to the surface. Abstract figurative shapes collected from life drawing are painted between layers of pattern and fibers, placing the body in an environment that is not discernibly real or fabricated. This body of work consists of medium-scale paintings that overlap patterns and three-dimensional fibers applications with sinuous figurative forms.
The continuation of unsustainable practices depends on an overall acceptance of the Earth as a resource to be used, instead of an ecosystem of which humans are one part. By removing the body, organic elements, synthetic materials, and digital imagery from their original context, I create new relationships and ask how they might shape our conceptions of the natural world.
Kenzie Adair (Oklahoma, 1991) completed a BFA in 2014 from the Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA. Her solo exhibition Knee Deep debuted in August of 2018 at the SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, GA. She has also shown her work in group exhibitions in Savannah, GA, Tulsa, OK, Oklahoma City, OK, Kansas City, MO, and Lacoste, France. In her recent work, she layers representations of nature and the body the body with raw fibers, pressed flowers, epoxy resin, and everyday plastic objects. Using processes of painting, digital collage, sewing, and three-dimensional fibers applications, she creates medium-scale, mixed media paintings which ask how fabricated imagery, material, and experiences are separating the body from its native environment. Currently, she is living and working in Tulsa.
Artist Talk Blurb
Kenzie Adair will give an extended artist talk on July 19th, at 6pm. This talk will cover her work’s foundation in Ecofeminism, which links the destruction of the natural world with historic oppression of indigenous people, women, and other marginalized groups. She will explore the significance of the materials and processes she uses, as well as the underlying themes of environmentalism and creating work through the lens of female identity.