Microcosmic, Organized By Dawline-Jane Oni-Eseleh • Here And Somewhere Else: Emily Gui • Susan Wise • Bruce Freedman At NIAD Art Center Through June 28//

Each time an artist sets to work a new world is created. It’s a world created in the artist’s own image, with a timeline and aesthetic rules. This is all the more true of “self taught” artists who are less concerned with precedent and instead work within their own internally constructed framework. And this is where the magic happens. The pieces in “Microcosmic” allow a peek into some of these specially constructed worlds. Although these artists work independently from each other, there are hints of points where these worlds playfully collide.

Dawline-Jane Oni-Eseleh is an Oakland, based artist visual and teaching artist. Her work explores history, identity and the creation of a visual narrative. A lover of materials and process, Dawline-Jane uses a range of media including relief print making, pen and ink, photo transfer and encaustic. Her work has been exhibited internationally, across the United States, and was recently featured in an article about artist activists in Teen Vogue.  Oni-Eseleh is currently a Print Public Artist in residence at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley and has taught classes and workshops at NIAD Art Center.

Although she was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Art Center, this is the first exhibition Dawline-Jane Oni-Eseleh has organized at NIAD.

Here And Somewhere Else

Here And Somewhere Else is a collection of new cyanotype prints by Emily Gui. Historically, this photographic process was used to copy architectural drawings, giving these plans the name “blue-print”. With a focus on homes and domestic space, the artist uses this process to blur the line between truth and fantasy through collage. This year for the first time, Gui travelled to Sweden, where her family has ancestral roots. In Here And Somewhere Else, she investigates the idea of “home” in another country with a sense of openness. Gui uses her collection of photos as a means to look inward and consider what it means to feel connected to a place that you have never been. Through the search itself, the artist re-builds her own fantasy structures and seeks to dismantle and reimagine the idea of “home.”

Emily Gui is an experimental printmaker and mixed-media artist living in San Francisco. She works primarily in cyanotype, an early photographic process that is sensitive to sunlight and produces shades of blue. Her work often pushes the boundaries of traditional printmaking techniques by layering and combining materials and processes. She has exhibited in galleries throughout New York and the Bay Area. This spring she travelled to Maui, HI and Jönköping Sweden for artist residencies and to teach workshops in printmaking. Emily has been an artist-in-residence at Kala Arts Institute since 2015 where she teaches silkscreen and cyanotype. She also teaches at the UC Berkeley Art Studio and for the Continuing Education Department at City College of San Francisco.  More information at www.emilygui.com.

This is the first exhibition of Emily Gui’s work at NIAD.

Susan Wise

You may know NIAD artist Susan Wise for her amazing biomorphic baskets, undulating vessels made of numerous colors and strengths of twines. Recently, Susan has turned her attention to the platter as a form, crafting colorfully vibrating discs of varying sizes. We’re pleased to show some of her new efforts.

This is Susan Wise’s second solo exhibition at NIAD Art Center.

Bruce Freedman

Featuring about a dozen freestanding and wall sculptures, NIAD is delighted to present work from Richmond artist Bruce Freedman. Freedman’s often lyrical and intimate pieces are created intuitively. The choice of material used varies based on the sensitivity and interest of the moment. The artist considers the pieces to be tone poems or roadsigns that remind the viewer of the inherent relationships embedded in all of life.

Bruce Freedman graduated from Sonoma State College (currently Sonoma State University) where he studied both art and psychology. He has worked as a tile and stone contractor in the Bay Area for over 25 years all the while making art. After many years of painting he is currently making sculptures using stone, steel, wire, concrete, wood (both lumber and tree branches), and foam—to name but a few materials. He actively collects “odds and ends” that he finds on the street, construction sites and in natural settings so as to be ready. More information at brucefreedman.net.

This is the first exhibition of Bruce Freedman’s work at NIAD.