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Corrina Sephora: Echoes of Ecology – Prayers & Rituals

January 6 – February 26

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Opening Night Reception. January 6th, 2023 at 6:00pm. 

The Reeves House Visual Arts Center is pleased to present its first exhibit of the new year featuring new work by Atlanta based metal sculptor and mixed-media artist Corrina Sephora. Sephora’s work is known for its exploration of emotion, memory, and ritual through recurring motifs of ladders, boats, and celestial atmospheres. In this new body of work that includes sculptures, paintings, drawings, and immersive installations, Sephora focuses on the four elements – earth, air, water, and fire – to share and cultivate aspects of family, memory, and personal history through art as a form of transformation. References to the elements reflect Sephora’s attempt to establish order while embracing the chaotic. Through an excavation of liminal spaces and transitory moments often overlooked, Sephora captures competing sensations of connection and dissolution, while heightening our collective yearning to exist both as independent individuals and as integral parts of a community. 

Sephora’s work is deeply rooted in familial connections, both those she was born into and those that she later chose. The artist’s first encounter with metalsmithing occurred when she was only 5 years old when she would help her father in his construction workshop. Sephora became entranced by the flying sparks, which she liked to call “electric lightning,” that welding generated. Her earliest explorations of nautical imagery were inspired by watching her stepdad and grandfather, a retired sea captain from the Royal Dutch Navy, build miniature boats. But there was another bond outside of blood that was critical to both her childhood development and her work as an artist. While growing up on her family farm in New Hampshire, Sephora and her parents developed a close relationship with a local Lakota Sioux medicine family. The two families frequently worked together to build lodges and ceremonial spaces where they hosted thousands of people for sweat lodges and healing ceremonies. As a teenager, one of her assigned tasks was to collect soil samples from Molehills and Ant Hills, which were considered sacred sites by virtue of being unearthed by the animal world. The deep reverence for the land, the spiritual practices used to celebrate it, and the resourceful reuse of materials that she witnessed in the Lakota Sioux community that embraced her heavily influenced her own process of incorporating off-cast metal dust and metal drops into her art. Today, she is considered an elder in certain lodge circles and continues to practice the lunar cycle based traditions of the Creek lodge.

With generous funding provided by South Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, Sephora will work with the community to create a collaborative sculpture constructed with metal donations and lead a community workshop on February 19th to to be displayed on the grounds of the Reeves House to encourage people to reuse and repurpose materials that may be cast off into the trash and breathe a new life into them. The collaborative sculpture intends to bring people together from the community, combine our energies and intentions, and mark the land with our collective will. 

Through the use of traditional sounds and smells associated with the rituals of indigenous peoples, the artist creates a multi-sensory experience that includes soil samples, metal dust, and various organic materials to reveal the ways in which the land reflects the diversity of its inhabitants. Inside a quiet nook of the gallery, a sacred space swathed in fabric beckons viewers to enter and gaze up at a luminous star-studded ceiling in a structure created by the artist that incorporates many of the traditional components found in Native American Sweat Lodges. Incongruent imagery plays together with inanimate sculptural objects while cast nets traverse the walls and climb the ceiling. Light projections reveal lunar cycles and the inherited conversations of traditions that follow the moon’s rhythms. Through an exploration of familial ties, childhood memories, and lived experiences, Sephora succeeds in creating a dynamic environment that is simultaneously personal and universal, private and public. The exhibition expands far beyond a mere reflection of the artist herself while carefully carving out an intimate space for viewers to see themselves and others in a new light.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Corrina Sephora earned her BFA in Metals & Sculpture at the MA College of Art in Boston in 1995. She received her MFA in Sculpture at Georgia State University in 2005. She has taught at UGA, SCAD, and Georgia State. Corrina’s work is on permanent display at The MLK Jr. National Historic Site, The Atlanta Botanical Gardens, and her work is in the permanent collection of  MOCA GA,  King & Spalding’s Law Firm, and Elton John’s private collection.

METAL DONATIONS

Have scrap metal lying around? Why not have it turned into art!
Our featured gallery artist Corrina Sephora will be turning donated metals into a community sculpture. The wheelbarrow outside is to collect donations until Thursday, Jan 26.

 

Related Events

January 26

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VENUE

Reeves House Visual Arts Center
734 Reeves Street, Woodstock, GA, 30188, United States

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There is no charge to view the art exhibit, but the artwork is available for sale.

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