Reception: Thursday, March 10, 6 - 8 pm
Oakland-based artist Michelle Blade creates paintings that push the medium into the realm of sculpture and Social Practice. Through her craftsmanship and use of materials (including the translucent Dura-lar), Blade creates works that appear other-worldly. Influenced by anthropology, philosophy and nature, Blade’s paintings reflect on the mystical and the spiritual. For her first solo exhibition at Pro Arts, Blade brings together sculptural paintings, photography and projections to create a ghostly environment. Bringing to mind the work of filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky and Romanticism, the resulting installation is a mediation on the mysteries in dualities - the real and unreal, light and dark, the natural and man made.
Michelle Blade received her BA from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles and her MFA in studio art from California College of the Arts. Her work has been featured at Triple Base, Jack Hanley, and David Cunningham Projects, San Francisco; the San Jose ICA, Carl Berg Gallery and Broad Art Center, Los Angeles; Space 1026, Philadelphia; Union Gallery, London; V1 Gallery, Copenhagen; and the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Stüttgart. She is a 2007 recipient of the Murphy-Cadogan Fellowship and recent SFMOMA SECA finalist. Blade lives and works in Oakland where she directs Sight School, an alternative artist run storefront.
Jackie Im is an independent writer and curator based in Oakland. She received her BA in Art History from Mills College and her MA in Curatorial Practice from California College of the Arts. She has curated exhibitions at the Wattis Institute of Contemporary Art and the Mills College Art Museum. She currently is a curator and co-administrator of MacArthur B Arthur, a gallery and project space in Oakland.
About 2 x 2 Solos
2 x 2 Solos is a series of solo exhibitions featuring new work commissioned from four accomplished emerging artists based in the Oakland/Bay Area. The program recognizes artistic excellence and supports the freedom to create challenging and noncommercial work. It provides a platform for cutting-edge, risk-taking art and situates artists in a critical contemporary art context. Supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, 2 x 2 Solos engages multiple layers of the region’s arts ecology by providing institutional and monetary support for artists, curators, and writers in the Oakland/Bay Area.
About Pro Arts
Pro Arts supports the arts within communities by serving the ongoing needs of artists. This Oakland-based arts organization provides critical access to contemporary art in the region and serves as a regional hub for arts activities, independent curated exhibitions, advocacy, and capacity-building artist services. Pro Arts’ visual arts programming showcases for the best new work made in the Oakland/Bay Area, including cutting-edge, risk-taking contemporary art, and important works by artists representing under-served populations and communities of color, and working artists. Pro Arts provides fiscal sponsorship to artists and professional services matching artists with community partners. Additionally, Pro Arts’ Youth Fellows program integrates arts education, exhibitions, arts training, and youth development. Last year Pro Arts exhibited 690 artists and produced 62 events drawing an annual audience of 72,000.