The Page Bond Gallery is pleased to present Strides, a group exhibition of select second year MFA candidates in the Painting and Printmaking programs at Virginia Commonwealth University and Yale University. Artists include Josh Bonnett, Erik Gonzalez, Kate Kisicki, Tony Klotz, and Lana Waldrep. Additionally, the gallery announces the debut of Idaho, new paintings and drawn collages by Megan Murphy. Her works quietly illustrate the lasting effects of war and development on the earth’s diverse landscapes and cultures. Both Strides and Idaho will be on view at the Page Bond Gallery, 1625 West Main Street, with an opening reception honoring the artists, Thursday, June 4, 2009 from 7 to 9 PM. The exhibition will be on view at the gallery from Thursday June 4 through June 27.

Josh Bonnet confines his creative approach to painting and photography. Through exploring the inherent limitations of both mediums, he creates an underlying desire to explore the theoretical realms of nonrepresentational vs. representational. In light of the upcoming transition to fully digital television broadcasting, Bonnet’s current work is derived from the “meditative” quality of a television screen receiving off register analog broadcasting. Bonnet received his BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in 2000 and is currently a MFA candidate at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Erik Gonzalez compares paint in its most basic material existence, a means of covering, to our ability to comprehend reality. “Like a small child attempting to throw a blanket over the ghost in his room, humans have been covering existence with all manner of blankets since the beginning of communication. History, science, music, art, math… languages of all kinds act in a similar fashion as do layers of paint: always occupying a simultaneous relationship between both revelation and deception.” His process is often long and involved: embedding complex contradictions of emotion within the layers of paint. Gonzalez received his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and is a current MFA candidate at Yale University.

Kate Kisicki’s gestural brushstrokes often translate as suggested landscapes. Using the canvas as a support for her generous application of vibrantly colored paint, she invites her audience to experience medium as a raw material used to record her artistic decisions and experimentations. Kisicki completed her BFA in painting from the Cleveland Institute of Art and is a MFA candidate at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Lana Waldrep uses paint to transcend the familiar. De-contextualizing shapes and geometrics commonly found in urban landscapes, renew her viewers desire to closely observe. Using fluorescent colors to further eradicate immediate recognition and preconceived assumptions, she asks her audience to slow down and re-examine their surroundings. Waldrep completed her BFA at the University of Texas and is a MFA candidate at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a recipient of the 2009 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Graduate Fellowship.

Megan Murphy reflects on the events of the Indian Wars on the Columbia Plateau in her latest series of paintings and drawings. Each piece is rooted in a historical incident between Colonel George Wright’s campaign against the Coeur D’Alene, Palouse, and Spokane’s in 1858. Beginning her process with photographs taken in the dead of winter at the historical sites, she digitally alters and prints the images on transparent film. Mounted between aluminum panels and acrylic, each layer is interwoven with hand-applied transfer lettering of poetry, mythology, and historical references to each tribe involved in this struggle. Murphy received her MA in Theology from Mt. Angel Abbey in Saint Benedict, Oregon and her BFA in painting from Marylhurst University in Marylhurst, Oregon.