Holly Veselka and aricoco to Show in Wave Hill’s Sunroom Project Space
The complexity of the natural world has provoked humanity’s imagination, and often the need for protection from it. Looking to Wave Hill’s expansive landscape, artists Holly Veselka and aricoco draw upon these notions to create immersive installations that encourage viewers to contemplate ideas of habitation, though from different perspectives.
Fascinated by space exploration, Holly Veselka confronts the seemingly innate human desire to travel beyond our planet. For her Sunroom Project, Veselka will transform the Sun Porch into the interplanetary space explored by such 19th-century minds as Garrett P. Serviss, whose science-fiction novel sent Thomas Edison to Mars. Reminiscent of the romanticism that pervaded 19th-century thought, Veselka creates ethereal, fabric sculptures printed with galactic illustrations and planetary diagrams from the period. These large-scale, high-definition, sculptural conversions take fragments of our inherited culture—aged imagery that once existed as a physical document, now diminished to kilobytes floating in virtual space—and represents them in an intriguing, unfamiliar form. Bringing the imagery into contemporaneity through abstraction, Veselka seeks to understand how humanity’s cultural heritage shapes the way we explore space today.
Based in Brooklyn, Veselka earned a BA and BFA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MFA from Boston University. Her solo projects have been shown in the DUMBO Arts Festival and Heliopolis, both in Brooklyn, NY, and she has an upcoming window project at Mixed Greens, New York, NY. Her work has been featured in the Bruce High Quality Foundation’s The Last Brucennial and in group exhibitions at Brooklyn Fireproof; Calico, Brooklyn, NY; and Cuchifritos, New York, NY. Awards and residencies include the LES Studio Program of Artists Alliance Inc. and Puffin Foundation Artist Grant. She is a Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant nominee.
Engaging exploration and environment from a different perspective, artist aricoco confronts her fear of nature through a performative installation. The piece grapples with how the metropolitan and commercial culture of her home city, Tokyo, continues to impact her interpretations of the verdant world. For her Sunroom Project, aricoco will make a series of garments that represent an insect’s lifecycle. Staged in an environment that resembles a carnivorous garden, the project will culminate in a ritualistic performance of costumed creatures as they attempt to survive their hostile surroundings. Dressed as a fantastical insect queen, the artist, disguised by clothing and headgear woven from recycled materials, is protected from the ferocious garden. Soft, colorful sculptural pieces will form a ritualistic space for the insect colony, in the midst of which resides the powerless queen—a community without a leader.
Born in Tokyo, Brooklyn-based artist aricoco (Ari Tabei) received a BA from Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan, studied studio art at Brandeis University and earned an MFA from the University of Connecticut. She has had solo exhibitions at Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT; New York Studio Gallery, New York, NY; and A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY. She participated in the Bronx Museum’s Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) program and was included in Bronx Calling: The Second AIM Biennial (2013), which was organized by the Bronx Museum and Wave Hill. Her work has also been featured in group exhibitions at the Kawasaki City Museum, Kawasaki, Japan; and Onishi Gallery, New York, NY. Residency programs include the BRIC Visual Artist Residency, Brooklyn, NY; Anderson Center Residency Fellowship, Red Wing, MN; LES Studio Program of Artist Alliance Inc., New York, NY; Triangle Workshop, Brooklyn, NY; Sculpture Space, Utica, NY; Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY; and LMCC Swing Space Residency, New York, NY.
Organized by Curator of Visual Arts Gabriel de Guzman, the Sunroom Project Space provides an opportunity for New York-area emerging artists to develop a special project or site-specific work to exhibit in a solo show. The artists participating in the 2015 season are, consecutively, Kiran Chandra, Eto Otitigbe, Tamara Johnson, Holly Veselka, aricoco, Julian Chams and Beatrice Glow.
The Sunroom Project Space is supported in part by the Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation. Additional support for the Visual Arts Program is provided by Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc., The New York Community Trust, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.
Wave Hill, Inc. is an independent, non-profit cultural institution governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The buildings and grounds of Wave Hill are owned by the City of New York. With the assistance of the Bronx Borough President and Bronx representatives in the City Council and State Legislature, Wave Hill’s operations are supported with public funds through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the Zoos, Botanical Gardens and Aquariums Grant Program administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.