curator's statement | exhibition history | artists' bios

Pathways: An exhibition about mapping, navigation, wanderlust and borders

Curated by Nanette Wylde
Artists: Afatasi The Artist, José Arenas, Carolina Cuevas, Casey Jay Gardner, Caroline Landau, Kent Manske, Neil Murphy, Melissa West, Minoosh Zomorodinia

Afatasi The Artist, Black Space
José Arenas, Stand Still
Carolina Cuevas, A Memory of Her Smiling Face
Casey Jay Gardner, The Gravity Series
Caroline Landau, Untitled Iceberg
Kent Manske, You Are The Tree (detail)
Minoosh Zomorodinia, Satellite Maps
Neil Murphy, Spirit Bridge for Brian (detail)
Melissa West, Follow Your Heart and The Pilgrim Bears the Burden of Identity
Afatasi The Artist, Black Space
José Arenas, Gone (Changes)
Carolina Cuevas, Walking Together But Apart (detail)
Casey Jay Gardner, Cartographical Incantations
Caroline Landau, Navigating (detail)
Kent Manske, Symbiosis (detail)
Minoosh Zomorodinia, Golden Routes
Neil Murphy, At Least We Have Potential (detail)
Melissa West, Crossing the Meseta and Pilgrim Feet

Exhibition Dates
March 4–April 1, 2022

March 4 and April 1, 6–9 pm

Gallery Talks: Saturdays, 1 to 4pm
March 5: José Arenas, Caroline Landau, Melissa West, Carolina Cuevas (performance)
March 12: Casey Jay Gardner, Kent Manske
March 19: Afatasi the Artist, Carolina Cuevas (performance), Neil Murphy
March 26: Minoosh Zomorodinia, Nanette Wylde

By Appointment:

Art Ark Gallery 1035 South 6th Street, San Jose, California
Art Ark Gallery is a participant of SoFF: South First Fridays Art Walk


Curator's Statement

Pathways is an exhibition about mapping, navigation, wanderlust and borders. The artists in Pathways are storytellers mapping a multitude of existential trajectories--creating, following and navigating pathways real and imagined. Their works reflect on human wanderlust surviving in a paradigm of accelerated cultural and technological development. They demonstrate a heightened awareness of the social, physical, and temporal borders that separate and unite us.

These artists are thinkers. They consider their connections to others and are reflective of the nuances of human memory and our relationships to specific locations. They are researchers exploring cosmic and human histories, present times, and the possibilities of the future. They are interested in science and the whys of our existence. Each one is deeply serious, yet they play with imagination and the absurd. As creators of contemporary culture they are allowing us to glimpse into their own interior spaces. Their works are actions reaching out to connect and find meaning in our shared human journey. They ask us to be curious, to embark upon wandering inquisitive adventures, and ultimately to question the worlds we live in.


Pathways Artists' Bios

Afatasi the Artist is a mixed-media conceptual artist, futurist, and proud native San Franciscan. Her artwork is a continuous exploration of the intersectionality of race, culture, gender, class, and geopolitics. Past injustices have shaped present-day realities, so what does this mean for our futures? The mediums used to navigate this question include textile, metalwork, and mixed-media visual arts.

José Arenas is a contemporary artist based in California. His paintings explore dual identities, migration, cultural ritual, and the memoryscapes of a migratory childhood. Born in San Jose, California, Arenas regularly traveled between Northern California and Guadalajara, Mexico. His experiences navigating two worlds along with its complex process of integration and assimilation drive his impulse to form meaning using familiar objects, motifs, and culturally specific symbols.

Arenas received a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute (1995), and an Master's of Fine Arts from UC Davis (2000). His artwork has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States in cities that include San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, and New York City. He currently serves as Executive Director of Taller Arte del Nuevo Amanecer, a community centered silkscreen program and extension of the UC Davis Chicana/o Studies Silkscreen program in Woodland, California. He teaches the Chicana/o Mural Workshop and Silkscreen Workshop courses in the Department of Chicana/o Studies at UC Davis.

Carolina Cuevas is a Cuban-American artist currently based in the Bay Area. Her work carries a sense of vulnerability and displacement which is borne of the conflicting ideals of family, home, and spirituality between her mixed American and Cuban upbringing. Through her work, she conveys nationality while bridging the identities of these two seemingly disparate worlds.

Cuevas is currently pursuing a Master's of Fine Arts degree at the California College of the Arts. Her work has been included in group exhibitions in the International Ceramics Studio in Kecskemét, Hungary and the Kansas City Art Institute, as well as virtual shows such as The In Art Gallery. She is the recipient of several awards including Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Americana's Cultura Fellowship, the McKeown Grant, Rita and Irwin Scholarship Award, and the Ox-Bow Workshop Recipient. Her work is in the San Jose Museum of Quilt and Textile's permanent collection.

Casey Jay Gardner is a book artist and printmaker living in Berkeley, California. She writes, draws, prints and binds her own limited edition, letterpress-printed artist books with Set in Motion Press. On the surface of pages she sees endless possibilities to convey her multilayered narratives in space, movement and time. Through stories, maps, and imagery she explores the interior realms of humans in connection with the natural world. In her mapping, Gardner graphically reflects the interior journeys we traverse in exploring various natural and imaginary worlds. Her texts often examine the interchange of scientific understanding and human meaning. Extensive research is integral to Gardner's artistic alchemy. She integrates knowledge gleaned in research into visually representative contexts of language and metaphor. In these poetic graphics, she engages the space of the page with language, illustrative and diagrammatic elements.

Gardner has a Bachelor's of Science in Journalism from Colorado University, Boulder, Colorado; and a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and Printmaking from California College of the Arts, San Francisco, California. She is the recipient of numerous awards,including the Grand Prize for Ink Press Repeat from Wayne University, New Jersey; Curator's Award for Visual Story Creation, from the Artery in Sacramento California; Librarian's Choice Award by the University of Denver, Colorado; and Emerging Artist award by the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington. Gardner has twice been a Finalist for Minnesota Center for the Book Award, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her books are featured in published books and journals and can be found in over 60 collections throughout the United States, Canada and abroad, including Yale University, Stanford University, Rhode Island School of Design, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and the Library of Congress.

Caroline Landau is a queer, multidisciplinary artist that works with glass, video, and paint. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2013 with a Bachelor's of Fine Arts focused in painting, drawing and printmaking. She completed her Master's of Fine Arts from San Francisco Art institute in 2016. Landau currently lives and works in San Francisco, California.

Over the past four years, Landau has been working on the Archiving Ice Series. Initially taking place in Svalbard, Norway, she replicated ice "bergie-bits" using wax and a camping stove during the Arctic Circle Artist Residency. The next year she returned to Svalbard and the same tallship to both work and continue her project. Continuing the same series, she replicated another large iceberg from Newfoundland. Archiving Ice has received publicity and recognition through the New Glass Now exhibition at the Corning Museum of Glass, an interview with the Urban Glass Quarterly, acceptance in the Glass Meet the Future Film Festival with Northland Creative, a paneled talk with the Museum of Art and Design, and a number of shows in California.

Kent Manske creates images and symbols to inquire, process, manage, convey and assign meaning to ideas about human existence. He uses printmaking and book publishing processes to create one-of-a-kind and limited-edition works on paper. Manske has a Bachelor's of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and a Master's of Fine Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is a co-founder of PreNeo Press in Redwood City, California. His work can be found in public and private collections including the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums and the Oakland Museum of California.

A recent visitor noted that visiting Neil Murphy's studio was like landing on her own personal space station. Murphy loves the idea of his studio being a space station. It's a place where he can explore ideas and encourage inks and pigments to bleed, blend, and run amok. His process encourages this irreverent behavior. The results might be a night skyscape of stars, fanciful geography, imaginary beasties, or scientifically accurate molecular structures.

Murphy was born and raised in Hawaii. His art shows strong influence of island color and Asian art compositions. He pulls inspiration from the nexus of nature, light play, neuroscience, and technology. His work starts with traditional media--acrylic washes and inks--and often migrates to the digital domain where he creates "translations" from the originals. That process yields prints that are finished with hand painting and often collage.

Murphy's focus sharpened with the arrival of (all to common) mental illness in his family. He dove fully into gaining some understanding of how brain networks and neurotransmitters contribute to both healthy and unusually wired brains. He is deeply involved in finding solutions to and de-stigmatizing mental health and addiction issues, and uses art to open conversations on these topics.

During Murphy's last pre-pandemic solo exhibit, Can't Hide the Sun with One Finger, he encouraged gallery visitors to be disruptive. Murphy handed them a sharpie and had them draw on several of his artworks and surrounding walls. Hesitation turned to joy as they made their marks. He currently encourages studio visitors to have some irreverent fun by leaving their own drawn artwork on top of his.

Melissa West is fond of travel, books, good food, cats, old movies, horizon lines, Romanesque art, gardening, social justice, and meandering paths. These things often find their way into her art.

West is a member of the California Society of Printmakers, Women Eco Artists Dialog, and Artists Respond and Resist Together. She lives in Watsonville, California with her wife and a cadre of exceptional cats.

Minoosh Zomorodinia is an Iranian-born interdisciplinary artist who makes visible the emotional and psychological reflections of her mind's eye inspired by nature and her environment. She employs walking as a catalyst to reference the power of technology as a colonial structure while negotiating boundaries of land. Her strollings sometimes reimagine our relationships between nature, land, and technology, while addressing transformation of memories into actual physical space absurdly.

Zomorodinia has received several awards, residences, and grants including the Kala Media Fellowship Award, Headlands Center for the Arts, Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists' Residency, Djerassi Residency, Recology Artist Residency, the Alternative Exposure Award, and California Art Council Grants. She has exhibited locally and internationally including the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, Berkeley Art Center, Pori Art Museum, Nevada Museum of Art, ProARTS among others. Her work has been featured in the SF Chronicle, Hyperallergic, SF Weekly, KQED and many other media outlets. She earned her Master's of Fine Arts in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute, and holds a Master's degree in Graphic Design and Bachelor's of Art in Photography from Azad University in Tehran. She currently lives and works in the Bay Area.

Pathways curator, Nanette Wylde, is an interdisciplinary artist, writer and cultural worker making socially reflective and often language-based works using a variety of hybrid media. Wylde has a Bachelor's of Arts in Behavioral Science from San Jose State University. Her Master's of Fine Arts is in Interactive Multimedia and Printmaking from Ohio State University. She is Professor Emerita of Art and Art History at California State University, Chico.

Wylde's artist books, prints and electronic works are included in significant international collections including: The Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, United Kingdom; The Iraqi National Library, Baghdad, Iraq; The Oakland Museum of California; Museum of the Miniature Book, Baku, Azerbaijan; Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany; The Electronic Literature Collection, Volume One; and many Public and University Library Special Collections.

Wylde's interests include: language, personality, difference, beliefs, systems, ideas, movement, reflection, identity, perceptions, structures, stories, socialization, definitions, context, memory, experience, the natural world, change, and residue.

curator's statement | exhibition history | artists' bios