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CPA Artist Grant Exhibition
Featuring new work by Liz Steketee, riel & Bianca Sturchio, and Allie Tsubota
Exhibition on view: February 19 – April 3, 2022
Exhibition opening and artist talk: February 19, 4:00 – 6:00pm

Please join us for the inaugural exhibition by our CPA Artist Grant recipients. Liz Steketee, riel & Bianca Sturchio, and Allie Tsubota will present work created during the past year with funds from our artist grant program. We’ll be opening the call for submissions for the 2022 grants shortly, including a new grant just for landscape photographers to honor our photographic roots.

Liz Steketee
Wrapped: photography printed on fabric, wrapped and sewn around rocks, sticks, and books sewn with thread, dyed, and sealed with varnish.

Wrapped is an exploration of photography as a sculptural and sacred object. The process of wrapping then sewing the fabric permanently around the object, acts as a meditation on memory, loss, and the cycle of life.

The rocks represent all the people, experiences, and memories that connect us in collective humanity. The sticks represent the earth we come from and my family’s longstanding history of protecting the environment. Once wrapped with imagery, they act as totems to the people and memories that have influenced my life. The use of books sealed shut represents the importance of each person’s story and memory. Once wrapped, the books are sewn shut permanently both restricting and saving the stories inside.

Liz was born in Michigan and lives in Marin County California with her family. She has both a BFA and MFA in photography and mixed media. For 11 years, after completing her master’s degree, Liz stayed on at the San Francisco Art Institute to teach on the photo faculty. She specialized in digital imaging, mixed media, and bookmaking. In 2017, Liz moved into a full time studio practice. Her work focuses on the notions of photography and its role in family, memory, and history. In her practice, Liz utilizes her photography in combination with textiles, sewing, sculpture, and installation.

Liz has received numerous awards, articles, and residencies including the 2021 CPA Artist Grant, Top 20 finalist in Klompching Fresh 2021, Lenscratch featured artist 2014, 2016, 2018 2020, 2021, Nazraeli Press, Surface Design EIP, Huffington Post, and Rayko Artist Residency 2010. Additionally, her work has been exhibited widely in galleries including shows at Center For Photographic Art, PRC Boston, Fuller Crat Museum, Griffin Museum of Photography, SeagerGray Gallery, Faulconer Gallery Grinnell University, University Gallery Cal Poly, Rayko Gallery SF, San Jose ICA, and Los Angeles Center for Photography.

Art Practice Statement
Through the use of photographic montage, mixed media, textiles, and sculptural treatment of photographs, my work examines memory, family, and mending of the past. My work is a chaotic stew of elements sewn back together and made whole. I employ a breaking and mending process in all my work, and certainly in the represented. Deconstruction of imagery forces contemplation. Reconstruction acts as a mending of that which feels broken or disparate. Together these processes result in my constructed memory of my life experiences. At the heart of my work is the notion that it is the ordinary in life that is truly extraordinary, that memories are fluid and ever-changing. My work is an investigation of memory, family, and the role these play in our collective humanity. To see more of Liz’s work, please visit her website. >

Bianca and riel Sturchio
Bianca Sturchio (she/her) is a mixed-media artist and graduate holding an MSW (2020) and BSW (2019) from the University of Southern Maine. Bianca uses her lived experiences of disability and queerness to inform both her professional and creative pursuits. riel Sturchio (they/she) is an interdisciplinary artist whose fine art practice includes film photography, printmaking, artist books, prose, sound installation, sculpture, video, and collaboration. Their work revolves around their experiences with disability, chronic illness, and queer identity.

Project Statement
Chasing Light (2011-current) is an ongoing collaborative film photography project between twin siblings Bianca Sturchio (she/her) and riel Sturchio (they/she). Bianca and riel each identify as non-normative in body and identity, but differently. riel is queer, nonbinary, and someone who lives with chronic illness in the spectrum of disability, and Bianca is queer and disabled. Bianca and riel utilize photography to provoke and examine the vulnerability they experience from their unique manifestations of queer identity, illness, and disability. Through a mix of ambiguously cropped images of the body, visual metaphors, and documented and constructed scenes, they explore and convey challenging and often invisible aspects within the intimate world-building they share, imagine and create. See more of riel and Bianca’s work. >

Allie Tsubota
A Viper is Nonetheless a Viper is concerned with the various registers (photographic/cinematic, historiographic, psychic, sonic, technologic) of American empire-building and racial subjugation across the Pacific, using US-Japan relations during World War II and the immediate postwar period as a point of entry. Following Saidiya Hartman’s call to “exceed or negotiate the constitutive limits of the archive,” A Viper is Nonetheless a Viper aims to disorder and transgress disciplinary protocols both materially and temporally (materially, e.g., to cobble together or collage disparate archival elements, to reincorporate sonic substance to a silent visual; temporally, i.e., from a present interrupted by events of the past, from a present inescapably entangled with the (after) lives of the dead, from a present in which one contends with the past as a future-oriented project).

A Viper is Nonetheless a Viper aggregates contemporary still photographs of Japanese/American carceral ruins, filmic archives from postwar Japan, and text to contend with the fraught logics of the nation-state and citizenship, the perpetual illegibility of the alien body, hegemonic white anxiety in the nuclear age, and ways in which photographic technology, states of perpetual warfare, and human perception emerge from, inform, and depend on one another.

Allie Tsubota (b. 1992) is a photographer exploring intersections of race, visuality, and the formation of historical memory. She is currently an MFA candidate at Rhode Island School of Design. To see more of Allie’s work, visit her website website.>

 

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