Monterey Museum of Art, July 20- October 30,2018

Mitra Fabian, Susan Abbott Martin, Victoria May, Maria Porges, Judy Shintani,

Lisa Solomon, Katherine Sherwood, The Temple Sisters

Mitra Fabian, a sculptor and installation artist, works almost exclusively with manufactured materials- the leftovers, the by-products, the remnants of human industry. Her work serves as a commentary on the increasingly human-modified condition of life. She pits nature against culture to blur the lines between organic and manufactured.


Mitra Fabian was born in Iran and raised in Boston. She received her MFA from California State University, Northridge. Exhibitions include those at San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, Museum of Contemporary Craft, the Laguna Art Museum, the Armory Center for the Arts. Fabian lives and works in the Bay Area. She is a professor at West Valley College.


PENELOPE'S TASK REVISITED, PART II explores embroidery as meditation. It is Martin’s intention to honor the work by deconstructing the utility of the towel, the dresser scarf and the tablecloth. Formalizing the textiles, moving them from the drawer to the wall, gives us the opportunity to re-examine and reflect on their value to us.

Martin was born in Oakland, California. She received her MFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts in 1981. Martin has exhibited her work  nationally and locally at the Oakland Museum at City Center, Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, the San Jose Museum of Modern Art Artist Gallery and the Dennos Museum at Northwestern Michigan State in Traverse City.  Her work has been reviewed in Art Forum, the SF Chronicle, Artweek and the World Herald in Omaha, Nebraska.  Martin has received numerous grants, awards and residencies including two grants from the Pollock Krasner Foundation, the Lila Wallace Reader's Digest International Artists Program at Monet’s garden in Giverny, France, the Bemis Foundation in Omaha, NE and Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, NY.  She currently lives and works in Oakland, CA.

STUDIES IN CONVULSION was spurred by a partial inner tube found at the side of the road on a cross-country road trip. The object embodied the cycle of production from rawness to refinement and back to decay. The rubber scrap’s pliability and strength called for reshaping into a more organic form, implying its trajectory to decay. The reshaped and laboriously stitched object also becomes fetishistic, alluding to society’s addiction to transportation and convenience at the cost of natural resources. The openings with spilling cords evoke a liminal state between life and death..

My current primary source of material for the book sculpture I began making in early 2013 (also BOOKTOOLS, TOYS AND WEAPONS) is the library left behind by my grandmother Mary Low. A citizen of the late Austro-Hungarian Empire and an Anglophile, she read many English classics, translated indifferently into German and printed in 'blackletter,' a Gothic typeface now illegible to virtually all readers. I collage illustrations from these books as well as parts of pages, dust covers, and other miscellaneous printed material onto the painted surfaces of many pieces. It is a labor of love, in many different ways.  - Maria Porges


Maria Porges is an artist and writer whose work has been exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions since the late eighties. She received a SECA award from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and has twice been in residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts. A finalist for the Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Art Writer's Grant in 2014, her critical writing has appeared in many publications, including Artforum, Art in America, Sculpture, American Ceramics, Glass, the New York Times Book Review, and a host of other now-defunct art magazines. She has also authored essays for over 100 exhibition catalogues and dozens of scripts for museum audio tours. Porges is an Associate Professor at California College of the Arts.

Judy Shintani’s deconstructed kimonos reflect her loosening connection to her ancestry and culture representing both the personal and liminal spaces where the transformation of tradition, culture, and structure takes place. The cutting away of the design brings light and shadow to the kimono, transforming the beautiful yet restrictive traditional garment into a new form for creative interpretation. The kimono is reduced to a skeleton, a web, yet the garment still retains its elegant and simple structure even after deconstruction. Shintani honors the cut out pieces in altars below each kimono which act as holding places for the parts- as lessons that have died to make room for new experiences. “As I cut away the designs and embellishments from the kimonos, I reflect about the woman who wore the kimono. 'What was her life like?' The cutting becomes a meditation.” She explains, “The process becomes a strange and wonderful paradox, that by cutting away, I feel closer to my Japanese heritage.

Shintani received her BA from San Jose State and MA from JFKU. She has shown nationally at museums and galleries including solo exhibitions and community engagement events at University of Pittsburgh, Springfield College, MA, Peninsula Museum of Art in Burlingame, Santa Fe Art Institute, JFKU in Berkeley; and group shows at Station Museum in Houston, Presidio Trust, SF, Euphrat Museum of Art, Cupertino, 514 Arts in Albuquerque.


Judy was awarded at Santa Fe Art Institute, Creativity Explored, Big Ideas Fest, and educational conference, including a fellowship at Vermont Studio.

Katherine Sherwood’s mixed-media paintings gracefully investigate the point at which them essential aspects of art, medicine, and disability intersect. Her works juxtapose abstracted medical images, such as cerebral angiograms of the artist’s brain, with fluid renderings of ancient patterns; the paintings thus explore and reveal the strange nature of our time and current visual culture. In addition to showing regularly throughout the United States at galleries, museums and alternative spaces, Sherwood was a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship 2005-2006 and a Joan Mitchell Foundation grant 2006-2007. Sherwood is a professor emeritus at UC Berkeley in the Art Department and the Disability Studies Program. She is the artist-inresidence at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute and the co-founder of the art and disability collective, “The Yelling Clinic”.

SENNINBARI, 1000 French Knots composed of 20 rows of 50, recalls the Senninbari belts made as talismem by Japanese women to protect their husbands going off in WWII. The knots are made from 1 inch diameter rope and hand dyed in small batches to create an ombre to Japanese red [often seen as a color of love and devotion].


Lisa Solomon, a mixed media artist, is best known for work which questions and deconstructs the meaning of identity through the exploration of mediums traditionally associated with domestic crafts. As a “happa” (1/2 Japanese, 1/2 Caucasian), she is profoundly interested in the idea of hybridization and drawn to found objects and imagery altering them conceptually so that their meanings and original uses or intents are re-purposed. Solomon frequently uses embroidery and crochet in her work. 


Solomon received her BA from UC Berkeley and MFA from Mills College She has shown nationally and internationally at museums, galleries and alternative spaces including San Jose Museum of Art, the Walter Maciel Gallery, Los Angeles, Nicoletta Rusconi Gallery, Milan, Italy, Koumi Machi Museum, Nagano prefecture, Japan, Garson Baker Gallery, NY and Gallery CA in Baltimore. Residencies include The Palo Alto Art Center, Irving Street Projects, SF, Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, Oakland Museum, CA and the Ulrich Museum, Wichita, KS. 

Vintage images of smiling women are blended with layers of mixed media in In the series MISS, MRS, MS. Holly Temple notes, “At first, the work appears effervescent, but on closer inspection we see how they have been ripped apart and reassembled.” The work reminds the viewer that women must routinely repair the damage of discrimination – patching psychic, spiritual and physical wounds – thereby raising questions of female significance over time. Ashlee Temple adds, “Women adapt to a continually shifting American culture that is sometimes progressive but currently retrograde.” As the viewer uncovers layers of narrative, the work ultimately invokes women’s survival and vitality in spite of perennial threats.


Collaboration, both in applied method as well as conceptually, is at the core of The Temple Sister’s work. They each find the implicit trust required by working in tandem to be one of the most interesting and integral parts of their art. A shared history and aesthetic emerges as a partnership on canvas and paper. It is their deep belief that collaboration (artist-to-artist, art-to-observer) is at the heart of the creative process.

Holly studied art and art history at the San Francisco Academy of Art, San Francisco State University and at C.S.U. in Florence, Italy. She worked in New York for many years as an Art Director at Avon, Christian Dior, Estee Lauder, David Yurman, among others and currently runs her own freelance graphic design company in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA. Ashlee studied theatre at NYU and received her MFA from the Yale School of Drama. She continues to work in theatre as a director and teacher in Stockton, CA. Their backgrounds provide for unique perspectives on visual storytelling, which is a conscious, ever present element of their work.


When apart, they work independently on the same project, developing separate but parallel designs that are consolidated only when they reunite in their studio. Holly and Ashlee have spent a lifetime studying art under their father, California artist Brook Temple.

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