This spring feels especially full of renewal as we begin to rise from this pandemic, as we raise up our voices for justice, as we bloom and rise into the light. When we shared this open call with the theme of “Rise” we had these ideas in mind.

What emerged encompasses the hope and transformation of this season and this strange time, from the fragility of the gently rising bubbles in Tricia Townes’ work to the hopefulness of Alison Rae Campbell’s colorful abstracted cityscapes. We saw repeated themes and imagery around circles, with so many references including bubbles, mushrooms, shells, moons, holes, and the whole. Plants aptly appeared in several works, quite literally growing and rising in Kirsten Heteji’s “Where The Dreams Grow.” Becky Jane Rosen’s plants adorn her quilts while her text seems to encourage (sometimes loudly!) their cultivation, yet truly seeks to encourage “conversations surrounding intergenerational feminist personal finance.” Florence Alfano McEwin also draws connections between plants and feminism, referencing the “tradition of flower pressing done as remembrance” which was seen as women’s work. Mothers especially are celebrated in Kya Nguyen’s work, “who wake up everyday and take on the world for their children.”

Yet, there is also a darker side to renewal. What is lost as this world changes? Georgina Arroyo’s work around the housing crisis and gentrification evokes the displacement, insecurity, and loss many are experiencing to a greater extent during the pandemic. Her flames rise up, engulfing the curtains in the piece title “Espera la Ceniza” (wait for the ash). As we rise from the ashes, what do we leave behind? A theme of memory and nostalgia also emerged, as in Devann Donovan Gardner’s beautifully yet selectively rendered portraits and Hannah Zimmerman’s collage-like snapshots of domestic space. Transformation is not pretty. As Ferris Jabr describes in Scientific American, “First, the caterpillar digests itself, releasing enzymes to dissolve all of its tissues. If you were to cut open a cocoon or chrysalis at just the right time, caterpillar soup would ooze out.” That oozing can be felt in the texture of the wax in Silvana Smith’s work, where a butterfly dangles, no longer flying. The butterflies in Monika Malewska’s work become decorative within the absurdity of her compositions. She says, “At first glance, my compositions are seductively colorful and bright. Closer inspection, however, reveals elements of unease and decay.” This closer inspection and revelation is what we have been collectively experiencing in recent years on a broader societal scale.

When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it

– Amanda Gorman, excerpt from “The Hill We Climb”

Curated by Maria Coit & Rebecca Potts Aguirre

To request a price list, please contact Rebecca & Maria at play.inspiregallery@gmail.com.

Artists:

Tricia Townes, Fragile (Endangered Ocelot, Mexican Grey Wolf, Hammerhead Shark, Leatherback Sea Turtle, Grizzly Bear, California Condor), Acrylic on drafting film, 24 x 36 in, 2020
Natalia Torres del Valle, Landform Meditation No. 13, acrylic, ink, pastel, gold leaf, and resin on wood panel, 4×6 in, 2021
Natalia Torres del Valle, Landform Meditation No. 12, acrylic, ink, pastel, and resin on wood panel, 4×6 in, 2021
Caroline Blum, Things To Come, Pen and watercolor on paper, 11 x 8.5 in, 2021
Caroline Blum, Spring Rhythm, Pen and watercolor on paper, 11 x 8.5 in, 2021
Caroline Blum, Waiting for Spring, Pen and watercolor on paper, 11 x 8.5 in, 2021

Decheng Cui, OM_Light_Balls, limited edition print, printed on Ultra HD photo on Albon Dibond, 24×24 in, 2021
Decheng Cui, OM_F(2x)_Black Moon, limited edition print, printed on Ultra HD photo on Albon Dibond, 35×35 in, 2021
Dominyka Obelenyte, FINALLY, Acrylic, pumice, glitter, dye and embroidery on canvas, 48 x 48 in, 2020
Dominyka Obelenyte, Entity, Mixed Media on paper, 6 x 8 ft, 2020
Ellie Braun, Untitled, Acrylic yarn, 19 in x 17 in, 2021
Ellie Braun, Untitled (Rug), Acrylic and cotton yarn, 22 x 20.5 in, 2021
Noora Badeen, Flower That is Not Going to Fade, 18 G cold rolled steel sheet, 41 x 41 x 8 in, 2018
Amber Simpson, Metamorphosis, Alcohol ink on Yupo Paper, 8×10 in, 2021
Noora Badeen, Hope For Change 2, Bronze, candle, sand, 4 x 3.5 x 3.5 in, 2019
Noora Badeen, Hope For Change 1, 18 G cold rolled steel sheet, candles, sand, 41 x 41 x 52 in, 2019
Rachel Ostrow, The Animals Began To Sing, 2020, oil on panel, 16 x 18 in
Rachel Ostrow, Here We Stand, 2019, oil on panel, 20 x 24 in
Rachel Ostrow, Let’s Run Away, 2020, oil on panel, 36 x 42 in
Devann Donovan Gardner, Party Favors, Oil on Canvas, 24 x 30 in, 2020
Devann Donovan Gardner, Hold on For Now, Oil on Canvas, 48 x 36 in, 2020
Devann Donovan Gardner, The Swing, Oil on Canvas, 60 x 60 in, 2021
Hannah Zimmerman, Odd Days We Were Doing Well, Gouache on paper, 30.25 x 22.5 in, 2019
Hannah Zimmerman, Shower Curtain Sofa House, Gouache on paper, 6 x 5 in, 2021
Hannah Zimmerman, Partly Enamored With My Jungle Dreams, Gouache on paper, 14 x 11 in, 2020



Silvana Smith, Resonance II, wax, chains, ceramic and found objects, 9.5 x 9.5 x 20.5 in, 2020
Becky Jane Rosen, Plant your FLOWERS when it SHOWERS, Fabric, thread, oil paint, 20.5 x 20.5 in, 2020
Becky Jane Rosen, WEATHER THE STORM, Fabric, thread, embroidery, 14 x 14 in, 2020
Becky Jane Rosen, CULTIVATE, Fabric, thread, oil paint, 10.5 x 10.5 in, 2020
Becky Jane Rosen, flowers cannot grow unplanted, Fabric, thread, oil paint, 16.5 x 16.5 in, 2020
Kirsten Heteji, Where The Dreams Grow (detail), Porcelain, glass aquarium and seeds, 14 x 24 x 14 in, 2019
Danielle Pontarelli, The Conduit, Acrylic on Canvas, 20 x 24 in, 2021
Monika Malewska, Bacon Wreath with Models, Watercolors on paper, 28 x 40 in, 2016
Monika Malewska, Bacon Wreath No. 5, Watercolors on paper, 26 x 48 in, 2017
Amber Simpson, At the Root of it All There is Joy, Alcohol ink on Yupo paper, 8 x 10 in, 2020
Danielle Pontarelli, Amalgamation, Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30 in, 2021
Georgina Arroyo, Espera La Ceniza, Acrylic on Paper, 18 x 24 in, 2020
Monika Malewska, Bacon Bra and Flowers, Watercolors on paper, 26 x 39 in, 2018
Kya Nguyen, Muva (front), pyrography and acrylic paint on articulated wooden hand, 10 x 3.5 in, 2021
Kya Nguyen, Rise (front), pyrography and acrylic paint on articulated wooden hand, 10 x 3.5 in, 2021
Victoria J. Fry, Dusk, Beeswax & oil on wood, 24 inch diameter, 2021


Marguerite Gilbertson, Braided Performance, Photograph of performance, 2018
Florence Alfano McEwin, Love’s Me Not, collagraphic monoprint on BFK, 22 x 30 in, 2021
Florence Alfano McEwin, Home On The Range, collagraphic monoprint on BFK, 22 x 30 in, 2021

Tim Needles, Still Video Poem, Video, 2021


Brendan Briggs, Quarantine, Pencil, Watercolor, Acrylic, Micron, 24 x 36 x 2 in, 2020
Alison Rae Campbell, Big Pink Vic, Lower Haight, San Francisco, Acrylic on Canvas, 36 x 48 in, 2021
Alison Rae Campbell, Mira, Acrylic on Canvas, 30 x 40 in, 2021
Matthew Fitzpatrick, “Oh, hello. You must be a friend of Snowbell’s. I’m Stuart.”, Acrylic on Wood Cutout, 22 x 24 in, 2020
Alison Rae Campbell, The Peace Thinkers, Acrylic on Canvas, 36 x 36 in, 2021
Amber Simpson, My Heart Beats for Those Who See The Best in Me, Alcohol ink on Yupo paper, 8 x 8 in, 2021
Alison Rae Campbell, Hope Eternal, Acrylic on Canvas, 36 x 36 in, 2021


Marguerite Gilbertson, The Arch of Martha, Mama Kitty, and Chula, Sculpture, Materials: insulation board, mirrors, wood, and paint, 132 x 120 x 48 in, 2018