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NADA NYC Booth 3.06

New York| May 5 - May 8

“Vision Keepers” is the alliance of two artists,painter Raychael Stine and ceramicist Leena Similu.Raychael Stine’s "Vision paintings" arerepresentations; they are pictures of distilledsensate experiences. Stine calls them ‘pictures of awitness’ but they are not obvious - they are dreamlike ‘visions’, marking a transitional space betweenmaterial and picture, object, image and painting.“Vision paintings” explore the inside and outside ofthe body of work at the same time, without thepresumed subject. These paintings embody a shiftbetween referencing actual visual phenomenon, theyhave begun to suggest spiritual visions, dream spacesand the possibility of apparitions or the spacebetween something we consider or assume to be real orreasonable and something unreasonable orunsubstantiated. Some call visions a dream state,which is why the paintings seem to hide secret facesand abstracted marks of the unknown.

Similu’s “keepers” are heads and vessels forged inclay and glazed - they seek to explore and containthe artists story-telling myths and family secrets as handed down to her via her ancestors in Cameroon. Attached to the vessels are beaded items and feathers, keep sakes that have been sent to her fromher aunt in Cameroon. Each item details thesignificance and importance of the symbols theyrepresent in local and family history. These piece sare then embedded into the works, combining theenergies of the artist’s present and past in oneobject. Not all of the ceramics contain attachments,but each artwork alludes to a story or idea - theyare the ‘keepers’ of Leena’s history. Leena’s artworks are direct embodiments of her lineage, whereas thehidden faces in Stine’s paintings contrast with Simulu’s portraits, yet both are hinting at theexistence of another realm, where stories and visionsof the past and present are recalled and invited intothe present moment.

Raychael Stine (b. 1981) is a painter living and working inAlbuquerque, New Mexico. She is an associate Professor ofPainting at the University of New Mexico. In addition to herstudio practice and university teaching, Raychael leads pleinair adventures across the southwest as part of her Wilderness Studio course, and joins in group excursions with groups like Adventure Painting and East West Wilderness Project. Stine has exhibited at Five Car Garage, Los Angeles; Common People,Brooklyn, NY; Eugene Binder Gallery, Marfa, TX; Richard LevyGallery ABQ NM; Art Palace Gallery, Houston, TX; Rhona HoffmanGallery, Chicago, IL; Central Features ABQ NM; Smoke the Moon,SF; The Valley, Taos; 1969 Gallery, NY; Denise Bibro, New York,NY; Autotelic, Chicago, IL; Road-Agent, Dallas, TX; MartyWalker, Dallas, TX; Barry Whistler, Dallas TX, Leviton Gallery,Chicago, IL, and in shows such as the Texas Biennial,  NADA artfair, The Next Fair at Art Chicago, Two by Two, Art Miami, ArtLA, Seattle Art Fair, Aqua Fair, and Art on Paper NYC.Stine’s work has been featured in New American Paintings issues132, 120 and 78 (Jurors pick), along with reviews, interviews,and features in publications such as New City Arts Chicago, BadAt Sports, Arts + Culture Texas Magazine, Glasstire, New YorkArts Magazine, Artlies, The Houston Chronicle, The DallasMorning News, Albuquerque Journal, Southwest Contemporary, amongothers. Stine has lectured about her work at Montana State,University of Houston, Rice University, and Santa Reparada inFlorence, Italy. Stine has received awards and residenciesincluding 100 West Corsicana, The Ghendler Fellowship/residencyat the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Jentel FoundationResidency, The Stone Award at UIC, and the Dallas Museum of ArtDeGoyler Grant. A Joan Mitchell Foundation Painting and SculptorGrant nominee two times, She is Assistant Professor of Paintingand Drawing at The University of New Mexico since 2013.

"I make paintings on canvas using acrylics and oils, integratinga variety of approaches of mark, paint quality, and levels oflegibility and abstraction.  My work is filled with Yows an Jammers, which are hidden, cryptic dog figures loosely inspiredby mythic dog lore. Clumsy, bashful, silly and ravenous, theyrise up out of spastic, active paint. A variety of type of marksand strokes hover together; Jammers and Yows emerge --pushingagainst, jamming between, uncovering shallow spaces underneathvaried veils of paint. Paint slips and sneaks between whatappears to be pure and expressive luscious abstraction andclearly representational elements like a naturalistic nose or adrop shadow.  Palettes are often observed, collected and mixedin plein-air fashion. Color schemes and themes reference lightphenomena, pictures and postcards of places or other artworks,frames and stage sets, waterfalls and rivers, landscapes, dogs,rainbows, hummingbirds and small plein-air paintings."

Leena Similu lives and works in Los Angeles, she presents a solo exhibition “KEEPERS” at Emma Gray HQ in March 2022. Leena recently showed her works at Frieze Artfair LA and was in a group show at The Pit LA in January. Her last solo exhibition was Fourteen30 Contemporary in the summer of 2021 and prior to that a show at La Loma Projects in Pasadena. She is the Founder: The Chronicles of LA, Les Chiffoniers Ltd. Leena is in a two person booth with Emma Gray HQ with New Mexico based artist Raychael Stine at NADA NY in May 2022.

Leena Similu