2022 Talley Dunn Gallery Equity in the Arts Fellowship Exhibition:
Martha Elena, Charles Antoine Gray, Juan Negroni, Alex Ordoñez, Jae-Eun Suh
Talley Dunn Gallery
July 9 – August 20, 2022
Talley Dunn Gallery is honored to announce an exhibition featuring the works of the artists in the 2021-22 Talley Dunn Gallery Equity in the Arts Fellowship cohort. Martha-Elena Flores, Charles Antoine Gray, Juan Negroni, Alex Ordoñez, and Jae-Eun Suh each present a fresh, distinctive body of work emblematic of their outstanding respective practices in painting, new media, and sculpture.
Martha Elena is a multidisciplinary artist from the Rio Grande Valley, where she grew up speaking both Spanish and English. Elena creates drawings and sculptures that explore the malleability and fallibility of language. She begins by converting phrases into the font Wingdings 3, which consists primarily of arrows. These reconfigured, reimagined phrases in turn inspire the composition, size, and color of her works, which range from large-scale fabric sculptures to handheld embroidery. Taken together, these arrow-based pieces approximate a universal method of communication divorced from any specific language. Elena had a solo exhibition at Artspace111 in Fort Worth, Texas in 2021, and has shown in group exhibitions at Artspace111, Clamplight in San Antonio, and Pena Gallery in Austin. Elena received her BFA from the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley and currently lives in Fort Worth.
Charles Antoine Gray is a multidisciplinary artist from Fort Worth. Working from family photographs and personal experiences, Gray explores themes of youth, kinship, and joy in paintings, videos, and sculptures. He often employs both traditional and nontraditional media within the same piece, using oil paint on Pokémon cards and creating realistic portraits with crayon and marker. Autobiographical in nature, his work seeks to present a nuanced portrait of his experiences and depoliticize the ways society views him as a Black man. Gray has had solo exhibitions at 500X Gallery and the Carillon Gallery in Dallas and Dang Good Candy in Fort Worth, and has shown in group exhibitions in Los Angeles, Fort Worth, and Astoria, Oregon. Gray was a 2014 artist-in-residence at the Atelierhaus Hilmsen in Hilmsen, Germany, and is currently finishing his BFA at the University of Texas at Arlington.
Juan Negroni is an artist-educator from Bayamón, Puerto Rico. Using acrylic, watercolor, gouache, and ink, Negroni makes paintings about geography, identity, and heritage as they relate to Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. Working from a background in printmaking, Negroni builds bright, abstract compositions that layer patterns and botanical imagery. In a nod to his lower-middleclass upbringing, he often repurposes everyday materials, including shower curtains, tarps, and paper scraps. Negroni has had solo exhibitions at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art in San Luis Obispo, California, Texas Women’s University in Denton, Texas, and the San Juan School of Design in San Juan, Puerto Rico, among others. In 2017, he was an artist-in-residence at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’art Dijon in Dijon, France. Negroni has a BFA in Printmaking from the Puerto Rico School of Fine Arts and Design, an MAEd in Art History and Museum Studies from the Caribbean University, and an MFA from Southern Methodist University. He is based in Dallas, where he teaches at the Episcopal School of Dallas.
Alex Ordóñez is a clay-based artist from the Andes Mountains of Ecuador. Ordóñez’s practice navigates issues of cultural identity and social justice through natural materials including clay, papier-mâché, fabric, and paper. Much of his work is concerned with the ways Western social sciences flatten and otherize Indigenous cultures by employing culturally biased research methods. He addressed this problematic understanding in his series CULTURAL EPISTEMOLOGY, where he translated two-dimensional Inuit and Native American geometric designs onto three-dimensional ceramic cubes and rectangular prisms, fragmenting the designs to prevent full understanding. Ordóñez is the cofounder of Colectivo Wajabal, a multidisciplinary collective that creates opportunities for learning and dialogue within the Latino community. Ordóñez is based in Alvin, where he teaches at Alvin Community College. He is currently pursuing his MFA at Texas A&M University-Commerce.
Jae-Eun Suh is an interdisciplinary artist who grew up in Seoul, South Korea and Manosque, France. Suh creates experimental works using projection, video, and sculpture that explore memory, longing, fragmentation, and displacement. Suh collects and combines photos and videos of different locations to create abstracted landscapes that connote both place and passage. In projecting onto walls, windows, and objects, Suh creates works where digital media and everyday life interface. In a process that mimics the fallibility and trickiness of memory, she frequently reengineers and reintroduces older pieces into newer works. Suh has exhibited her work at Centre Culturel et Littéraire Jean Giono in Manosque, Czong Institute for Contemporary Art in Gimpo, South Korea, and The MAC in Dallas, among other places. She is currently pursuing her MFA at the University of North Texas, from which she also received her BFA in Visual Art Studies.