Julie MacDonald • The Free Bookstore • Seemingly Happy: Erin Wheeler • Nick Wilkinson at NIAD Art Center from August 4-25 //

Julie MacDonald

Blending quiltmaking, geometry and elements of The Mission School, Julie MacDonald’s drawings are a sight to behold. Her mid-size and small works on paper sport a vibrating palette of colored graphite. The gridded off structures seem to move around the page in an optical illusion while each drawing has one or two unfinished squares that the viewer uses as exit- or entry-ways.

Julie MacDonald has been creating at NIAD for nearly two years. This is her first exhibition at the Art Center.

The Free Bookstore

We took a year off, but the Free Bookstore is back. As in previous years, we’re delighted to turn our storefront space into a bookstore, but with a twist. Yes, all of the books in our store are free. Come in, browse, and take as many as you like!

Seemingly Happy: Erin Wheeler

In “Seemingly Happy,” Richmond artist Erin McCluskey Wheeler proffers recent paper- based collage paintings from her Papers serie. All of the pieces on view start with accumulated and collected paper: postcards from family and friends, envelopes, sketchbook pages, her daughter’s doodles, old wallpaper and photographs, hand-painted papers, and office supply stickers. Wheeler pieces the papers together following colors, forms, and shapes. There is often the suggestion of topography and water, botanical forms, and big curves of space. While her work is bright and colorful and seemingly happy, her practice of cutting and piecing together is rooted in loss and is, for her, a way to process grief. In piecing together these disparate pieces, she gets to explore the themes of regeneration and rebirth, of bringing new life to old things.

Prints of Erin McCluskey Wheeler’s work are currently sold on Minted and will soon be available through West Elm. She runs educational programs at public gardens in the East Bay and is the founding manager of an artist in residency program at The Gardens at Heather Farm. She holds a BA from Beloit College and an MFA from California College of the Arts. Although she has donated work to NIAD’s annual benefit exhibition Win Win, this is Wheeler’s first solo show at the Art Center.

Nick Wilkinson

The Art Center is delighted to show a recent series paintings from San Luis Obispo artist Nick Wilkinson. All created last year and all the same size, the works focus on bringing forth marks as language; intuitively adding and layering shapes and marks as if the artist is composing a sentence or paragraph.

Nick Wilkinson (b. El Centro, Ca. 1979) lives and works on California’s Central Coast. Beyond having a family, a full time painting practice, a specialty plant nursery, and a home goods store, Nick has been director of Left Field Gallery since early 2015. He has also shown his own work in galleries across the country. Notable exhibitions include a three-person show at Tiger Strikes Asteroid Los Anegelsalong side Rema Ghoulum and John Mills as well as many other group shows such as: Zing Zam Blunder, Harbinger Projects; Reykjavik, curated By Brian Scott Campbell (2017); and From Here, Flourescent Gallery, Knoxville, curated By Zach Searcy (2016).

This is Nick Wilkinson’s first solo exhibition at NIAD Art Center.

Opening reception is August 12 from 1-4 pm