The Rapidian Home

Loosely Bound exhibition consists of beautiful pieces backed by powerful concept

Loosely Bound at (106) Gallery and Studio presents work from five artists based around making sense of and materializing the ephemeral quality of time.
Mandy Cano Villalobos, Sisyphus #1, 2015. Pig blood on paper.

Mandy Cano Villalobos, Sisyphus #1, 2015. Pig blood on paper. /Gabi Brown

Underwriting support from:

Additional Information

Loosely Bound at 106 Gallery and Studio
Recent works by Mandy Cano Villalobos, Ann Chuchvara, Maureen Nollette, Tori Pelz and Miriam Wassenaar 
open July 10 – August 21

Opening reception:

August 7, 6-9 p.m. ( a First Fridays event)

Miriam Wassenaar, Accounting for Time, 2015. Remnants of various labors.

Miriam Wassenaar, Accounting for Time, 2015. Remnants of various labors. /Gabi Brown

Tori Pelz, All the little things left behind, 2015. Remnants of Culture Works' student artwork, ink and graphite.

Tori Pelz, All the little things left behind, 2015. Remnants of Culture Works' student artwork, ink and graphite. /Gabi Brown

"Loosely Bound," the current exhibit at (106) Gallery on South Division, quietly invites you in and ask for you to look closely. It is muted, it is minimal; but upon a closer look, it is strong and deliberate.

The exhibit opened at (106) Gallery and Studio (106 Division Ave S)  on July 10, and will host a reception this Friday, August 7, from 6-9 p.m. The exhibit combines various pieces of art from five different artists that refer to and reflect upon humans’ nature to try to “grasp the ephemeral through labor-intensive work.” These pieces connect with this concept through both tangible and intangible elements. Artists showing work in the exhibit are Ann Chuchvara, Maureen Nollette, Tori Kaspareit Pelz, Miriam Vanderkooy Wassenaar and Mandy Cano Villalobos.

Walking into the gallery, the first piece that greets you is a stunningly intricate, earth-toned painting on seemingly delicate, brown paper. The first thing you notice is this paintings simplicity. It portrays simple beauty through minimal shapes and repetition. The piece is "Sisyphus #1" by Mary Cano Villalobos, made with pig’s blood on paper. I like to read the descriptions of artwork only after I’ve been able to look at the image fully, with no preconceptions or ideas of what it’s about. With that process in places, I was slightly surprised by the fact that it had been painted with pig’s blood.

The medium used to paint this piece is in such sharp contrast with my initial reaction to the painting. Knowing the medium used, the meaning suddenly became so much deeper and as I looked at the painting I thought to myself, why? Why pig’s blood? I thought about what the pig’s blood was supposed to signify. The first thing that came to came to mind was impurity, so I thought about that concept juxtaposed with a seemingly beautiful, straightforward design. Some of her other pieces include a body of work titled "61 days," also pig’s blood on paper, as well as pig feet branded with intricate designs.

I found these pieces increasingly thought provoking and found myself simultaneously making up my own concepts, wanting to know the artist’s thoughts behind them. Aside from thought provoking, though, this artist’s work made me uncomfortable. I don’t at all mean that in a negative way, some of my favorite pieces of art make me more than uncomfortable. I was uncomfortable with the fact that I found this painting so beautiful, but then slightly overwhelmed with affliction. That said, whatever the concept behind the piece, it is beautifully done. Aesthetically it’s very pleasing, but then on a conceptual level, maybe not so much.

I enjoy artwork that makes me uneasy: with uneasiness comes reflection. I very much appreciate art that aims to instill some sort of change or reflection, whether that be within one’s self or societally.

Ann Chuchvara’s installation, "Dormant," is made from cut paper, wire and acrylic. Her work is delicate and intricate. From afar, it’s easy to look at as a whole, but walking closer, you’re forced to take in each small piece of it individually. Tori Pelz’s installation, "All the little things left behind," was presented in a similar manner. The piece is a collection of remnants of past students’ work. The colors and ink dripping down the wall create a nice design, but once again, only when you look closely do you see each individual tiny piece. I liked this idea of quantifying time through tiny pieces left behind by numerous people.

Miriam Wassenaar’s body of work, "Accounting for Time," was one that I found myself taking the most time to look at. The collection consists of small, square boxes that are deep like shadowboxes, filled with remnants of various materials, such as stacked sections of unraveling carpet, cut pieces of paper, static stacks of paper and more. Each box is accompanied by a time. These truly force you to look closely. Aesthetically, the materials used, when looked at as a whole, create design through repetition. But for some reason, I found myself feeling nostalgic looking at them. I saw this body of work as a way to account for time, an untouchable concept, through basic everyday, tangible materials.

Whether or not it’s always noticed, the organization and placement of a collection of work is often vital to the overall exhibition. Loosely Bound is a great example of various pieces by various artists all coming together as one integral body of work - the exhibition is comprised of differing works of art, with very obviously different concepts, but after reading the mission statement, it becomes so clear that they all stem from this one broad, root concept of materializing time.

In my opinion, a truly great piece of art should stand alone, with no words, and be successful - thought provoking, as well as have a strong concept to at least back it up or better yet, further the success of the work. What I found about the pieces in Loosely Bound is that they do just that. Looking around the exhibition, you see a solid collection of beautiful pieces, but looking further, it is clear that they are so much more than just a pretty picture.

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.