visual artist

Joyce Gordon Gallery invites you to the opening reception of “Slide”, on June 7th, 6pm.

Exhibition Dates: June 7 – June 29, 2013

Opening Reception: June 7th, 6-9pm 

Artist Talk: Saturday, June 22nd 1-4pm

Location: 406 14th St, Oakland, CA 94612

Hours: Wednesday to Friday
11am to 5pm
1 to 4pm

Gallery Contact: [email protected]

I’m so excited to share this new group of paintings inspired by Monica Zarazua’s collection of short stories Slide. I will be contributing six paintings, and I also helped curate the show.  The seven artists that are exhibiting with me also are responding to the stories in Slide in diverse media such as fused glass, video installation, printmaking, mixed media and photography.  The creative dialogue between the visual artists and Monica (the writer) has been fascinating and inspiring.  I have long considered myself a “narrative” artist, but having a specific text to use as my jumping off point yielded some unexpected results.  As a teacher, I found myself teaching more about symbolism in art this year, and as an artist I find it playing a larger part in my work.  In these paintings, I’ve continued my exploration of how objects record the personality of their handler or owner in how they are arranged, collected and displayed.

If you would like to read the short stories that inspired these works, visit and search for “Monica Zarazua Slide.”  The stories I worked with are titled “Strands,” and “Curios.”  I also have one painting in the published book that accompanies the story “The Cup.”  I’m hoping this painting can fit in the show too!

If you are interested in purchasing any of the paintings from this group, please contact Joyce Gordon Gallery

Participating Artists: Christine Balza, Xiomara Castro, Samantha Chundur, Nicole Dixon, Jon Fischer, Trevor Parham, Tomyé, Jamie Treacy , and Monica Zarazua

Artist statement for the paintings below:



Artist Statement for Slide Exhibition

The body of work I have included in this show were inspired by Monica Zarazua’s stories “Curios” and “Strands.”

In “Curios,” I was fascinated by how Zarazua described her main character’s house as being filled with curiosities stored in jars; stacked in windows sills and adorning every perimeter of her house.  In those jars, the character collected objects that held memories of significant life events.  Having grown up around similar collections that were imbued with meaning, I knew exactly what to look for when recreating these stacks of objects as still-life. In these still-life paintings, I was interested in exploring how objects record the personality of their handler or owner in how they are arranged, collected and displayed.

 In “Strands,” I gravitated towards the image of “hair” being a remnant of a person after they have died.  In this story, the main character exists in an in-between stage of being a human and being a plant.  She retains her human consciousness and memories, but she is slowly beginning to take on botanical traits as she decomposes, with only her hair as a reminder of her former vessel. For this series, I recalled the familiar scene I see in Oakland of discarded hair extensions festooned on the sidewalks, or what I like to call “tumble-weave.”  I walked around my neighborhood draping plants with extensions in the hopes of capturing a discarded style among the plants.  The draping, decorating and wrapping of the strands reminded me of the great power of personality that hair holds, and how even disembodied from a person, it holds onto that human echo.