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Art Salon: Gretchen Scharnagl, “Materiality; Cannibalizing My Studio”

May 3, 2022 - 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Join us on Zoom for this FREE virtual art salon.
CLICK HERE to register in advance for this meeting.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Attendance at Art Salons is FREE, thanks to a generous donation by Ezra Hubbard.

About the Speaker

Gretchen Scharnagl ranges from two-dimensional works, the ephemeral or semi-performative, to installation, with a commitment to the environment through eco-materialism and bricoleur practices. Best described as multi-media and mixed media, the work adheres to theories of garbology, recycling, cannibalizing with fidelity to time and place.She says, “I use my own refuse, and the discards and remains of others, to address timely environmental issues. With a strong sense of place, the work examines our own suburban back yards, our ecosystems, South Florida, and our home – planet Earth. Heavily observational, and research based, my co-conspirators in artistic practice are often scientists, whose guidance in double checking accuracy of scientific fact and the literacy of my visuals allow me to give free reign to modes of visual communication such as surrealism, palimpsest-based collage, concrete poetry, or performative play.This practice hones my own awareness of my responsibility as an environmental artist to take the words in Weintraub’s treaty, “What’s Next?” to heart and use the materials I already have including the random remains of deceased friends’ and relatives’ closets and studios, in a serious non-consumer exercise. I often fail, buying glue by the gallon, and discovering I can’t keep pace with the shelf life of some things I have accumulated. But the ideas, images, and materials create a dialogue in the studio where it ceases to be possible to determine which inspired or determined which. Do I make art faster, or curb my own supply of trash?My work is heavily influenced by my own compulsions and aversions. Both of these opposing forces, draw me in. By using media, accumulated, inherited or unwanted, to determine my art, I now find I use color where I did not, I use the language of surrealism which previously I looked past. I rip and glue, to create elegance from mundane fragments. I cannibalize my own work, my notes, my sketches, my ephemera, rejecting preciousness and reducing my footprint. All this to evoke discourse, create narratives, and to concretize the storytelling of life on earth, albeit dire and beautiful. “Gretchen Scharnagl was born in Greenwich, Connecticut and lives and works in Miami, Florida. Scharnagl received an MFA from Florida International University (2004). She is on the faculty of Florida International University im Miami. Her recent work can be seen in a group exhibition at the Frank C. Ortis Art Gallery in City of Pembroke Pines, “Elemental: Terra, Tide & Time”, through April 23.

About the Art Salons

The Art Salons are a unique gathering place for artists from throughout the South Florida region. They offer thoughtful presentations by influential professional artists whose artwork is being shown in museums and galleries in South Florida, nationally and internationally. Presenters show their work and talk about their influences, followed by stimulating discussions between the artist and the audience. These discussions cover the gamut of contemporary conceptual art practices, including cultural, socio/political, environmental, scientific, race and gender focused and aesthetic practices, the materials and techniques used to convey these ideas, and how our own work relates to the world of contemporary art. Art Salons also offer the opportunity to explore the practical side of being an artist, enhance professional development, share useful resources, and network with other artists. Art Salons have been facilitated by Elle Schorr, in conjunction with the ARMORY ART CENTER in West Palm Beach, since 2012. All are welcome to join in these timely explorations.

The Art Salons will now be presented virtually on Zoom! Tuesdays, once a month, from October to May from 7pm to 9pm. See the Armory calendar for dates or visit www.elleschorrphotography.com


May 3, 2022
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Elle Schorr
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