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Lay Me in a Hot Bed and Try Not to Drown, Joanna Powell

May 17, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - June 14, 2019 @ 6:00 pm

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Joanna Powell

Left to right: Flower Vessel no. 1 and Fruit Vessel with Bangles, ceramic, 2019. Photo: courtesy of Greenwich House Pottery. Photographer: Alan Wiener.

Lay Me in a Hot Bed and Try Not to Drown
Joanna Powell
Opening Reception | Friday, May 17, 2019 | 5:00  – 7:00 p.m.
Exhibition on view through June 14, 2019

The Jane Hartsook Gallery is pleased to present new work by Joanna Powell. Lay Me in a Hot Bed and Try Not to Drown, Powell’s New York City debut, was inspired by the harrowing experience of returning to Dallas after her mother’s death. In this exhibition, Powell explores emotions that are universally felt in highly individualized ways. Everyone eventually grapples with the death of a loved one, but each person’s experience is unique. Using ceramic, photography and neon, Powell unpacks how those humid Dallas nights felt, trying to fall asleep despite the crush of emotion and thick summer air, and what it means to have common experiences without actually being able to share them.

Powell’s work is joyful while retaining a sense of loss. Infinite black backgrounds make intense colors pop with life, and white vessels are washed in color. Pots and paintings alike are lush with beautiful plant life whose fruit and flowers promise plenty that they ultimately cannot fulfill. Joy and pain are present in Powell’s work in a way that welcomes viewers to contemplate their experiences with loss without dictating their responses.

Joanna Powell (b. 1981, Dallas, TX) holds an MFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a BFA from The University of North Texas in Denton. Powell has exhibited her work throughout the United States. Her most recent solo exhibition, Everything Belongs to You, was held at the Denison Art Space in Newark, OH. In 2015, Powell was granted an Emerging Artist Award from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA). She has been a resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation (Helena, MT); Haystack Mountain School of Crafts (Deer Isle, ME); Alfred University (NY); Kansas State University (Manhattan, KS) and Denison University (Granville, OH). Currently she lives in Helena, MT and is a full-time studio artist and travelling lecturer.

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