The Capital City Arts Initiative presents its exhibition, Entitled to the Sun, by artist Rachel Stiff at the CCAI Courthouse Gallery. The exhibition runs through May 26 at the Courthouse, 885 E. Musser St., Carson City. The gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. The virtual tour of the exhibition will come online soon. Stiff paints abstractions inspired by western landscapes. “Space is what interests me most. The West has a lot to offer. From the outskirts of town, one can examine the composition of a city and its relationship with surrounding landforms. There are endless variations of color and light, depending on exact location and time of day. Through painting, I frame the modern West; exit ramps serve sunsets to go and mysterious bluffs quietly exhibit the beauty of perspective from the grocery store parking lot,” she said. “Working intuitively at first, I allow each painting or drawing to develop. The partnership between the work and myself progresses, as does the importance of decision-making. Mistakes, deliberate forms, controlled spills, and the culling of positive and negative space are the end result. My journey to western Nevada has taken me through the greater western states. At all these outposts, I’ve found each location’s individual sense of place, space, color palette, and topographical textures.”
Rachel Stiff’s painting
During her artist’s residency with RAID Projects in downtown Los Angeles, Stiff made a body of paintings focused on the intersection of Southern California’s dense development and the stark silence of the desert beyond.Now in her Nevada garage studio, she makes work about the surrounding landscapes and construct atmospheres on canvas and on paper. Identifying as a true Westerner, her work examines the construction of the modern landscape and desert-urban interface through abstraction. Stiff is a painter and art educator based in Carson City at Western Nevada College. Stiff holds an MFA from the University of Arizona in Tucson (2012) and a BFA from the University of Montana in Missoula (2009). Danielle Kelly wrote the exhibition essay for Entitled to the Sun. Her project-based visual art practice ranges from installation to performance and has been featured in solo and group exhibitions across the western and mid-western United States, including St. Louis, Los Angeles, Seattle, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Portland. Kelly’s literary work, ranging from essays and art criticism to arts and cultural reporting, has appeared in a variety of West Coast-based publications and includes catalog essays for the UNLV Marjorie Barrick Museum, and the Las Vegas Springs Preserve, among others. Kelly has served as the Executive Director and Exhibition Designer/Curator for the Las Vegas Neon Museum, and as Executive Director for Surface Design Association, publisher of the Surface Design Journal. Kelly’s recent essay “Home Depot Art” appeared in The Microgenre: A Quick Look at Small Culture (2020, Bloomsbury). Kelly earned an MFA at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in sculpture with additional studies in Non-Profit Management. She received a BFA painting and performing arts from Beloit College in Wisconsin and did additional studies at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. Carlos Ramirez, a Western Nevada College Latino Leadership Academy student, provided a Spanish language translation of the exhibition’s wall text. CCAI is an artist-centered not-for-profit organization committed to community engagement in contemporary visual arts through exhibitions, illustrated talks, arts education programs, artist residencies, and online activities. The Initiative is funded by the John Ben Snow Memorial Trust, John and Grace Nauman Foundation, Nevada Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Carson City Cultural Commission, Nevada Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, Kaplan Family Charitable Fund, U.S. Bank Foundation, RISE, Southwest Gas Corporation Foundation, Steele & Associates LLC, and CCAI sponsors and members. For information, visit CCAI’s website at www.ccainv.org.
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