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2010 Annual

The catalog for this
exhibition is available
at our bookstore.

2010 Annual: Memory Upgrade
Juried by Juan Alonso

Opening Reception Thursday, December 2, from 6pm to 9pm
CoCA Pioneer Square, 310 First Avenue South

From December 2, 2010 - January 1, 2011, CoCA Pioneer Square will present Memory Upgrade, a juried exhibition featuring work from 16 emerging as well as established artists in a wide variety of visual media, including 2d, 3d, and video.

Memory Upgrade explores the ways in which artists have responded to the global financial crisis by changing various aspects of their work. Considered collectively, these artists hint at the heightened importance of memory, history, and the role of the artist to affect social change.

Over 150 artists from across the county, Europe, and Australia submitted works for consideration. CoCA has presented the Annual since 1989, each time inviting an independent juror to select the work. For this year's 21st anniversary of the show, CoCA is proud to have Juan Alonso as juror.

Over a career that spans 25 years, Alonso has received numerous grants, awards, and recognition from a wide variety of arts organization in the Seattle area, including the Behnke Foundation, PONCHO (2007 Artist of the Year), 4Culture, Mayors Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, Artist Trust, Pratt Fine Arts Center, and Centrum. Born in Cuba in 1956, Alonso came to the Unites States at an early age, leaving behind his family to learn a new language in a foreign place.

There will be an opening reception on Thursday, December 2, from 6 - 9pm at CoCA's Pioneer Square location located inside the former Elliott bay Book Company at 310 1st Ave South in Pioneer Square. Juan Alonso will announce prizewinners at the reception and field questions via satellite from Miami / Basel Art Fair. The announcement will be broadcast live on CoCA TV.

Participating artists include: Minh Carrico, Laura Castellanos, David French, Douglas Gast, Sarah Gilbert, Harold Hollingsworth, Phillip Hua, Alma Leiva, Nia Michaels, Nate Orton, Scott Schuldt, Patti Shaw, Garric Simonsen, Tereza Swanda, Kate Sweeney and Jillian Vento.

Bombs and Spears

Bombs and Spears
Titillating Distractions During Times of War

CoCA Belltown, 2721 First Ave (corner of First & Clay), Seattle, WA 98101
On View Every Day, 24 hours, October 1 - 31, 2010


Created by Derin Smith

I remember the feeling I had in my stomach when Bush went to war with Iraq. As the war went on, I often wondered about the Iraqi civilians. How many tens of thousands were killed or wounded, or had their lives destroyed. Although at home, we seemed to hear more about a panty-less Britney Spears than the war. Not much has changed since then. Whether it is Britney or Lindsay or Paris or Snooki, we are still at war and we are still constantly confronted with superficial distractions.

All paintings are 4 x 6 ft, oil on canvas, depicting a panty-less Britney Spears getting out of Paris Hilton's car. Bombs are 26 x 6 x 6 in, mixed media sculpture.

Outsider/Insider

Outsider/Insider
Outdoor Sculptures from Carkeek Park and Cougar Mountain come Indoors to Play


Opening Reception Thursday, November 4, from 5pm to 9pm
CoCA Pioneer Square, 310 First Ave. S.

The former Elliot Bay Bookstore is transformed into an environment of outdoor artworks from our 2010 outdoor sculpture exhibitions.


Artists represented include:

Julie Lindell
Ingrid Lahti
Barbara De Pirro
Big Camera Group
Ken Turner

Miguel Edwards
John Henry Wooten IV
Sylwia Tur
Julie Fisco
Brad Willner
David Kitts
David Francis
Aaron Haba
Shirley Weibe
meadow starts with p
Suzanne Tidwell
Anette Lusher

curated by David Francis

Works on Paper

Works on Paper
Curated by Joseph C. Roberts

Artists' Receptions Thursday, September 16, 6 - 9 pm + Saturday, October 9, 4 - 7pm
CoCA Ballard, 6413 Seaview Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
On View Weekdays at Ballard 10 am - 5 pm, September 16 - October 11, 2010


Featuring Wanda Pelayo and Shanti Geise

with additional work by:

Frank Benson

Timothy Cross

Harold Cox

Lola Dale

Kristen Francis

Pamela Keeley

Claudia Fitch

Patricia Hagen

Dick Matthies

Kathleen Rabel

Jacques Roch

Lisa Sheets

Gary Wartzel

various media techniques, including watercolor, oil & acrylic paint, color reduction woodblock print, drypoint, collage, mixed media, serigraph, cyanotype, and reverse glass monoprint.

Walking Cycle (detail) by Magdalena Hill

Overgrowth and Understory Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition at Cougar Mountain Regional Wildlands Park

Opening Reception Saturday, July 10, 3 - 5 pm
Anti-Aircraft Peak, SE Cougar Mt. Way in Issaquah
On Display July 10 - October 1, 2010

In collaboration with King County Parks, CoCA will present "Overgrowth & Understory" the first-ever exhibition of temporary, outdoor sculptures on Cougar Mt. Regional Wildlands Park (Anti-Aircraft Peak & Sky Country Trailheads), from July 10 - October 1, 2010. In addition to its function as a Cold War missile site in the mid 20th century, the park also features historic coal mining sites as well as many miles of trails in second growth forest surrounded by an increasingly urban environment.

The exhibition, arranged around the perimeter of open fields adjacent to trailhead parking lots, will focus on interpretations of nature, history, and the built environment in a world of change. Overgrowth & Understory is King County's only venue for temporary sculpture in a forested setting where part of the exhibit includes a walking tour of 15 minutes to three hours (5 miles between the art exhibits near the Trailheads), passing natural features like the "Cave Holes," "Klondike Marsh," and "Cougar Pass."

Download printable sculpture location maps (pdf format) here: Tabloid (11 x 17) | Legal (8.5 x 14) | Letter (8.5 x 11)

ARTISTS: Anette Lusher, Shirley Wiebe, Miguel Edwards, meadow starts with p, David Francis, Shannon Durbin, Magdalena Hill, Suzanne Tidwell, david kitts, Ray C. Freeman III, Kristine Eudey, Catherine Thompson, Aaron Haba, Barbara De Pirro, and Sarah Savidge.

Driving Directions:

Sky Country Trailhead From I-90 Take Exit 13 and drive south on Lakemont Boulevard SE for 2.5 miles. Turn left on SE Cougar Mountain Way and then right on 166th Way SE. Follow 166th to its end (0.7 miles). On the right is the Sky Country Trailhead parking lot. This lot includes space for horse trailers.

Anti-Aircraft Peak Trailhead From I-90 Take Exit 13 and drive south on Lakemont Boulevard SE for 2.5 miles. Turn left onto SE Cougar Mountain Way. Follow the double yellow line. (The road will first swing left and become 168th Place SE, and then right to become SE 60th Street.) Turn off 60th Street uphill onto the dead end road, SE Cougar Mountain Drive. The road will change to gravel, and at the very end is the Anti-Aircraft Peak Trailhead, where you will find restrooms, picnic tables, and a playfield.

Nests and Pods (detail) by Anette Lusher

Heaven and Earth II Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition in Carkeek Park

Opening Reception Saturday, June 26, 2 - 5 pm
Environmental Learning Center, Carkeek Park, 950 N.W. Carkeek Park Road, Seattle, WA
On Display June 26 - September 26, 2010

Official Heaven and Earth Website here.


Following a widely acclaimed debut in 2009 that received national attention, CoCA, Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Carkeek Park Advisory Council (CPAC), and the Associated Recreational Council (ARC) have partnered again to bring another exhibition of temporary, outdoor sculpture to Carkeek Park in northwest Seattle. As before, the theme concerns the natural world in a time of dramatic change. Some of the art is designed to weather in place and erode while other work incorporates movement and interactive use by visitors. Last year's exhibit can be seen at www.heavenandearthexhibition.org.

In reviews by the Seattle Times, Ballard News Tribune, and Tacoma News Tribune, the 2009 exhibit was recognized for its unique combination of art in a wooded urban park, among the only such exhibitions in the country. While art in downtown parks is typical of many cities, only Seattle features art in the forest. As Michael Upchurch, writing for the Seattle Times, wrote, "the 'show' takes you through oddball corners of Carkeek Park with a sculpture-seeking intent that's surprisingly satisfying - no matter what you find."

The exhibition this year features 12 artists with 15-20 works located throughout the park. A walking tour of the whole exhibit takes about an hour, but some work can be seen in much less time, including a variety of work accessible from the access road. Maps can be downloaded for free at CoCA's website beginning June 26. A catalog of this year's exhibit will be released in August.

ARTISTS: Big Camera Group, Barbara DePirro, Miguel Edwards, Julie Fisco, Anette Lusher, Ingrid Lahti, Julie Lindell, Piper O'Neill, Eden Rivers, Sylwia Tur, Ken Turner, and John Henry Wooten IV.

Maria Frank Abrams: Crouching Figure
Crouching Figure
Maria Frank Abrams

MARIA FRANK ABRAMS: FOUR PAINTINGS
MATTHEW KANGAS, CURATOR

Reception, Thursday, August 12, 5-7pm
CoCA Belltown, 2721 First Ave (corner of First & Clay), Seattle, WA 98101
On View Every Day, 24 hours, July 17 - August 30, 2010


MARIA FRANK ABRAMS: FOUR PAINTINGS is an exhibition on the occasion of the publication of BURNING FOREST: THE ART OF MARIA FRANK ABRAMS. The long-time Mercer Island, Wash. resident, now 86, attended the University of Washington School of Art on a Hillel Foundation scholarship and arrived in Seattle three years after her release from a Nazi concentration camp in Germany in 1945. Born in Debrecen, Hungary, Abrams is an important part of postwar Northwest and American art history, won numerous awards, and had several important museum surveys of her work, including at the Seattle Art Museum and Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard. Acclaimed for her beautiful landscape scenes of the Puget Sound area, Abrams has been overlooked as a transitional figure between the Northwest School (she studied privately with Tobey) and an emerging formalist modernism of the 1960s and 1970s. Developing her style over a period of years, she alternated between representational and abstract imagery and introduced photographic and collage elements into her later work. The four paintings Kangas has selected for the COCA exhibition present essential examples of her shifts from early and late imagery dealing with her experiences of the Holocaust and her attempts to suppress such memories through beautiful but often cloudy landscapes. In between, as the exhibit demonstrates, Abrams achieved a strict geometric style as well as moody scenes that may symbolize smoky skies in Poland and Germany filled with the detritus of the crematory ovens of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen where Abrams spent time as a prisoner and slave labor inmate.

MATTHEW KANGAS is a noted art critic who has written for Seattle Times, Argus, Seattle Sun, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Artforum, Art in America, Art-Guide Northwest, and Art Ltd., among many other publications. He has curated or juried over 40 exhibitions as well, including major art-historical surveys for SAFECO and Bumbershoot between 1983 and 2004. Three essay collections have been published in New York by Midmarch Arts Press and are available in bookstores and amazon.com. Kangas also organized a retrospective and wrote the accompanying book William Cumming: The Image of Consequence for the Frye Art Museum in 2005. He is a graduate of Reed College and Oxford University and lives in Seattle.

BURNING FOREST: THE ART OF MARIA FRANK ABRAMS
BY MATTHEW KANGAS
MUSEUM OF NORTHWEST ART, LA CONNER, WASH.
AVAILABLE FROM AMAZON.COM

Maria Frank Abrams: Burning Forest is a crucial addition to the literature of modernism in America and its expression among European exiles such as Maria Frank Abrams (b. 1924) in Seattle during the mid-twentieth century. With a preface by Peter Selz and foreword by Holocaust expert Deborah E. Lipstadt, Matthew Kangas's new monograph deepens our vision of how Pacific Northwest art developed and flourished.

Emerging as an artist at exactly the same time German philosopher Theodor Adorno said creative and profound applications about the Holocaust were impossible, Maria Frank Abrams challenged such neo-shibboleths through material mastery, professional achievements, and the offer to Americans and others of the life-affirming vision conveyed through her art. Memory may be dark, but it is a key pathway to light in the art of Maria Frank Abrams.

In this lavishly illustrated study, art critic Matthew Kangas chronicles Abrams's evolution from adored child artist to Holocaust survivor to second-generation Northwest School artist and late-blooming geometric abstract painter. Drawing intensively upon the artist's interviews and oral histories, as well as family archives and photographs, Kangas makes the case for Abrams as an overlooked transitional figure in Pacific Northwest art: from "mystic" adherent to sophisticated, European-inspired modernist.

After her studies with Walter F. Isaacs at the University of Washington School of Art, Abrams was embraced by Mark Tobey, with whom she studied privately. Their collective influence shaped her destiny as an artist. Kangas restores the Hungarian cultural context of her development and fully documents the artist's harrowing early life in Hungary and her family's fate at Auschwitz in 1944.

He makes the case that over the years the artist's memories of World War II indirectly seeped into her art even as it was sometimes accompanied by brightly colored scenes of Northwest nature. Reappearing in her canvases, prints, drawings, murals, and examples of scenic design and public art, they are held in the rich qualities of her mature vision that fuses dark and light, dawn and sunset, sadness and joy.

Altered Photo

Altered Photo
Curated by Joseph C. Roberts

Artists Reception Thursday, August 12, 6 - 9 pm
CoCA Ballard, 6413 Seaview Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
On View Weekdays at Ballard 10 am - 5 pm, August 12 - September 4, 2010


Sarah Givaty
Michael Klein
Edward McHugh
John Schuh
Ray Schutte
Alexander Vieth
Rebecca Woodward

Panel Discussion, Thursday, August 12, 7:30pm

Originality, authorship, authenticity, integrity, and attribution in the digital age.

Joseph C. Roberts, Moderator
David Ulrich, Chair, Cornish College Art Department
Paul Berger, Professor, UW Art Department
Matthew Kangas, author and critic

Leah Schrager

Leah Schrager: PRETTY WHATEVER

Opening Reception and Whisky Tasting Thursday, July 8, 6 - 9 pm
CoCA Ballard, 6413 Seaview Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
On View Weekdays at Ballard 10 am - 5 pm, July 8 - August 7, 2010


PRETTY WHATEVER is a collection of photo-poems (phoems) by Leah Schrager curated by Joseph Roberts. Leah is trained as a contemporary dancer and model and is currently living in New York City. These phoems have been created over the past year as an interpretation of Leah's move from the Northwest to NYC, her studies of performance art, her forays into the world wide web, her travels, and her relationships with friends and lovers.

See press coverage for the show in The Sunbreak and The Olympian.


This project is made possible
by the generous support of
the Iranian American Community
Alliance of Seattle (IACA).

I RAN Home (In America)

Opening Reception Thursday, June 10, 6 - 9 pm
CoCA Ballard, 6413 Seaview Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
On View Weekdays at Ballard 10 am - 5 pm, June 10 - July 5, 2010


The well-reviewed exhibition I RAN Home (In America) travels to Seattle in June at The Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA). The exhibition first appeared in Washington, DC in November 2009 where it attracted hundreds of viewers. I RAN Home (In America) seeks to acknowledge Iranian-American art as an important and emerging genre. Running June 10 - July 5, 2010, at CoCA, the exhibition will feature two new West Coast-based artists: Taravat Talepasand and Arien Valizadeh.

Iranian artists have become players in the national and international contemporary art scene, but too often, this genre is tied to politics. In reality, Iranian-American artists are multi-faceted with different and conflicting identities and influences. Their work may be affected by political realities, but not decided by them. In I RAN Home (In America), these diverse influences unite in profoundly personal artworks that strive to achieve acceptance and understanding from all viewers. The genre educates the American public about Iranian culture and reveals the effects of Diaspora on community identity.

New York based Eric Robert Parnes appropriates contemporary images and intentionally revises them to reveal the ways in which they have driven war, religion and fashion through time. Iranian-born, Hadieh Shafie explores the fundamental aspects of process, repetition and time throughout her works, which take direct inspiration from the whirling dervish of Sufism. Taravat Talepasand creates direct and personal links between her own identity as an American female and the politics of Iran by placing her own image into her works. Finally, Arien Valizadeh challenges and even, criticizes the stereotypical Iranian-American through his Persian Palaces.

Pola Brändle: Plakatief

Opening Reception Thursday, June 10, 6 - 9 pm
Runs concurrently with I RAN Home (In America)
CoCA Ballard, 6413 Seaview Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
On View Weekdays at Ballard 10 am - 5 pm, June 10 - July 5, 2010


German artist, Pola Brändle, travels the world as a modern archeologist with her camera and discerning eye. She finds fascinating evidence of culture on decrepit billboards and ally walls. The permanence of her high gloss photographs printed on sleek aluminum provide a sharp contrast with her decaying subject: multiple layers and tattered fragments of art posters and advertisements, all evincing the vandalism of hand, weather and time. -jcr

Across the Divide 2
The catalog for this
exhibition is available
at our bookstore.

Across the Divide 2
Contemporary Art from Big Sky Country: University of Montana MFA Show

Artists' Reception & Catalog Release, Tuesday, May 11, 6 - 9 pm
CoCA Ballard, 6413 Seaview Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
On View Weekdays at Ballard 10 am - 5 pm, May 11 - June 5, 2010
On View Every Day at Belltown 24 hours, May 11 - June 5, 2010


CoCA is proud to partner with the University of Montana's School of Art in bringing the first exhibition of Montana MFA candidates to Seattle, including 14 artists at various stages in their work exploring a wide range of media, including ceramics (internationally recognized program), drawing, painting, photography, mixed media installation, sculpture, printmaking, and video. The exhibit showcases the diversity of a vibrant program with an attention to objects, materials, processes, and interdisciplinary inquiry. Featured artists have come to Missoula to study from all over the country (as well as Japan, Canada, etc.) and include Lucy Capehart, Pamela Caughey, Michael Flynn, Sarahjess Hurt, Will Hutchinson, Lisa Jarrett, Steph Johnsen, Anna Lemnitzer, Suzanne Lussier, Yaro Neils, Randi O'Brien, Cathryn Sugg, Nathan Tonning, and Rebecca Weed.

CoCA's "Across the Divide" series was started in 2009 in an effort to bring more contemporary art from the interior west and the "dry side" of the mountains to Seattle. As part of the project, CoCA staff flew to Missoula to engage the artists' community before joining the road trip to deliver the artwork.

Becoming
Gideon's Book "Becoming",
created to set the context for
this exhibition, is available
at our bookstore.

Gideon Kramer

becOMing:
a love story

Artist's Reception, Book Release, and 93rd Birthday Party, Thursday, April 8, 6 - 9 pm
CoCA Ballard, 6413 Seaview Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
On View Weekdays 10 am - 5 pm, April 8 - May 8, 2010

Center on Contemporary Art is pleased to present an exhibition of the work of Gideon Kramer. Weaved around the story of his life-long relationship with his wife Ruth, this exhibition touches on all aspects of Gideon's work as a visionary designer, artist, inventor, teacher, builder, lecturer, and businessman


Seattle's Gideon Kramer is a true renaissance man. Long fascinated by the relationship between materials, technology, design, and function -- and given to flights of insightful socio-cultural and philosophical musings -- Kramer is recognized as one of of the greatest industrial designers of our age. A graduate of the renowned engineering program at Chicago's Institute of Design, his achievements are myriad. Kramer devised the first truly ergonomic chair in 1946; began conceiving radically new truck designs in the early 1950's; started teaching Industrial Design at the University of Washington in 1957 and architectural workshops at the University of Oregon in 1960. In 1966 the American Institute of Architects (AIA) honored his "outstanding achievement in fine arts, allied professions [and] craftsmanship in the industrial arts" by bestowing on him their coveted Industrial Arts Medal. Kramer had penned essays for the AIA Journal, The Argus, The Arts, the World Institute Journal of the United Nations, and other industrial arts and design publications.


Gideon celebrated hs 93rd Birthday on March 28, 2010.

Resident Alien

Resident Alien

Artist's Reception, Thursday, March 11, 6 - 9 pm
CoCA Ballard, 6413 Seaview Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
On View Weekdays 10 am - 5 pm, March 11 - April 3, 2010


Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA) is pleased to feature a group exhibition focusing on local artists from Europe and the Mediterranean exploring issues of memory, history, immigration, and displacement. The show features video, sculpture, book art, site-specific mixed media installation, and 2D works. An Artists' Reception from 6 - 9 pm on Thursday, March 11, is free with ample parking at CoCA's Ballard Gallery at 6413 Seaview Ave NW, 98107. Gallery hours are M - Sat., 9 am -5 pm; otherwise by appointment.

These 10 artists have left their respective countries and cultures to make a home in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Their relationship to history offers a fascinating contrast to an American past that "officially" extends up to 350 years ago, a fraction of the several thousand years that typically characterizes Europe and Asia Minor. Immigrating to America, is one really free of the past -- or does history somehow follow us to the ends of the earth? In a land of mediated images where nothing is outside the marketplace, what is the function of contemporary art? From Hungary to Holland, from Turkey to Germany, these artists have crisscrossed half the globe in the pursuit of such impossible questions.

Artist represented include Timea Tihanyi (Hungary), Sylwia Tur (Poland) , Ingrid Lahti (Finland), Iole Alessandrini (Italy), Anette Lusher (Germany), Evren Artiran (Turkey), Tobias Walther (Germany), Paula Stokes (Ireland), Hanita Schwartz (Israel) and Simon Kogan (Russia).

Kate Vrijmoet: Essential Gestures

Kate Vrijmoet: Essential Gestures

Artist's Reception, Thursday, February 11, 6 - 9 pm
CoCA Ballard, 6413 Seaview Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
On View Weekdays 10 am - 5 pm, February 11 - March 7, 2010


Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA) is pleased to present “Essential Gestures” – an exhibition of paintings and drawings by Kate Vrijmoet who recently settled in Seattle. The exhibition features 8 paintings on canvas and 17 charcoal drawings.

That Vrijmoet’s work is based in figurative portraiture is well represented by her charcoal drawings. Yet the artist’s radical project is immediately apparent in her “accident series” in which a single figure is in the process of a horrific (and usually grotesquely bloody) accident with a chainsaw, shotgun, axe or similar tools and weapons. Her handling of the paint matches the situation’s goriness – melting bodies tossing explosive splatters of blood. Often, her subjects seem not yet to be aware of the violence they have perpetrated on themselves: The viewer plays the role of the witness much as he might watch a horror movie – completely aware of the violence and agony that awaits the victim’s realization.

Vrijmoet’s subject, however, is less the gore than the moment the gore marks: A moment of waking, of a new consciousness, of self-awareness. Her subject is trauma itself – the word coming from the German for “dream.” The accidents mark the rest of the victim’s life, whether it is merely to be a few more seconds or to lived from then on without an arm, a leg or an eye – or with deep physical and psychological scars.

The idea of waking is what draws Vrijmoet’s main bodies of work together. The centerpiece of the exhibition is her 6’ by 10’ “Creation (of Melancholy Fate) by Supreme Being” which but for the title could be seen as a family swimming pool scene viewed from under water. Yet, metaphorically, the work reads as chaos in the primordial soup or as the moment of waking from a dream or a spiritual birth.

Vrijmoet’s drawings not only reveal the artist’s virtuosity but her serious project as an observer of the human condition. Together with the water paintings and the accident paintings, the drawings help us see how Vrijmoet pictures people as defined by their bodies, their minds, their self-awareness as well as trauma and scars.

Vrijmoet’s artistic vision combines Pop Art (think Andy Warhol’s “Car Accident”) with the sublime (think Edmund Burke who in 1757 wrote “Astonishment is that state of the soul, in which all its motions are suspended, with some degree of horror."

Vrijmoet received her MFA from Syracuse University. Her work has been shown in dozens of exhibitions around the country. “Essential Gestures” – Vrijmoet’s first solo exhibition in Seattle – will be on view at CoCA Ballard through March 7, 2010. Wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served at the public reception on Thursday, February 11.

Visit Kate's website here.

Paul McKee

Paul D. McKee: Excerpts from Trophies of the American Home


Artist's Reception, Thursday, March 25, 7 - 9pm
CoCA Belltown, 2721 First Ave. (at Clay), Seattle, WA 98121
Reception takes place in the Club Room of the Avenue One Condominiums, directly above the Gallery.

On View 24 hours every day, February 11, 2009 - March 28, 2010

Paul D. McKee received a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts (2000) and his MFA from Wichita State University in 2008. This exhibit is a variation of his thesis exhibition titled, Trophies of the American Home. He has transformed the CoCA Belltown Gallery into what appears to be the fragmented structure of an upscale American home, but after closer inspection, weaves into something more challenging and confrontational to the viewer. By using items from an exaggerated domestic environment (specifically items pertaining to the creation of home by traditional standards) and juxtaposing them with objects and materials associated with men and masculinity, he wishes to trigger an internal reaction in the viewer. By questioning the competition of these items with one another (and their classification in relation to gender), McKee is commenting on the social structure of the home and family unit in our modern society and its exclusion of certain peoples - specifically gay and lesbian family units - and the struggle to achieve the so called "American dream".

Of this work Paul states, "I want the viewers to acknowledge the objects' existence- their histories, their contents and their connections to diverse perceptions of family, home and sanctuary. I want their personal stories and my own to establish common ground regardless of the viewer's upbringings, levels of tolerance or feelings about non normative sexualities and spaces; I want them to use the work as a bridge between."



Visit Paul's website here.