Past, Present, and Future, a Celebration of Axis Gallery

Axis Gallery is proud to present a series of online exhibits celebrating togetherness in this time of COVID-19.  Pairing both current and past members, a new exhibit will be posted every two weeks until we are able to reopen our physical location. We invite you to explore some of the work we have shown in the gallery, new work produced, and even some older pieces very few have seen.  You will also have the opportunity to see a little glimpse behind the scenes with video studio tours, artists sharing their techniques, inspirations and influences, and maybe even a glimpse of what they are working on now.  We are excited to share with you, in our new online space, a chance to continue to reach out to our community and offer another way to bring us all together.

Jiayi Young -|- Benjamin Hunt

Documentation - SEPTt EXPÉRIMENTo

Jiayi Young in collaboration with Steven Mehallo, Alexandra Cunningham, Joe Kye, and Shih-Wen Young
Documentation - SEPTt EXPÉRIMENTo
iPhone screen capture, 1242 × 2208 pixels, 2016
Memory Pore Installation

Benjamin Hunt
Memory Pore Installation
Axis Gallery, February 2014
Documentation - SEPTt EXPÉRIMENTo

Jiayi Young in collaboration with Steven Mehallo, Alexandra Cunningham, Joe Kye, and Shih-Wen Young
Documentation - SEPTt EXPÉRIMENTo
iPhone screen capture, 1242 × 2208 pixels, 2016
Side Board (after DKA), 2014

Benjamin Hunt
Side Board (after DKA), 2014

Side Board (detail of photo)

Benjamin Hunt
Side Board (detail of photo)

Documentation - SEPTt EXPÉRIMENTo

Jiayi Young in collaboration with Steven Mehallo, Alexandra Cunningham, Joe Kye, and Shih-Wen Young
Documentation - SEPTt EXPÉRIMENTo
iPhone screen capture, 1242 × 2208 pixels, 2016
Documentation - SEPTt EXPÉRIMENTo

Jiayi Young in collaboration with Steven Mehallo, Alexandra Cunningham, Joe Kye, and Shih-Wen Young
Documentation - SEPTt EXPÉRIMENTo
iPhone screen capture, 1242 × 2208 pixels, 2016
Crate, 2009

Benjamin Hunt
Crate, 2009
Acrylic with embedded photo, 45”x17”x17”
Crate (detail of photo)

Benjamin Hunt
Crate (detail of photo)

Documentation - SEPTt EXPÉRIMENTo

Jiayi Young in collaboration with Steven Mehallo, Alexandra Cunningham, Joe Kye, and Shih-Wen Young
Documentation - SEPTt EXPÉRIMENTo
iPhone screen capture, 1242 × 2208 pixels, 2016
Documentation - SEPTt EXPÉRIMENTo

Jiayi Young in collaboration with Steven Mehallo, Alexandra Cunningham, Joe Kye, and Shih-Wen Young
Documentation - SEPTt EXPÉRIMENTo
iPhone screen capture, 1242 × 2208 pixels, 2016
The Swim Lesson, 2011

Benjamin Hunt
The Swim Lesson, 2011
Acrylic with embedded photo, 30”x60”x12”
The swim Lesson (detail of photo)

Benjamin Hunt
The swim Lesson (detail of photo)

Documentation - SEPTt EXPÉRIMENTo

Jiayi Young in collaboration with Steven Mehallo, Alexandra Cunningham, Joe Kye, and Shih-Wen Young
Documentation - SEPTt EXPÉRIMENTo
iPhone screen capture, 1242 × 2208 pixels, 2016
Winter Reveal, 2014

Benjamin Hunt
Winter Reveal, 2014
Acrylic and Aluminum, 80”x60”x22”
Documentation - SEPTt EXPÉRIMENTo

Jiayi Young in collaboration with Steven Mehallo, Alexandra Cunningham, Joe Kye, and Shih-Wen Young
Documentation - SEPTt EXPÉRIMENTo
iPhone screen capture, 1242 × 2208 pixels, 2016
Irish Twins, 2018

Benjamin Hunt
Irish Twins, 2018
Acrylic and Aluminum, 80”x48”x32”
Documentation - SEPTt EXPÉRIMENTo

Jiayi Young in collaboration with Steven Mehallo, Alexandra Cunningham, Joe Kye, and Shih-Wen Young
Documentation - SEPTt EXPÉRIMENTo
iPhone screen capture, 1242 × 2208 pixels, 2016
A Model for Gaudi, 2018

Benjamin Hunt
A Model for Gaudi, 2018
Acrylic, Resin and Aluminum
Documentation - SEPTt EXPÉRIMENTo

Jiayi Young in collaboration with Steven Mehallo, Alexandra Cunningham, Joe Kye, and Shih-Wen Young
Documentation - SEPTt EXPÉRIMENTo
iPhone screen capture, 1242 × 2208 pixels, 2016

Jiayi Young

I joined Axis in 2008 with a kind invitation to apply from the then president Phil Amrhein. We were on 19th street then. In the Eight years I was at Axis, I had four solo exhibitions, each challenged me to explore new directions and to reach for new limits. I made life-long friends at the gallery, learned new skills to market myself as an artist, and established foundations for a new career. We co-operated the businesses of the gallery, it wasn’t easy, but we did it! Being with Axis was one of the most memorable and meaningful experiences I have had. I felt really free to create and experiment.

The last exhibition I had at the gallery was SEPTt EXPÉRIMENTo in 2016. Instead of approaching the opportunity to exhibit as we have always done, I wanted to turn the space into an opportunity of creative genesis where work was being generated day and night in the space, other creatives in the community were invited to collaborate, and thus to create the condition for the public to ask questions about the nature of artistic practices and to think about the relationship between them and the creative activities.

Jiayi Young is an Assistant Professor of Design at the University of California, Davis. She creates installations and social interventions in cultural and public places with a goal of creating generative energy to engage the public in social dialogue. She sets up scenarios and creates conditions to make visible empathetic relationship between people in the presence of contemporary culture. Her work invites the public to participate to come in close contact with an experience that engages the rethinking of present-day experiences. ​Young has exhibited nationally and internationally, including Ars Electronica, the International Symposium of Electronic Art (ISEA); the Leonardo Electronic Almanac (LEA); Hall of Science, New York; the United Nation’s Fourth Conference on Women, Beijing, China; the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia; and Moltkerei Werkstatt, Cologne, Germany.

Benjamin Hunt

In 2009, I relocated to Sacramento from the San Jose area after finishing my MFA and doing a short stint teaching sculpture at Idaho State University. Before I could fully settle down in Sacramento, I reconnected with an old friend, Justin Marsh, whom I started to work with at the Crocker Art Museum. At that time, Justin had recently joined Axis Gallery to show his work and explore some personal curatorial projects. In 2014, Justin included me in an exhibition called “The Memory Pore”. Through this exhibition, I had the pleasure of meeting Phil Amrhein, Janice Nakashima, Sandra Beard, Ron Peetz and Dixie Laws. I had been interested in being part of a gallery, but not in a traditional commercial gallery. Axis offered a cooperative gallery model that I was drawn to. This collaborative structure to operating, participating and exhibiting allows members to explore and push the boundaries of their own work and studio process without the pressure of making commercial sales. To me, that was very attractive. With Justin’s encouragement, I applied for membership in 2016 and had the good fortune to have been accepted into the gallery. I have been an active member ever since.

Artwork: I have had a long time interest in seemingly ordinary everyday objects such as collectible and utilitarian items. I am fascinated by how an object such as a photograph, a piece of furniture or old toys can become a marker of time to a collector. My current work has been focused on creating objects that imbue a sense of captured time and nostalgia through their design, aesthetics and contents. Appropriated photographic imagery and reproduced cast metal objects have been incorporated into my current body of work to emphasize nostalgia and memory, both diminished and reconstructed. I am intrigued by the fragile and seemingly deceptive nature of photographic memory and recollection. The manner in which I work has been a reflection of my observations of passing time, growth and nostalgia contained within the framework of blurred memory.

Bio: Ben Hunt was born and raised in San Diego, California. He received a MFA in Spatial Art from San José State University in 2008. Ben has taught sculpture at Idaho State University and CSU Sacramento. He has worked as an exhibition preparator at the Crocker Art Museum. At present, Ben is a technical staff member in the Art Department at CSU Sacramento and is the preparator in the Universities Library Gallery. He lives and maintains a studio practice in Sacramento.

What does the bot say to the human?
Data Mapping of 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Twitter Activity

medium: IV bags, neon fluid, LED lights, sounds.
size: roughly 20’x20’x20’, varies by location year: 2016

Concept and Art Direction: Jiayi Young
Concept and Data Archive: Weidong Yang
Technology Direction: Shih-Wen Young
Data Analytics: Qilian Yu
Electronic Design: Bartek Kłusek

"What does the bot say to the human?” transforms the 2016 United States Presidential Election Twitter data into a large-scale installation to probe the question of how artificial intelligence (AI) via social media assumes form and transforms the shaping of the future of a nation. >>

Details at https://www.jiayiyoung.info/what-does-the-bot-say-to-the-human.html

Sandra Beard -|- Richard Gilles

Saturday, 2020

Sandra Beard
Saturday, 2020
Oil/canvas, 47”x47”
Sequestered Form #1, 2020

Richard Gilles
Sequestered Form #1, 2020
pigment inkjet print, 17” x 17”
Nessie, 2020

Sandra Beard
Nessie, 2020
Acrylic/canvas, 56”x32”
Sequestered Form #3, 2020

Richard Gilles
Sequestered Form #3, 2020
pigment inkjet print, 17” x 17”
Can’t See You, 2020

Sandra Beard
Can’t See You, 2020
Acrylic/canvas, 58”x20”
Sequestered Form #6, 2020

Richard Gilles
Sequestered Form #6, 2020
pigment inkjet print, 17” x 17”
Walk, Don’t Run, 2020

Sandra Beard
Walk, Don’t Run, 2020
Acrylic/canvas, 40”x28”
Sequestered Form #8, 2020

Richard Gilles
Sequestered Form #8, 2020
pigment inkjet print, 17” x 17”
Vertical Blue-1, 2020

Sandra Beard
Vertical Blue-1, 2020
Acrylic/canvas, 32”x24”
Sequestered Form #11, 2020

Richard Gilles
Sequestered Form #11, 2020
pigment inkjet print, 17” x 17”
Vertical Blue-2, 2020

Sandra Beard
Vertical Blue-2, 2020
Acrylic/canvas, 28”x24”
Sequestered Form #4a, 2020

Richard Gilles
Sequestered Form #4a, 2020
pigment inkjet print, 17” x 17”
Sequestered Form #4b, 2020

Richard Gilles
Sequestered Form #4b, 2020
pigment inkjet print, 17” x 17”
Resurgent Green-1, 2020

Sandra Beard
Resurgent Green-1, 2020
Acrylic/canvas, 29”x24”
Resurgent Green-2, 2020

Sandra Beard
Resurgent Green-2, 2020
Acrylic/canvas, 29”x24”
Sequestered Form #10a, 2020

Richard Gilles
Sequestered Form #10a, 2020
pigment inkjet print, 17” x 17”
Sequestered Form #10b, 2020

Richard Gilles
Sequestered Form #10b, 2020
pigment inkjet print, 17” x 17”
Numbers-1, 2020

Sandra Beard
Numbers-1, 2020
Acrylic/canvas, 15”x13”
Numbers-2, 2020

Sandra Beard
Numbers-2, 2020
Acrylic/canvas, 15”x13”
Sequestered Form #7, 2020

Richard Gilles
Sequestered Form #7, 2020
pigment inkjet print, 17” x 17”

Sandra Beard

After moving to Sacramento in 2000, I was contacted by a member of the California Society of Printmakers, Dixie Laws.  She is an active member of the CSP and saw that another printmaker had moved to the area.  She was also a member of 750 Gallery on R Street and invited me to come and see the space. I was still working on a grant and commuting to the Bay area so waited until fully moved before applying in 2003. I was immediately given the job of managing the gallery calendar.

The gallery and jobs have changed over the years as the gallery progressed from slides to computer images and moved to other locations, each step contributing to the growth and reputation of the gallery. My particular joy was with the gallery being able to bring art from across the country to Sacramento through the annual competition and to also have extensive curated exhibits in the larger space.

I would definitely recommend that any artist interested in eventually having a gallery be a member of a cooperative art space. The opportunity is there to learn all aspects of gallery management as well as learning about art in relationship to the community. The added bonus is being inspired and motivated seeing other member’s artwork grow and develop and surprise.

Artwork: When working, I try to step back and let the material and intuition guide. The motivation could be a line from a poem, contemporary issues or some other happening buried within. In this case the obvious catalyst was the pandemic along with the constant reminder and ever changing numbers of those affected. The expressive gestural marks arrive within the process of exploration. The titles are always subject to change!

Sandra Beard received her B.A. in Fine Art from the University of Ottawa, Canada and an MFA from San Jose State University. Her prints and paintings have been exhibited locally and internationally. She has received grants from the Vermont Studio Center, the Edna St. Vincent Millay Colony and KALA as well as teaching grants for specific programs in Santa Clara County. Other art experience includes curating exhibitions and organizing art events in the Bay Area. Sandra is a juried member of the California Society of Printmakers, the Los Angeles Printmaking Society, and the Boston Printmakers.  She was a member of Axis Gallery from 2003-2015

Richard Gilles

My first encounter with Axis Gallery was in 2005, shortly after Anne and I moved to Sacramento from the Bay Area. It was a Saturday evening and we were driving past Axis Gallery. Axis at that time was on 19th street and had a large picture window facing the street. The gallery was lit up and I could see from the street, the art on the walls and a group of people gathering inside. I was instantly intrigued, here was a place not only for art but for community as well.  I soon became a member. Other members at the time included Sandra Beard, Phil Amrhein and Ron Peetz. This community of artists provide each other with inspiration, encouragement, and most importantly, a kick in the pants every 18 months when you need a new body of work for a upcoming show.

Richard Gilles was born 1952 in Brunswick, Georgia. He received his BA in Fine Arts from San Francisco State University in 1981.While pursuing the practice of art, Richard has also worked as a papermaker, bookbinder, and printer. Gilles’ work has been featured in a number of solo shows. His work has also been included in numerous group exhibitions throughout the United States. He currently lives and works in Folsom, California.

Janice Nakashima -|- Aida Lizalde

Our third pairing of artists are Janice Nakashima and Aida Lizalde. In this installment, the artists explore the complexities of the migration experience, directly and indirectly.

Far from Home, 2019

Janice Nakashima
Far from Home, 2019
Dirt, Found Material, Sticks and Wire, 6 x 7 x 8 ft

Tabla ID, installation view, 2019

Aida Lizalde
Tabla ID, installation view, 2019
36 x 48 x 4 inches, Cyanotype on Fabric, Wood and Ceramic

Tabla (Detail), 2019

Aida Lizalde
Tabla (Detail), 2019

Tabla ID, 2019

Aida Lizalde
Tabla ID, 2019
36 x 48 x 4 inches, Cyanotype on Fabric, Wood and Ceramic
Collateral Debris, 2016

Janice Nakashima
Collateral Debris, 2016
Collateral Debris, Mixed Media, Dimensions variable

La Bruja y el Agua (video still), 2017

Aida Lizalde
La Bruja y el Agua (video still), 2017
Video Performance: 7:10 minutes
Floating, 2019

Janice Nakashima
Floating, 2019
Burnt Wood, Plastic Sheet and Wire, 5 x 6 x 18 inches

The Ranch (video still), 2018-20

Aida Lizalde
The Ranch (video still), 2018-20
Video Performance: 7:48 minutes
Not Enough Boats, 2019

Janice Nakashima
Not Enough Boats, 2019
Mixed Media, 18 x 15 x 2 inches

Feed (video still), 2016

Aida Lizalde
Feed (video still), 2016
Video Performance: 7:13 minutes
Rimfire 3, 2015

Janice Nakashima
Rimfire 3, 2015
Mixed Media, 20 x 20 inches

Janice Nakashima
In 2002 or 2003, I visited the 750 Gallery and met a few of its members who welcomed me to join.  The gallery was located on R. St. It closed shortly after I joined for a couple of years and then reopened on 19th Street.  Soon after that, the space was renamed Axis Gallery. It was interesting to learn the different aspects of running the gallery, meeting other local artists, and also having a venue to exhibit work that did not emphasize selling. A few years after, Axis moved to it’s current location on S Street. The gallery continued to evolve with new members.  I have really valued the 15 or so years I spent at Axis and have very much enjoyed meeting and working with my colleagues there.

Janice Nakashima is a third generation Japanese American (sansei).  She lives and works in Sacramento, CA. Her grandparents emigrated from Japan and worked at various jobs such as farming, cannery work, and gardening. Nakashima’s parents were born in the U.S. and went on to college and professional work. Janice grew up in the Bay Area, then lived to Fresno and then Southern California. She taught for a few years in a variety of places from junior high through college and adult education. She was able to get a MFA at Claremont University and has worked in her studio for many years in various locations, settling in Sacramento. One can say, migration has been a running theme in Nakashima’s life and is expressed in the selected work for this exhibition.

Aida Lizalde
I became an Axis Member in 2017 thanks to Manuel Fernando Rios, Roma Devambu, and Richard Gilles, all current members who encouraged me to apply. I was still an undergraduate student completing my degree in Studio Arts at Davis so paying the membership fees was a challenge. I received help from an anonymous donor to pay for the first few months. I am deeply appreciative of that help and encouragement to continue and grow in my art career.

Aida Lizalde is a Mexican multimedia artist based in Northern California. She obtained a Bachelor of Art in Studio Arts and Minor in Art History from the University of California Davis. Lizalde uses her artwork to raise questions about power structures and explores cultural identity through narrative and symbolism. She invites the viewer to consider and empathize with the struggle of navigating the immigration system, the process of assimilating to American culture and the nuances of having an identity that is continuously shaped by capitalism, neocolonialism, and politics.

The exploration of artistic materials is an essential part of how she expresses her personal experiences in relation to power structures and status. Aida employs multiple media to create her work including construction materials, textiles, performances, video, photography and ceramics. Ceramic is central to her practice; she molds and manipulate clay to explore tactile sensations and thinks about the connections between her body, labor, and the world around her.

Phil Amrhein -|- Tavarus Blackmon

"Untitled (U #2)", 2019

Phil Amrhein
"Untitled (U #2)", 2019
acrylic & spray paint on dibond, 22" x 28"
Mom's Dead 1, 2019

Tavarus Blackmon
Mom's Dead 1, 2019
archival inkjet pigment print, 30 x 48 inches
"Untitled (U #6)", 2019

Phil Amrhein
"Untitled (U #6)", 2019
acrylic & spray paint on dibond, 30" x 24"
Mom's Dead 2, 2019

Tavarus Blackmon
Mom's Dead 2, 2019
archival inkjet pigment print, 30 x 48 inches
"Untitled (U #7)", 2019

Phil Amrhein
"Untitled (U #7)", 2019
acrylic & spray paint on dibond, 28" x 22"
Mom's Dead 4, 2019

Tavarus Blackmon
Mom's Dead 4, 2019
archival inkjet pigment print, 30 x 48 inches
"Untitled (U #8)", 2019

Phil Amrhein
"Untitled (U #8)", 2019
acrylic & spray paint on dibond, 22" x 28"
Mom's Dead 6, 2019

Tavarus Blackmon
Mom's Dead 6, 2019
archival inkjet pigment print, 30 x 48 inches
"Untitled (U #11)", 2019

Phil Amrhein
"Untitled (U #11)", 2019
acrylic & spray paint on dibond, 28" x 22"
Mom’s Dead-Black and White, 2019

Tavarus Blackmon
Mom’s Dead-Black and White, 2019

"Untitled (U #12)"

Phil Amrhein
"Untitled (U #12)"
2019, acrylic & spray paint on dibond, 28" x 22"
Mom’s Dead-Black Mom, 2019

Tavarus Blackmon
Mom’s Dead-Black Mom, 2019
archival inkjet pigment print, 30 x 48 inches
"Untitled (U #15)"

Phil Amrhein
"Untitled (U #15)"
2019, acrylic & spray paint on dibond, 28" x 22"
Mom's Dead-Dark Mom, 2020

Tavarus Blackmon
Mom's Dead-Dark Mom, 2020
archival inkjet pigment print, 30 x 48 inches
"Untitled (U #16)"

Phil Amrhein
"Untitled (U #16)"
2020, acrylic & spray paint on dibond, 22" x 28"
Mom's Dead-Night Mom, 2020

Tavarus Blackmon
Mom's Dead-Night Mom, 2020
archival inkjet pigment print, 30 x 48 inches
"Untitled (U #17)"

Phil Amrhein
"Untitled (U #17)"
2019, acrylic & spray paint on dibond, 28" x 22"
Mom's Dead-Red Mom, 2020

Tavarus Blackmon
Mom's Dead-Red Mom, 2020
archival inkjet pigment print, 30 x 48 inches
"Untitled (U #18)"

Phil Amrhein
"Untitled (U #18)"
2019, acrylic & spray paint on dibond, 28" x 22"
Mom’s Dead-White Mom, 2019

Tavarus Blackmon
Mom’s Dead-White Mom, 2019
archival inkjet pigment print, 30 x 48 inches

Phil Amrhein

I joined 750 Gallery about 20 years ago when it was located in downtown Sacramento between 7th & 8th on J Street.  The space was about 500 square feet upstairs on the 2nd floor. Jim Adan, David White, Richard James, and Les Birleson were some of the members (can’t remember all the names).  We exhibited members work and curated challenging contemporary shows every month. After a few years the landlord raised the rent, and we were forced to find a new space.

We moved to 25th & R in 2003.  It was a large mixed building complex that included two theaters, art studio spaces and our small space (about 300 sq ft).  After a couple years the landlord increased the rent, and we were ready to move on.  We were looking for a place that was more visible and accessible.  At this time member Ron Peetz, and I knew that the Center for Contemporary Art Sacramento located on Del Paso Blvd. was looking for a new space. We talked to their board members and proposed renting a shared space that would house both galleries.  Lower rent made our proposal viable for both parties. Louis Greenwald (the Center’s board president) and I spent many days searching the midtown area for a building that could house both galleries. We eventually found an abandoned building on 19th street for rent – great location but needed lots of work (2005). The owner of the building liked the idea of leasing to art galleries, and he was willing to refurbish the building to fit our needs. We were very fortunate.  The Center occupied about 2/3 of the building. Our space was small (about 350 sq ft.), but we made it work. The gallery now had a new space, great location, and a new name – Axis Gallery.

Axis was at this location for 9 years. The Center was struggling – board members were leaving and our Gallery was in limbo again.  The Center closed in 2014 and their board members joined a new art center – Verge Center for the Arts – housed in a large warehouse building in Sacramento on the corner of 7th and S street. About this same time, Verge offered to rent a corner of their building to us. The space was almost 2000 sq ft. By increasing our membership, the rent was well within our budget. Axis moved to the Verge Center in 2014.

Phil Amrhein is a practicing artist living in Sacramento, Ca. and has been exhibiting his work for over thirty years. He is a graduate of UC Davis with a MA in studio art from CSU Sacramento. Amrhein taught high school art for many years and was a longtime member of Axis Gallery. His current studio focus is “undoing” – a painting series covering or burying images with fields of black.

Tavarus Blackmon

Going back to 2012, I have had an extended and non-traditional relationship with Axis Gallery. Between 2012 and 2014 I submitted artwork to the Axis Annual Exhibition. During my first submissions I was a Film Student, only practicing art part-time and learning about professional practice through trial and error. The work I made then was Art Brut, I was then untrained and, my work was Low-Brow.

Over several years and two Master’s in Art in Studio Art, my work improved and developed. After graduating from UC Davis I was contacted by fellow member, Omar Arason. He asked if I was interested in applying for membership. I was happy to have applied and been admitted as a member. Before I knew much about the Sacramento Art scene, I knew that Axis Gallery was a prominent space for contemporary art. I became a member in 2018.

Tavarus Blackmon, also known by the Anglo-Saxon, Blackmonster, lives with his partner and three children in the City of Trees, Sacramento, California. He earned his MFA as Provost Fellow at the University of California Davis and MA at Sacramento State University. He has been under Fellowship at the Headlands Center for the Arts and the Kala Art Institute. His practice is interdisciplinary and intermedium.

Mark Emerson -|- Justin Marsh

Falling Down, 2010

Mark Emerson
Falling Down, 2010
Polymer on canvas – 86x72
Phlem, 2018

Justin Marsh
Phlem, 2018
Oil on canvas, 80"x60"
From the series "The Four Humors"
Color Blind, 2011

Mark Emerson
Color Blind, 2011
Polymer on linen – 24x24
Blood, 2018

Justin Marsh
Blood, 2018
Oil on canvas, 80"x60"
From the series "The Four Humors"
Ollerchock, 2008

Mark Emerson
Ollerchock, 2008
Polymer on panel – 20x20
Yellow Bile, 2018

Justin Marsh
Yellow Bile, 2018
Oil on canvas, 80"x60"
From the series "The Four Humors"
Note for Note, 2014

Mark Emerson
Note for Note, 2014
Polymer on canvas – 24x30
Black Bile, 2018

Justin Marsh
Black Bile, 2018
Oil on canvas, 41" x 60"
From the series "The Four Humors"
Utfart, 2008

Mark Emerson
Utfart, 2008
Polymer on panel – 70x70
Joy and Misery, 2017

Justin Marsh
Joy and Misery, 2017
Acrylic and color pencil on paper mounted to board, 29"x21"
From the series "Elegant Collapse"
Running Away, 2014

Mark Emerson
Running Away, 2014
Polymer on canvas, 50x50
Polarizing, 2013

Justin Marsh
Polarizing, 2013
Acrylic and color pencil on paper, 29"x21"
From the series "Elegant Collapse"
Take That Off, 2013

Mark Emerson
Take That Off, 2013
Polymer on canvas, 50x50
Slogan 151. 2015

Justin Marsh
Slogan 151. 2015
Acrylic on paper mounted to board, 15"x22"
From the series "Countless Tounges and Ears"
Slogan 152, 2015

Justin Marsh
Slogan 152, 2015
Acrylic on paper mounted to board, 15"x22"
From the series "Countless Tounges and Ears"
Toss and Turn, 2014

Mark Emerson
Toss and Turn, 2014
Polymer on canvas, 50x50
There Was A Crashing In, 2010-2012

Justin Marsh
There Was A Crashing In, 2010-2012
Oil on canvas, 80"x60"
From the series "Elegant Collapse"
Pussy Wiggle Stomp, 2008

Mark Emerson
Pussy Wiggle Stomp, 2008
Polymer on panel – 20x20
Three Studies: Father, 2014

Justin Marsh
Three Studies: Father, 2014
Acrylic and color pencil on paper, 30"x22"
From the series "Elegant Collapse"
Orange for Cathy, 2013

Mark Emerson
Orange for Cathy, 2013
Polymer on canvas – 40x50
Untitled, 2015

Justin Marsh
Untitled, 2015
Acrylic, xerox transfer and color pencil on paper, 22"x15"
From the series "Elegant Collapse"

Mark Emerson
After living and teaching in Los Angeles for 3 years I returned to Sacramento in the spring of 1990. In 1991, I curated an exhibition for the Kondos Gallery at Sacramento City College, "SACRAMENTO ABSTRATION". While gathering the content of the exhibition, a colleague and friend, Bill Yates suggested I contact David Wetzl. David's work fit the criteria for the exhibition perfectly, which is how I became aware of the Axis Gallery, which was called 750 Gallery at the time. David was one of the founding members of the 750 Gallery. The original gallery was located in a large private home at 750 Fulton Ave. When I met David, the gallery had recently moved to downtown Sacramento at 17th and I Street. I joined the gallery in 1992, at the time that Michael Prawdzic was the Director and David was the Installation Director. David and I began collaborating on the installations in the gallery every 2nd Friday in preparation for Second Saturday. The gallery space was little more than a barn. It was cold and leaked when it rained in the winter and was hot as hell in the summer. The gallery featured one person exhibitions, member group shows, themed shows and occasionally invited high school students to exhibit their work. As with any cooperative space, working with a group of artists was sometimes a Sisyphean task. However, the 750 Gallery consistently provided Sacramento with a valid, thoughtful and engaging exhibition every month.  My 3 years with 750 Gallery, left me with very fond memories, lifelong friends and a tremendous respect for the work and dedication that still exists at the Axis Gallery.

Mark Emerson is a fine artist with a concentration in painting. He received a BA from California State University, Sacramento and an MFA from the University of California, Davis. To date his work has been featured in 24 solo exhibitions and numerous group exhibitions.

Justin Marsh
In 2011 I was working for the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento as an exhibition preparator. I had just put a few roots down, having moved from the South Bay in 2009 to spend the entire spring and summer of 2010 installing the Crocker’s collection in a massive new facility. With a couple years professional experience in the region, I felt seriously motivated to elevate my studio practice and so sought out galleries around downtown. I had heard of Axis through the gallery’s National Juried exhibition which garnished great attention from emerging artists. Well, in fact, I had applied to the Juried Exhibition- maybe the third or the fifth- I can’t remember. When I walked into the gallery in 2011, I met Sandra Beard, an intelligent, tactful, and serious artist. The gallery was located on 19th street in a shared commercial space with the Center for Contemporary Art, Sacramento. The building’s black and white brick façade and large bay windows made for a compelling stop along 19th street. I got to talking with Sandra and she explained to me how the gallery operated as an artist-owned cooperative and encouraged me to apply.
Dedicated artists with complete agency over their work? Check. A reputable operation, partnered with a motivated non-profit? Check. A collective with a rich history of artists and the potential to grow based on the shared knowledge of past and present members? Yeah, I wanted to be a part.
In just over a year, I’d have my first solo exhibition with Axis Gallery and simultaneously welcomed my son into the world. In many ways, I took guidance from former Member President Phil Amrhein and current Member President Richard Gilles. At 28, I had a seat at the table with great artists like Ron Peetz and Joy Bertinuson; all sharing our experience as artists.

Justin Marsh is a California native working between multiple art mediums with a specific interest in comprehending failure. His studio practice explores personal/human tragedy, collapsed structures, and structural collapse. He is an artist member at Axis Gallery, Sacramento and a museum professional at UC Davis.