Nature Centered: Isela Aguirre, Rebecca Braziel, and Kari Breitigam
October 11th - November 23rd, 2014
There is an innate call in the human spirit to capture the natural world and re-create it for ourselves. Perhaps this is out of necessity; we build an artificial world around us that protects us from the elements but separates us from nature. Nature Centered brings together the works of three emerging women artists living and working in the Houston area who each address this need through very different media. Isela Aguirre, Rebecca Braziel and Kari Breitigam find joy, comfort and a sense of belonging through exploring the beauty they find in nature and the process of constructing their version of it.
Rebecca Braziel began impulsively collecting burned strips of tree bark from wildfire sites ranging from Nahunta, Georgia to Bastrop, Texas. Finding tiny insect eggs nestled subtly along the bark, she noticed how life still existed in a new form after the fire. In her work, she recreates the eggs and other patterns seen in the bark by meticulously adhering tiny glass seed-beads to it, "justifying this object's innate preciousness."
Braziel was born in 1986 in Savannah, Georgia where she later earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design. A multidisciplinary artist, she now works in the fields of sculpture, photography, collage and mixed media. Rebecca’s work has been exhibited in galleries both nationally and internationally. It can also be found in the Permanent Collection of the Savannah College of Art and design. In March 2013 she moved to Houston, Texas where she continues her art practice.
Kari Breitigam creates embroidered and latch-hooked abstractions that recall traditional hand-crafted arts, and the ancient language of abstracting nature into geometric pattern. She writes, "This abstraction becomes a way to simplify and contain a piece of something so vast and incomprehensible yet so fundamentally woven into our lives, and there is such beauty in this marriage of the geometric and organic."
Currently working on fiber art and jewlry from her studio just outside of Houston, Texas, Breitigam received her BFA in Painting and Drawing from The Ohio State University in 2009 and an MFA in Painting from Indiana State University in 2012. She also teaches in the department of art at Lone Star College.
Isela Aguirre draws from observation, photographs and found imagery. Her graphite and watercolor drawings present a visual diary of natural forms. Her illustrations represent and amalgam her daily observations, which take on dream-like quality and are her way of making sense of the world around her. "Through these drawings I am able to study and catalogue significant objects in my immediate surroundings, bits of nature people experience in the city, and imagery from books in an endless stream of renderings. The process of composing and completing these illustrations help relieve daily anxieties and build metaphors that question our existence."
After attending the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Aguirre received her B.F.A. in Studio Art Photography from the University of Houston in 2001. She was a member of the Houston based, artist-run gallery ArtStorm from 2007 to 2008. Isela is a full time art teacher at The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She recently gave a talk at Diverse Works Pecha Kucha Night in conjunction with Luck of the Draw. She also presented at Lawndale Art Center in conjunction with The Big Show.
This exhibition was made possible by special guest curator Christine Jelson West.