The Moberly Area Community College GAFA Gallery will host an opening reception on October 6, 2010, from 2 to 4 p.m. featuring the work of Sally Schluter Tardella. This solo exhibition of the Wardrobe Project is the first exhibition of these drawings together. The exhibit will be on display until October 29 and is open to the public during regular business hours.
Schulter Tardella explains the deep emotional tie this group of drawings has for her in her artist’s statement.
“This project began two years ago with a calamitous house fire in my parents' home in New Jersey. As I walked through the place where I had grown up, and entered our cold and dark living room, I was drawn to a blackened antique wardrobe that had been passed down from my great-grandparents. When I pulled open the first drawer of the wardrobe, the face panel came away in my hands, revealing an x-ray like view into the water-soaked yet somehow preserved ash contents of the drawer. Each drawer held mementos and everyday objects, things that I had forgotten, carefully saved and cataloged by my parents, and now dissolving if touched.
Each of these drawings is an internal composition representing specific drawers of memory. All of the drawings are made with ink and whiteout, with the whiteout blocking words, marks, and recollections. I use stencils as indices, controlling marks, referencing the dissolving structure of the wardrobe and the melted relics of my memory. I also use collaged components. For example, Evidence is constructed of old letters from my grandmother, her carefully hand written words and sentences blocked with whiteout; the message, and indeed the medium, faded and obsolete. In Patterns, pieces of actual sewing patterns are layered with ink and whiteout, memorializing a drawer for old patterns and the sewing lessons my grandmother insisted I have as a child because “all girls should know how to sew.” The drawing entitled Directions is a response to a collection of instruction pamphlets- how to use appliances and assemble toys- bound together and saved in case this information might be needed again. Routes is a drawer of maps, constructed from remembered maps of old car trips, and topographical maps from hiking excursions. I no longer know the destinations or road numbers, so here they are covered with whiteout.
These drawings re-purpose the distorted remains of found memory, making each a new construction that is both a tribute to a personal memory and a fabrication of what I imagine was once there. Together they form a chronicle of the shadows of the artifacts of my past.”
Sally Schluter Tardella’s art practice is based in Detroit, Michigan. Individual drawings and paintings from the Wardrobe Project have been included in various group exhibitions this year, including the “Great Lakes Drawing Biennial,” at University Gallery, Eastern Michigan University; “Drawing in the Expanded Field,” Hatton Gallery, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO; “Sub Terrain,” Work: Ann Arbor, University of Michigan School of Art & Design, Ann Arbor, MI; “From Our Perspectives: 2010 National Women’s Art Exhibition,” Wallace Smith Theatre Gallery, Oakland Community College Farmington Hills, MI; “The Oakland University Faculty Biennial” in Rochester, MI; and “Wordage,” at the Detroit Artists Market, Detroit, MI. In the past, Schluter Tardella had a solo show at Au Courant Gallery, in Ferndale MI, a two person exhibition at Meadow Brook Art Gallery, Rochester MI, and has been included in many group exhibitions, including the Saginaw Art Museum, Saginaw MI, Center Galleries, Detroit MI, Center of the Earth Gallery, Charlotte, NC, Xavier University Art Gallery, Cincinnati, OH, and Trenton City Museum, NJ. She has delivered lectures about her work at the School of Visual Arts National Conference on Liberal Arts and Education, in New York, and at the Detroit Institute of Arts. She is the recipient of two Research Fellowships from Oakland University. Schluter Tardella received her M.F.A. in Painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art. She is a Special Instructor and Director of Studio Art at Oakland University, in Rochester, Michigan.Click on photo for full size image.