Art Exhibit: 'Games of Chance', Erika Radich and Rocío Olguín
October 8—October 29, 2019, Mon/Tue 1:00 pm-7:00 pm
October 9—October 25, 2019, Wed/Thu/Fri 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
This event does NOT occur on:
Augusta Savage Gallery
UMass Amherst Campus
Erika Radich started drawing as a child. It was her parents' bold aesthetics, and joy in "seeing," that nurtured a fascination with the world just as it is. Having always felt a sense of wonder with how things connect, and how beauty, proportion, and composition exist everywhere in the natural world, it is this thread between art and science that inspires and guides all of her work. At college in Berlin, Erika was inspired by the German Expressionist movement to formalize her art study. Printmaking was added to the mix —becoming a compass and vehicle for creating images. For her, printing and repeating images evokes a sense of practice, a feeling of supplication and humility. In Keene, NH for the past 35 years, Radich has held a number of arts management positions. She earned a Master in Fine Arts degree from Heartwood College of Art in June 2015 and is now retired to work in the studio full time. Erika exhibits her work regionally and internationally and is represented by Zea Mays Printmaking Flat File, Florence, MA and Mitchell-Giddings Gallery, Brattleboro, VT.
About the theme of this exhibition series, Radich thoughtfully asserts, “Everything in life is ‘chance’ and we, as humans, play the ‘game’ every day. Life is a perpetual dance with the unknown. We are essentially leaves in the stream. But, the human privilege, as one navigates the river, is ‘choice.’ John Steinbeck in East of Eden, referring to a bible verse in Genesis that states ‘thou shalt,’ evokes the alternate Hebrew word timshel which means thou mayest. He is exploring the idea of human choice and speaking to the distinction of humans having the ability to make life choices. We are buffeted by the winds of chance, but all our outcomes are impacted by choices. So the game is a game of chance - life as it happens - AND choice, the longing of the soul, as the vehicle of our deepest intentions. Both equally significant and always at work to affect human destiny….synchronously influencing one another.”
Rocío Olguín , is a visual artist born in Mexico City, with professional training in Graphic Design. From an early age she developed her painting skills by attending various workshops and art schools, with the San Carlos Academy being her main influence.
Since 2010, she has lived in the City of Oaxaca, a place that has allowed her to find new paths in her creative work thanks to the contact with local artists and craftspeople. As a result, her work reflects an exploration of abstractionism, utilizing all the symbolism and color of Oaxaca. She mixes the materials and techniques she has learned to offer a more personal approach, breaking with her early academic paradigms. She also highlights her interest in proposing and participating in cultural projects in surrounding villages of Oaxaca while collaborating with other artists. Painting and drawing portrait, landscape and human figure had always been present in her work, as she stayed within a certain comfort zone for years, without challenges or expectations. Her current work however, is developed in a context rich in traditions and customs, where the modern coexists with the pre-Hispanic past in a natural way.
About her process and the theme of this exhibition, Rocío Olguín says, “Living in Oaxaca has helped me to break not only with the academic guidelines regarding art, but also with a system of personal beliefs that do not allow me an authentic expression of myself. This is how I made the leap from the simple reproduction of reality to the search for my own pictorial reality. Experimentation has allowed me to establish a new process in which I put together puzzles. I play with collage as a basis to create a variety of textures that I respond to when applying glazes of color, exploring contrasts with opposite colors and also manipulating materials by scratching and heat stamping. At first, this work seemed to me abstract, and in fact that was my intention, however, as I contemplated the canvas, something more recognizable emerged. Something that is born of my love of portrait, landscape, and observing birds in nature. The only thing I did was to emphasize and generate more textures with the tools at my disposal. Everything arises from the act of playing, of enjoying, of being myself. This work documents bets that I’ve made on myself, on my becoming free. Art is a gamble. It is like a mountain hike. The trail is not even, at times easy and pleasant, at times dangerous. And, we have to decide either to continue or return, with no guide to decide for us.”
Opening Reception: Tuesday, October 8, 5 – 7 p.m.
The Augusta Savage Gallery is located in New Africa House. Click here for directions.