Open Mind Art Space is pleased to present, Subconscious Nature, a group exhibition co-curated by gallery owner and director Alison Limtavemongkol, Open Mind artist Theresa Knopf and Los Angeles artist Alexandra Chiou. The exhibition will feature works by Theresa Knopf, Alexandra Chiou, Kathy Leader, Aline Mare, Andre Mirzaian, and Bryan Ricci. A reception for the artists will be held on Saturday, June 8th from 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM. The exhibition will be on view from Saturday, June 8th through Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019.

Inspired by Transcendental poetry and writings, exhibition curators Limtavemongkol, Knopf and Chiou have assembled a group of artists whose collective vision is the representation of nature through visual and sensory art. For these artists, visual media is an invitation to represent the feeling and imprint that nature has on the human psyche. Ranging from abstracted landscapes as metaphors for human memory to nostalgic visions of our now-eroded environment and textured sculptures aimed at making landscape portraiture accessible to the sight impaired, Knopf, Chiou, Leader, Mare, Mirzaian, and Ricci present six unique responses to the fleeting but indelible influence of nature on their lives and work.

Theresa Knopf combines painting, fiber art, alternative photographic processes, and printmaking to explore archetypes in literature and the cultural collective. Her work examines withholding and restraint, concealing secrets through layering and subtle shifts of tension, while drawing on memory and silence to embody personal narrative conflated with existing fictional stories. Combining repurposed materials and natural fibers such as wool, jute, and paper tethers the ephemeral concepts of her work to the natural world, giving tangibility and tactility to memory.

Theresa holds a Master of Arts from California State University, Northridge and has been the recipient of the Henry Van Slooten Award and the Collage Artists of America Award. She spent time in France studying art history and has participated in residency-style art intensives and extended learning programs in illustration, printmaking, and bookbinding. Theresa’s work is exhibited locally and nationally.

Alexandra Chiou is a visual artist intrigued by the complexity of the natural world, as well as the linkages we share with the surrounding landscape. Her art is rooted in the concept of unexplored terrains and new worlds. They can be symbols of the unknown, but also of possibility, opportunity and new beginnings. Her recent work explores themes related to memory and landscape. She works primarily with layered hand cut paper and is interested in exploring the threshold between painting and sculpture.

Alexandra graduated from the University of Virginia where she double majored in Studio Art and Commerce. She has completed artist residencies at the Strathmore Mansion in Bethesda, MD and Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, CA. Her paintings and works on paper have been exhibited locally and nationally. Most recently, her work is on display at the US Embassy in Ethiopia via the Art in Embassies program.

Kathy Leader’s work has always been deeply affected by her natural environment. In South Africa where she grew up, the brilliance of the African skies were her backdrop. Alternating layers of paint, collage, wax and charcoal her work helps her to bury and excavate natural images and shapes. She begins with a photograph and then she manipulates the image by coaxing out colors, textures and shapes, always drawing from the colors of her African past. In her ongoing series that deals with her distress about the eroding environment, she starts with manipulated images of coral reefs and tree bark, bleached of their natural color. She then uses paint and words from a song to try to bring them to life again. At once her images of nature convey longing and even beauty in their brokenness.

Kathy Leader received a degree in fine art at the Michaelis School of Art, University of Cape Town, and continued on to receive a masters in art education. After teaching in Cape Town, Kathy emigrated to the United States in 1985. In conjunction with her own work, Kathy teaches private art lessons and workshops to children and adults out of her studio which she has named “The Art Process Studio”. She also teaches at various schools and places of higher education learning. Her style of teaching reflects her own creative journey allowing the process to become a personal voyage of internal discovery. Along with her private teaching, Kathy has created an art program for the homeless and is a firm believer in the healing power of art which she blogs about monthly.

Aline Mare is an artist interested in creating a rich layering of sources: a poetic language where systems of generation and communication are linked to form new languages. Abstraction gives her the freedom to discover unexpected relationships between various forms: cotton-like seedpods become clouds adrift in the sky or galactic nebulae in the vast expanse of space. Her current work comprises of images of natural materials, mica and minerals in processes of transformation - crystal structures growing in thin shimmering plates. Each element refers to metamorphosis as metaphor and physical representations of sight and of the unknown: of the hidden realms just beyond the window of knowledge.

Aline Mare began her career in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, coming out of a background of theatre, performance and installation art. She was an early member of Collaborative Projects, a collective formed in downtown New York City and performed in a multi-media partnership, Erotic Psyche, a film and music extravaganza exploring the body and the senses, which toured extensively in Manhattan and Europe throughout the 1980s. She completed undergraduate work at SUNY Buffalo’s Center for Media Studies and an MFA from San Francisco Art Institute. She has received several grants and residencies including a recent artist residency in the South of France at Fourwinds in Aureille, a 2015 Sino-American art tour in Shanghai, Starry Nights in New Mexico, Headlands Center for the Arts in SF, and grants from Kala Media artist residency program, SF Film Arts Foundation, and New Langton in SF as well a New York State Residency for the Arts.

Andre Mirzain was born and raised in Los Angeles, California where he works as an artist. His artwork juxtaposes the organic forms of nature with the grid like formations of the city, appropriating the aesthetic elements of the streets and cityscapes of Downtown Los Angeles and the organic elements of the Californian coast where he spends time surfing and appreciating nature. Mostly self-taught in woodworking, he incorporates this knowledge into his art. His recent somatosensory series is about the perception of art through contact with the hands. The somatosensory cortex is a complex system of sensory neurons and pathways that responds to touch, pain, warm or cold. The technique used for this series is based on handling spackle on a panel or a spherical surface and giving a texture to the media through the sense of touch. In this process, his hands are the main tool and act as a brush. His travels to Europe and throughout the US inspired his idea of being able to recreate the mountain ranges or cloud formations that he admired on his trips in these pieces.

Andre has worked as an assistant for several artists, gained experience building and designing custom furniture. He attended the University of Santa Barbara California, graduating in 2011 with a BFA in Art Studio with an emphasis in printmaking, paper making, bookbinding, video media, painting, and sculpture. In 2011 he received The Philip Francis Siff Memorial Scholarship and was awarded The William Dole Memorial Fund. His work is privately collected and exhibited.

Bryan Ricci’s work explores both medium and surface to create ephemeral abstract work which evoke an atmosphere alluding to both deep memory and the process of time’s effect on it. His approach is a combination of formal compositional attitudes towards space with innovative usage of materials to create work which is both painterly and abstract. Each work in his newest series represents a memory or lived experience of the artist and each layer of paint is a distortion of that memory over time. After taking photographs and printing them on linen, Ricci combines the gestural and sculptural use of paint in the foreground, often with vibrant colors subdued and contrasted against dark vague spaces. This layering of dimensions evokes the manner in which memories can shift into clarity or fade into the background as they overlap in the finite space of memory represented by the distorted photograph.

Bryan Ricci graduated from SUNY Purchase College in New York in 2000, earning a BFA in Painting. He relocated to Los Angeles to attend Otis College of Art and Design, earning a MFA in 2012. Ricci currently teaches painting at Santa Monica College and Loyola Marymount University. Ricci has exhibited his work in numerous exhibitions locally, nationally and internationally. The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles presented a solo exhibition of his paintings entitled, “A Closer Look”. His work was also included in a group exhibition, “Sincerely Yours” at the Torrance Art Museum, and exhibited at numerous art fairs including: Aqua Miami, LA Art Fair and Palm Springs Art Fair. Ricci has been involved in curatorial work in Los Angeles, and he is represented by TW Fine Art in Brisbane, Australia.