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October 1995
Charlottesville, VA

In October Mixed Media by Katina Huston and Pamela Stake Matson

Second Street Gallery will present the work of Katina Huston and Pamela Staker-Matson in October. Huston received her B.A. from New York University in 1984. She is currently an M.F.A. candidate at Mills College, Pamela Staker-Matson received her B.F.A. in painting from the University of Illinois in 1990.

Huston’s works incorporates found objects with text. Her vignettes divulge experiences that are universal, dealing with childhood, desire and unrequited love. While her work is autobiographical, she takes her inspiration from unconventional sources. Dish Tale, for example, was inspired by Huston having witnessed the disposal of a still-loaded dishwasher at the dump in San Francisco where she was an artist in residence. After retrieving the dishes, Huston developed a possible explanation, at once amusing and dark, to explain the situation. As with much of her work, the text, which verges on the poetic, is an integral part of the piece. The plates (with their embroidered cover) are displayed in an orderly assemblage as if hung in a grandmother’s kitchen. On their surface neat cursive writing relates their story- its flowery lettering belying the domestic chaos it details.

She refers to her work as songs though which she explores the human condition, sometimes using the creative act as a means to work through emotional turmoil and retrieve balance. The production of the pieces which often includes repetitive methodical work, echoes the repetitive chorus on an incantation and functions much like meditation. The process by which the work is created very much part of the piece and not just a means to its creation.

Staker-Matson’s mixed media constructions are inspired by her personal response to literature and stories. Her work incorporates found objects as well as beeswax, asphalt, joint compound, industrial elements and hardware. Like many artists working today, Staker-Matson employs nonart materials which bring their individual connotations to the finished piece. In her recent work, Staker-Matson includes crutches with their inherently psychological undertones, to convey potent symbolic messages.

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