Untitled (from the series Connecting)
Archival inkjet print, 8 x 10 inches, 2020
Epoxy resin, e-waste, gold flakes, mirror, 2020
Mixed Media, 2020
Sincerely, Blue (in process)
Clothes, wood, cotton, cyanotype chemicals, sunlight, dye, upholstery foam, metal, 24 x 24 x 24 inches, 2020
Polar Bear Club
Installation, Lake Tahoe, 2018
Strategies for Coping
This show is about strategies for coping with dueling apocalypses. Laughter, tenderness, finding the ground so you can put your feet on it. We are looking for ways forward, for political agency. We are imagining new ways of being, collectively and individually. How do we find each other again? How do we listen, how do we love? How do we serve each other? How do we reconnect to our places, our environment, our neighbors and ourselves? We invite you to be with us. It’s wonderful being with you.
Five new Axis members—Eliza Gregory, Muzi Li Rowe, Vincent Pacheco, Joanne Tepper Saffren and Dan Tran—come together to show their work as Strategies for Coping, an exhibition dedicated to building connection across isolation in this particular time and place. Each artist presents work that speaks to a particular strategy for dealing with the panoply of ills that have reared up these last few months: anxiety, isolation, personal trauma, grief, social upheaval, sickness, wildfire…the list goes on. Using a mixture of photography, sculpture and paintings the five artists present works that resonate with humor and pathos, opening a conversation for everyone to acknowledge and share their strategies for coping.
Eliza Gregory is a social practice artist, a photographer, an educator and a writer. She has collaborated on her projects with the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the Portland Art Museum, SFMOMA, the Arizona State University Museum of Anthropology, Southern Exposure, the HeadOn Photo Festival in Sydney, and the Storefront Lab, among other institutions. Eliza’s work focuses on identity, relationships, and connections between people and places. She builds complex project structures that unfold over time to reveal compassion, insight and new social forms. She currently teaches in the photography program at Sacramento State University.
Vincent Pacheco was raised in a family of outlaws, gangbangers, and drug dealers in California’s Bay Area. After becoming the first one in his family to graduate from college, Pacheco spent the next 15 years of his life working in the American advertising industry, hustling his way up the corporate ladder. Having worked for clients such as Disney, Marvel, Yahoo, Microsoft, 20th Century Fox, and Paramount Pictures, Pacheco threw in the towel and decided to seek a life that was dedicated towards spiritual growth rather than monetary gain. He now lives in a cabin in the woods, no longer works for corporations, and is actively processing the ideas of family, place, and personal history. Pacheco is a mixed-media artist, living and working in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.
Muzi Li Rowe is a visual artist and photographer. Rowe works with the physical elements of the camera, observing photography through its own medium. She creates assemblages using obsolete technology and photographs through various processing methods. Often combining analog cameras, historical processing methods and contemporary subjects in her processes, she reflects the significance of practicing analog media in the current Digital Age.
Born and raised in Beijing, China, Rowe has lived in between Beijing, Sydney and Hawaii before residing in Northern California. Rowe received a Bachelor of Visual Arts from the University of Sydney, Australia and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California Davis. Rowe is the recipient of The Ali Youssefi Project 2020 Artist in Residence and is a resident artist at The Verge Center for the Arts. Rowe has exhibited internationally, at venues including The Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, University of California, Davis, CA; Carriage Works, Sydney, Australia; and Ordos Bronze Ware Museum, China.
Joanne Tepper Saffren
Joanne Tepper Saffren works across a multitude of disciplines to explore concepts surrounding vulnerability and community through curiosity, questioning, and experimentation. These conversations have guided her through a lifetime of art study and practice.
Joanne received her BFA in 1978 from Otis Art Institute and her MFA in 2018 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a masters program directed by Gregg Bordowitz with a foundation in poetics.
Today, her elevated vulnerability and chronic uncertainty has led to a new body of work surrounding memory, mortality, tenderness and generosity. These objects and arrangements, reflecting contemporary issues, are embedded with historical art references through imagery, processes and materiality.
Trained as an architect, organic farmer & public servant, I’m drawn to how rural/urban relations shape our climatic, cultural & ecological resilience. My artwork is collaborative, integrating mutual aspects of agroecology, green building, & community development. In 2015, I began augmenting greywater systems with irrigation tube sculptures to shift the dialogue in water reuse to broader audiences & to blur borders between art, agriculture, urban & rural.