The Way Somewhere
urated by Vanessa Marsh

Work by Sarah Applebaum, Bessma Khalaf, Adam Thorman & Abraham McNally

September 5-October 5, 2014

Exhibition Dates: September 5 - October 5, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, September 5, 7-10pm
Closing Reception: Friday, October 3, 7-10pm
Sound experience by Sarah Applebaum and video screening by Bessma Khalaf
Gallery Hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4 PM

The Way Somewhere, guest curated by Vanessa Marsh, brings together the work of Sarah ApplebaumBessma KhalafAbe McNally, and Adam Thorman. Each artist adds to the understanding of our place in the universe on both an individual and metaphysical scale by deconstructing landscapes and space. In doing so, they simultaneously reveal and hide connections to what is real and sublime or bewitchingly constructed.

Marsh’s interest in curating the show sprang from a curiosity to investigate artwork that showed connections to her own work both aesthetically and conceptually. As an artist and curator she is drawn to certain aspects of the human experience involving our understanding of Time and Space, and within those topics, memory and sense of place. Khalaf, Thorman, Applebaum and McNally approach their practices with similar interests, drawn in different degrees to memory, landscape, the cosmic and the personal.

In her photographic and video work Bessma Khalaf shows a playful animosity to the landscape. In the series Ruin, black and white landscape photographs from found books are carefully burned and then re-photographed to create invented landscapes. Her reaction to the sublime is to destroy it, at least metaphorically. In doing so she calls into question humanities relationship with the landscape and also draws connection between landscape and emotional spaces.
Abe McNally deconstructs landscape to describe fragmented memories of his childhood in rural Vermont. Using both found and personal images, Abe McNally investigates the landscape of his youth by removing and adding elements to create works that allude to incomplete memories. The voids within the space of the collage suggest natural voids in memory and a connection to the changes and destruction that come with growing older. Adam Thorman is fascinated with the magic of light and the universe. In his Sunmoons series Thorman utilizes inverted circular shapes within landscapes, creating the illusion of some kind of interplanetary interaction happening on a small human scale. In doing so he grounds the cosmic and makes the small seem enormous.

All four artists, Khalaf, Thorman, McNally and Applebaum, seem to be looking into the void, wondering what might be out there (and in here) that we don’t understand, and inventing ways to access the unknown. All are looking for a way somewhere, although the where is yet to be determined.

Artist Bios 
Vanessa Marsh is a visual artist from Seattle Washington now living and working in Oakland, CA. Although the end result of most of her work is photography, she engages with drawing, painting and sculpture to create her images. She has received fellowships from Headlands Center for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, Kala Art Institute and Rayko Photo Center. Her work can be seen at Dolby Chadwick Gallery in San Francisco, CA, and Julie Nester Gallery in Park City, UT.

Abraham McNally (b. 1975, Vermont) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He received a B.A. in finearts from Bard College and his M.F.A. from Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. His work has been exhibited in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and France. He teaches at Parsons and the International Center of Photography.

Bessma Khalaf, Born in Iraq, Bessma Khalaf emigrated to San Diego, California in 1990 just before the first Gulf War. She earned her Bachelor degree from San Diego State University in 2002 and a Masters of Fine Arts in photography from the California College of Art in 2007. She is represented by Steven Wolf Fine Arts in San Francisco, and currently maintains a studio in Oakland, California.

Sarah Moli Newton Applebaum lives and works in Oakland, California. Her work has been shown locally, nationally and internationally in diverse spaces as The LAB in San Francisco CA, Vanderbilt University in Nashville TN, Nordic House in Reykjavik, Iceland and the Triennale Di Milano in Milan, Italy. Her work has been featured in many national as well as international publications and books in China, The Netherlands, UK, Germany, Spain and others.

Adam Thorman is an artist, photographer, and educator. He lives and works in Oakand, CA and he teaches photography at The Athenian School in Danville. Adam’s work deals with how we understand what we see, playing with expectations of scale and subject matter. His photographs straddle the line between being description and mystery. Adam is also one half of LOOP Arts, a Bay Area Arts organization that runs a grant for artists to print for free for exhibition.