Chelsea Pegram: Pocket Ziggurat

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Reception: Friday, October 7, 5 – 7pm
Exhibition: October 7, 2016 – January 19, 2017

at the CCAI Courthouse Gallery
885 E Musser Street, Carson City, Nevada

Pocket Ziggurat Exhibition
at CCAI Courthouse Gallery

The Capital City Arts Initiative [CCAI] announces its exhibition, Pocket Ziggurat, by artist pegram-23may16Chelsea Pegram at the CCAI Courthouse Gallery from October 7, 2016 – January 19, 2017. CCAI will host a reception for the artist on Friday, October 7, 5-7pm; Pegram will give talk about her work at 5:30pm. The Courthouse is located at 885 E Musser Street, Carson City. The reception and the exhibition are free and the public is cordially invited. The gallery is open to the public Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm.

In her sculptures, Pegram explores materials, context, and collaboration through simple gestures and constructions, transforming common building materials into simple and elegant forms. In planning Pocket Ziggurat, Pegram imagined the gallery space as a desert vista with ancient religious structures emerging from the sand and dirt. The pedestals and shelving recede and hover off the walls and floor, and display small sculptures and gestures bringing art-making into even the grandest of designs or buildings.

The standard industrial building materials she used in the exhibition explore the built environment’s relationship between interior and exterior: concrete; basswood, an architectural model-making material; and Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF), a material used in constructing interiors and furniture. She enhanced these with hot glue – a craft adhesive, and then added nail polish, decorative sands, seashells, and an egg.

There were three exhibitions that Pegram saw when she was in her late teens and early twenties that she said, “exploded my preconceptions of art.” The first was an Ed Kienholz retrospective, and later two surveys, one of Arte Povera and the other of Surrealism.

pegram_01In 2011, Pegram earned a MFA in Studio Art from Mills College. After graduating, she taught several sculpture courses at Mills, and last year became the college’s Sculpture and Ceramics Shop Technician where she trains undergraduate and graduate students on the equipment, and assists with fabrication for their projects. Managing the shops also means having the privilege of working closely with Art Department faculty and staff. She has exhibited her work around the San Francisco Bay Area including Montalvo Center for the Arts, di Rosa Gatehouse Gallery, Sonoma State University Art Gallery, Swarm Gallery, and Pro Arts. She lives in Oakland, California.

Aaron Harbour, who wrote the exhibition essay for Pocket Ziggurat, says he “does a few too many things”: he is an artist, curator, writer and DJ operating out of Oakland. As an artist, his work concerns identifying “misbehaving” objects, words and things acting against expectation with which he attempts to collaborate. He has shown work and or performed at The Luminary in St. Louis, Windo Space in Los Angeles, Gaylord’s in Oakland, and at City Limits, Southern Exposure, Asian Art Museum, and New Langton Arts, all in San Francisco. He has upcoming curatorial projects at Sardine (NY) and Holiday Forever (Jackson Hole, WY). He runs Curiously Direct, an art criticism website and blog at curiouslydirect.com and on Facebook, and has additionally written for Fillip MagazineSan Francisco Arts QuarterlyArt PracticalDecoy MagazineArt Cards, and several small publications/artist catalogues.

During the exhibition, Ms. Pegram will give a talk about her work to art students at Dayton High School in Dayton, Nevada.

The Capital City Arts Initiative is an artist-centered organization committed to the encouragement and support of artists and the arts and culture of Carson City and the surrounding region. The Initiative is committed to community building for the area’s diverse adult and youth populations through art projects and exhibitions, live events, arts education programs, artist residencies, and online projects.

CCAI is funded in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Nevada Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, City of Carson City, NV Energy Foundation, Robert Z. Hawkins Foundation, U.S. Bank Foundation, Nevada Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and John and Grace Nauman Foundation.

top image: Chelsea Pegram in her Oakland studio
center image: Untitled, cast concrete and decorative shell, 5 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ x 11″, 2016
bottom image: Pocket Ziggurat exhibition flier

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