White Walls Project Space Presents:

I Haven’t a Single Explorer on My Planet

White Walls Project Space is pleased to announce I Haven’t a Single Explorer on My Planet by Polish born, New York City-based artist, Olek. The opening reception will be Saturday, February 8, from 7-11 pm, and the exhibition is free and open to the public for viewing through March 8, 2014.

“No one knows what freedoms means until it is taken away. When you feel trapped, you can either sink low or dream big.” This was the guiding thought on Olek’s mind when she began thinking about her first solo exhibition in San Francisco.

I Haven’t a Single Explorer on My Planet will take shape as a crochet installation with a full sized boat at its center which Olek makes clear is an expression and symbol of liberty: “The boat should be out on the open waters. It should be able to turn with the wind and the current as it pleases. But instead my crocheted boat will be placed within the gallery, stalled, much like the place our society is in until we move forward. Only when equality is total can it truly be called freedom. And like most things, freedom can be contagious. 2014 is the year of freedom and I intend to share it.”

Olek was born Agata Oleksiak in 1978 in Poland. In 2000, she received a BA in Cultural Studies from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland and relocated to New York City. Olek’s work has been exhibited in galleries, museums and public spaces worldwide and featured in numerous publications such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, TIME Magazine, Vogue Italia, Newsweek/Daily Beast, Village Voice, Vibe Magazine, Artinfo, PBS, CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC. Olek is the recipient of the Ruth Mellon Award for sculpture in 2004, In Situ Artaq award (France) in 2011, and a grant in 2011 from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) for performance in public space. In 2010, the artist was commissioned by the Brooklyn Museum of Art for a one-day interactive performance installation. In 2012, Olek was part of the “40 Under 40: Craft Futures” exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery, for which her entire crocheted studio apartment was exhibited. Recently, she has exhibited at Miami Art Basel as part of Women on the Walls at Wynwood Walls and curated by Jeffrey Deitch.

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Jet Martinez Warholian

White Walls is pleased to present City of Eternal Springtime by Jet Martinez. The opening reception will be Saturday, February 8, from 7-11 pm, and the exhibition is free and open to the public for viewing through March 8, 2014.

With a title that is a direct reference to the artist’s hometown of Cuernavaca, Mexico (which brandishes the slogan “land of eternal springtime”) Oakland-based artist Jet Martinez makes it clear that we can expect an explosion of brightly-colored blooms in his new solo show consisting of 17 enamel and spray paint pieces ranging in size from 24 x 30” to 48 x 96”.

Continuing as the latest variations on a theme of paintings and murals based on Mexican Folk arts, the floral paintings set to fill the gallery were originally inspired by embroidery, textile and pottery patterns from Central and Southern Mexico. Through three distinct styles of floral work, City of Eternal Springtime is a nod to the simple beauty of nature. Whether through smooth ribbons of color, a thinner maze-like linework or short strokes of paint resembling an embroidery stitch, Martinez’ flowers seem to undulate in a perpetual breeze.

Part of the appeal of folk art is the handmade qualities of each piece, and for Martinez, this was a thought he held clear in his mind while working on the show, focusing as much on the texture and individual details as on the image itself. “Just as folk artists repeat traditional themes and patterns in their practice, they still give focus to the individual piece,” explains Martinez. “Although the individual piece is one of many like it, for the time that it is being created, it is the only one, and the artist tries to make it the best one yet.” Following in these footsteps, Martinez creates each new painting with the intent to instill a sense of the passion and deliberate care that went into it.

Full of luminous hues, City of Eternal Springtime was borne out of the artist’s desire to create an uplifting space, to set the stage for a happier place that is larger than life’s difficulties and monotony: “Not to shut out the ugly things in the world, but rather to remind myself of the good things worth grinding for.”

Jet Martinez is a full time muralist and painter based in Oakland, California, where he lives with a much beloved and talented wife and two ridiculously energetic children. After receiving a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute, Martinez acted as one of the directors of the Clarion Alley Mural Project in SF’s Mission District for nearly a decade.His paintings have been exhibited in various institutions and galleries including Syracuse University, Facebook HQ, MACLA (Museo de arte y cultura latino americana), Mesa Center for the Arts, SomArts, SF Arts Commission Gallery, White Walls, Project1 SF, and 111 Minna. His work has been featured in the New York Times and other well respected publications and books. In addition, the artist’s murals grace the walls of many public streets in the US and abroad in major cities including Oaxaca, Mexico; Zurich, Switzerland; and Florianopolis, Brazil. His murals have been commissioned by groups such as Facebook, Tipping Point Foundation, Red Bull, and Climate Works Foundation.Most recently, SF General Hospital commissioned a public piece for their new emergency department through the SF Arts Commission.

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Shooting Gallery Presents:

Re-imagination of the Book

Shooting Gallery is pleased to present Re-imagination of the Book by British artist Kerry Miller. The opening reception will be Saturday, February 8, from 7-11 pm, and the exhibition is free and open to the public for viewing through March 8, 2014.

Kerry Miller dissects discarded books and rebuilds them into precisely-crafted, extraordinary works of art through little more than scissors, watercolor and ink. Some of the books are left open to reveal intricate scenes overflowing from the pages. Others remain shut, though their front covers are cut to act as mere frames for the beautiful reconfigurations of the book’s original illustrations. Culling from titles such as Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management (1868) and A Hand-Book to the Order of Lepidoptera, Part 1, v.2, (1896) Miller brings a sense of wonder to volumes that otherwise may be left to gather dust, providing a glimpse into a miniature world of newfound enchantment.

From the artist:

“I view my work as a collaboration, a partnership with the past, and giving new purpose to old books that may otherwise never see the light of day or simply end up in recycling. My favorite pastime is going off on an all-day book hunt; no junk shop or charity shop left unturned. I search for a book that’s just right for my work, one that has a little world hidden within, and one that’s just begging for the beauty of the interior to be revealed. As technology threatens to replace the printed word, there has never been a better time to reimagine the book.”

Kerry Miller is a visual artist based in Oxfordshire, UK, specializing in carved 3D books.

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mel_alves Warholian

Shooting Gallery Project Space Presents:

Hunting Season

Shooting Gallery Project Space is pleased to present Hunting Season by San Francisco-based artist, Melanie Alves, featuring eight taxidermy-inspired sculptures comprised of toy guns and spray paint. The opening reception will be Saturday, February 8, from 7-11 pm, and the exhibition is free and open to the public for viewing through March 8, 2014.

Hunting Season is a continuation of the artist’s exploration into current social issues of gun violence and the manufacturing of a culture of fear. Through cleverly crafted sculptures, Alves draws attention to America’s focus on power, greed, and the individual, and the worry that it has lead to the loss of core human values. She translates this loss into the powerful imagery of the toy gun (the “playful” or distorted appropriation of an object of violence) as a thing of beauty and pride in the form of taxidermy, referring to these pieces as “society’s trophy to itself.”