Six-pack of art
A rich collection for 1078 Gallery’s annual group show
The 1078 Gallery is still grooming the identity of its fairly new space on Park Avenue, but the beloved Chico art institution has carried over a few annual series from its previous locales. For the rest of the month, the eighth installment of its traditional December exhibit, Stories—which showcases several artists with strong ties to Chico—will be on the walls.
Six (for) Stories Eight was curated by 1078 board member and longtime arts advocate Thomasin Saxe. The six artists featured in the December 2019 lineup include Adria Davis, Kathleen Nartuhi, J. A. Nice, Carla Resnick, Eric Richter and Ruby Rudnick, all of whom have been on Saxe’s extensive art docket for a while.
“I love these artists. I always love the artists of Stories,” Saxe said in a recent interview. “I don’t curate the art for this show, but I do curate the artists, and I always love to see what they’ve chosen. If I can live long enough, there will be many more groups of six to come, but I thought these particular six offered a nice variety for this year’s exhibit. They’re all different mediums.”
Accompanying the exhibit is a small informative booklet that profiles each of the artists. It’s filled with photos and narratives, some of which are fairly literal descriptions of their artistic journeys and inspirations, while others provide more abstract glimpses into their heads.
The gallery has kept the layout clean and straightforward for this show. There are no overtly complicated or experimental installations, giving viewers breathing room to take in the works of six unique artists.
Starting on the left side of the gallery’s modest-size main room are Rudnick’s playful pen and ink illustrations, a project that was conceived from her personal challenge to draw a new sketch every day. Describing her move from Chico to New Orleans as the perfect chance to “abandon [her] creative zone,” she started creating simple yet detailed cross-hatched illustrations. The result? Humorous interactions between humans and animals, like “Doula,” in which a friendly dolphin supports a woman during her water-birth labor.
Turn in to the gallery’s alcove to find Resnick’s acrylic and paper collages, a geometric playground of circles, squares, scribbles and line work that she creates as attempts to “change her internal dialogue” in times of distress. Her colorful pieces provide an interesting juxtaposition to Nice’s adjacent historical print etchings, which include four black-and-white variations of the same location in Westminster, England.
Near the edge of the alcove hangs several of Davis’ digital photographs of projections. Her images of Camp Fire ruins overlaid with the victims’ new homes reveal intense, hopeful resilience. In “Adria 95821,” a photo of her own charred former yard is framed by the outline of her new house in Sacramento. In the center of the image hangs the window of her home, which simultaneously peeks into her past and holds space for what’s ahead.
The gallery’s main room offers more space for works from each artist, including four rectangular pillars that house some of Nartuhi’s handmade booklets. “If You Find” requires viewers to follow the accordion folds of each page and word until reaching the moral of the book’s humorous, albeit short story. And Richter’s four acrylic and graphite paintings break up the room nicely, especially “Goliathine Scarab Beetle,” which depicts a large-scale image of the Kelly green insect with paint dripping from its shell.
Stories manages to provide an extensive and rich variety of work that belies the gallery’s cozy confines.