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“Keep It To Yourself”

February 27, 2020 - April 3, 2020

Grass Valley artist Serena Cole brings her work to SNU Tahoe

Artists: Serena Cole

Grass Valley Artist Serena Cole’s body of work centers around the female figure and is based on the reconstruction of found imagery from pop culture, art history, and current events. Her highly detailed mixed media artwork revisits classic tropes from the history of painting such as beauty, death, and the still life. She uses these traditional formats as metaphors to examine what it feels like to be female person living in America today.

By collaging disparate imagery, Cole creates inner dialogs and interior worlds within emotive figures who remain silent and uninterested in participating as traditional painting subjects of desire. As the exhibition title suggests, each figure shares the common bond of things unsaid or silenced; burning emotions, indignation, and stark loneliness. The title also conjures patriarchal values of being seen and not heard and of keeping one’s emotions to oneself, but also a survival mode of preserving one’s inner self as a steely tomb.

Reframing images of anonymous contemporary women with historical artworks such as Willem DeKooning’s Woman and popular culture references such as a scene from the movie Carrie, she examines imagery of women throughout time and considers how they may shape our present day expectations. In painted still lives of funerary flowers well past their initial promise, flowers also become figurative symbols of failure to participate in an intended role of an exquisite object. Cole considers each piece an avatar of herself, creating a uniquely personal exhibition that invites reflection from the broader audience on female-hood in the current political climate.

Serena Cole received her Master of Fine Arts degree in 2011 from the California College of the Arts. Her work has been exhibited widely including exhibitions at Hinterconti in Hamburg, Germany, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Soo Visual Arts Center in Minneapolis, and Phillips de Pury in New York City.

Reception: Thursday, February 27, 5 – 7 pm
Artist Talk: 5:30 pm


February 27, 2020
April 3, 2020
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Garage Door Gallery
Holman Arts & Media Center