Curated by Hans Molzberger and Michelle Matthews
Mönchskirche, Salzwedel, Germany
July 4, 2019, 7pm
Press contact: Michelle Matthews
Atelierhaus Hilmsen Residency is pleased to announce the exhibition Without Borders at the Mönchskirche Gallery in Salzwedel, Germany, on view July 4 through August 4, 2019. Curated by Hans Molzberger and Michelle Matthews, Without Borders will feature nine Houston artists whose work is influenced by the landscape, history, and local community in nearby Hilmsen. The exhibition concludes a month-long residency program.
The Mönchskirche Gallery is one of seven churches located in Salzwedel. Built ca. 1250 by the Franciscan order, the structure was modified between 1345 and 1500 with the additions of a vaulted choir, main nave, and aisle. The structure has functioned as a Latin school, Protestant church, gymnasium, town hall and, currently, as a concert hall and art gallery, hosting exhibitions by local and international artists.
Under the direction of founder, director, and artist Hans Molzberger, the Atelierhaus Hilmsen Residency supports the education and professional development of artists and scholars from around the world with an emphasis in the arts and humanities. Selected artists come together to create and research in complete freedom, unmediated by external distractions. The 2019 residency program is unique in that it is comprised almost entirely of artists based in Houston; all of the 2019 participants are women.
Michelle Matthews, a sculptor, returns to Hilmsen for the second time in 2019, this time as a co-organizer. Matthews says, “The experience of the residency is unique. In a short period, the artists adapt their personal art practice to the studios at Atelierhaus, which may involve using new and non-traditional materials and unfamiliar equipment.” Matthews has played a central role in connecting this year’s resident artists. “As an artist, it was important to me to share this experience with other Houston artists, to create work without borders. It is significant to note that this year’s residency artists are all women coming from different careers and backgrounds to create community through the exploration of art.”
Local Column by Michelle Matthews (pictured above) was created with found clay that had been stored in brick forms by craftspeople in the town of Westerwald. It was a homage to their work and a reference to the 12th century wood markings from the interior of the Monchskirche Gallery.
Atelierhaus 2019 Selected Artists: Kathy Drago, Ana Arbelaez, Ellen Ray, Michelle Matthews, Pat McEnery, Karen Eisele, Laura Sprague, Jane Honovich & Vivian Pastor (pictured from left to right).
Ana Arbelaez: Immersed in the environments that surround her, Arbelaez explores locally available materials: clay, sand and other organic matter. On walks through forests and creeks, she collects seeds, nests and barks that are in the process of decaying. She analyzes their textural richness and subtle colors and incorporates them throughout her work. www.anaarbelaez.com;
Kathy Drago: Using source photos—either small, grainy obituary photos or phone snapshots—Drago’s improvisational theater background helps her fill in the blanks to create imaginative oil portraits of local women in their 70s, 80s, and 90s. As she paints, with their life stories swirling in her head, she wonders about how she wants to grow old. www.kathydragoart.com; ; www.instagram.com/kathydragoart
Karen Eisele: Using a contemporary approach with ancient processes and materials, Eisele references traditional Byzantine iconography in her figurative and landscape work, creating a different perspective between the past and present. www.kareneisele.com; ; www.instagram.com/kareneiseleartist
Jane Honovich: Honovich’s inspiration for her paintings stems from a collection of handwritten letters and notes from family. She explores form, lines, and colors in addition to marks that signify time, memory and life.
Pat McEnery: Drawing on her long interest in women’s growth and development, McEnery uses water media to create mythologically-based stories and folktales of women’s lives, using symbols, animals and figures. Her intention is to question the traditional roles in which women are cast and imagine alternative possibilities. www.patmcenery.com;
Michelle Matthews: Matthews sculpts ceramic works reflecting our momentary existence in a large, geologic span of time. Her practice is in a constant state of regeneration, in flux between fragility and endurance, form and process, a continual cycle of life and decay. www.michellematthewsceramics.com;
Vivian Pastor: Pastor makes objects from clay that resemble nature. Throughout the process of creating, she hopes to awaken the human senses we all share, to personally establish and cultivate the beauty of nature.
Ellen Ray: Mind space, including memory, consciousness, thought process and dreams is the subject matter of Ray’s work. Layering wet and dry media, she creates contemplative works on paper and specially prepared burlap panels. www.instagram.com/ehrayart;
Laura Sprague: Sprague creates compelling artwork that conveys hope and restoration from her Houston studio. Formerly an art teacher, she now works as a professional multimedia artist producing thought-provoking sculptures and paintings using clay, metal, glass and alcohol inks. www.laurasprague.com; www.instagram.com/laurasprague