Poly-fil, upholstery sample fabric, twigs, plastic, wool, 6" x 8”, 2023
Oil on paper, 8" x 10”, 2021
Hearths Keeping Time II
Wood, plaster gauze, acrylic, resin, spray paint, fabric, 30 ½” x 11" x ½”, 2022
the calm before the storm
Iridescent ink, encaustic, oil stick, pigment, and polymer clay on panel, 11” x 14”, 2023
Wood, upholstery, cotton, silk, paint, foam, embroidery, 30” x 40” x 35”, 2018 and 2023
THRESHOLDS explores the idea of “home” as a fluid, varied, and blurred concept. Sifting through items inherited or foraged from the domestic sphere draws attention to issues of labor, equity, gender, domestic tensions, and also how people care for those closest to them and pay loving homage to those no longer present. Artists Raquel Mullins, Victoria Sauer, Joanne Tepper Saffren, Carrie Ziser, and Rachael Zur work in varied scale and artistic media, but notions of home are the point in which they connect.
Gaston Bachelard in his book, Poetics of Space, speaks to the home not being “experienced from day to day only, on the thread of a narrative, or in the telling of our own story . . . dwelling places in our lives penetrate and retain treasures of former days.” Drawing from Bachelard’s notion that the idea of home is conjured from fragments of multiple moments and places in time linked to an individual’s experience within that space, these five artists overlap histories and fictions from their own household environments through the artworks they make, offering a diverse perspective on the objects and structure of domestic spaces.
Through the exhibition experience, the gallery space will serve as an architectural frame for the artworks, allowing for a moment of convergence, as it houses works these artists explore. Through diverse modes of making and approaches to overlapping themes, these works come to dwell in their own Poetics of Space.
Raquel Mullins is a multi-disciplinary artist, curator, educator, and mother based in Chattanooga, TN. Her mixed media drawings, paintings, and fiber based works are based upon mothering and domestic life in the American South. Her subjects derive from an uncanny intertwining of dreams, memories, and fantasies. Like the bowerbird, Raquel treats her artistic practice as a ritual act of nesting, collecting, archiving, mending, in response to a personal history of instability and a love of homemaking. In 2021 Raquel founded the artist-run gallery space and curatorial collective, Wavelength Space. Wavelength Space hosts themed, group exhibitions of contemporary art by emerging to mid-career artists from around the nation. Raquel serves as director/curator for Wavelength and collaborates with Threshold to exhibit her work nationally. Mullins received a BS in Art Education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2012 and an MFA in Studio Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2018. She periodically serves as an adjunct faculty member at UT Chattanooga and Southern Adventist University.
Victoria Sauer graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with her BFA in Painting and Drawing. In her painting practice, she is heavily influenced by photorealism and surrealism. Working from photographs she takes herself, Victoria uses oil paint to represent subjects that are familiar, yet slightly otherworldly, as she navigates the space between conscious and subconscious. Victoria’s work has been shown nationally from Colorado to Georgia to New York City, and she recently spent a year living on site as the Residency Fellow for Chattanooga arts organization Stove Works.
Joanne Tepper Saffren
Joanne Tepper Saffren is a modern-day expressionist. Using a wide range of traditional and nontraditional media, her work draws from her own personal memories and dreams to inquire into our universal experiences. Originally from Los Angeles and now based in Sacramento, Joanne received her Bachelors in Fine Arts in 1978 from Otis School of Art and Design. She worked as a graphic designer, art director and art educator for over 35 years while continuing her fine art practice. In 2018, Joanne received a Masters in Fine Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Currently, she is a Verge Resident Artist, a member of Axis Gallery Sacramento and a member of the Chicago based, Mother Art: Revisited.
Rachael Zur’s expanded paintings blend sculptural physicality with traditional painting techniques depicting objects found in living rooms. Her work is twice published in New American Paintings, as well as Friend of the Artist, Under The Bridge Magazine, and Stay Home by Stay Home Gallery and Residency. She holds an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, has exhibited her work across the United States, and has worked as a Program Mentor in the Low Residency MFA Program at SAIC. Zur is an active member of artist collectives Carnation Contemporary and WAVE Collective in Portland, OR.
Carrie Ziser makes art from found objects and discarded materials sourced from her home and the homes of her neighbors and extended family. She incorporates these cast-offs into most everything she makes, either using them directly as physical material or drawing upon their forms as an inspiration for her work. After taking one art class at UC Davis in the late 1990s, Carrie dropped out of the Art Studio major and worked instead towards Bachelor of Arts degrees in Women’s Studies and German. From there she earned two teaching credentials, taught 2nd grade, raised two children, and enrolled in art classes at Sacramento City College. Currently she teaches art full-time to 7th-9th graders in Davis, CA and maintains a studio art practice at Verge Center for the Arts in Sacramento.