TWO PLACES AT ONCE
Craig Roper + Garric Simonsen
January 12 – March 25, 2018
Two Places at Once, opening Friday, January 12, at Darger HQ, will feature work by Craig Roper (Lincoln, Nebraska) and Garric Simonsen (Spokane, WA) and will be on view through March 25, 2018. The opening reception will be 6:00 to 9:00 pm, with an artist talk at 8:00 pm, moderated by Josephine Fatima Martins.
“Roper rests within the, more recent and still active, Neo-Realistic mode in which images are pulled from everyday life using photography to capture situations with strange and poetic minimal beauty, and the tone of wander and nomadic searching. Although I dislike comparing one artist to another, with Roper it’s important to look at him in context with Omaha-born Edward Ruscha, who like Roper will incorporate text - words, phrases, and pop culture references into his expansive landscapes. The pieces that I like best by Roper are those that read ‘go west’ against a wide open horizon.” – J.Fatima Martin, “Craig Roper’s Infinite Landscape: I Live in My Own World Now and I’m Happy Here,” Flatlanders, October 5, 2017.
Soon after receiving a BFA from the University of Nebraska in 1980, Roper moved to Santa Barbara, California and collaborated with fellow artists in the area to self-produce a number of exhibitions during the 1980’s art explosion. By 1985, at age 29, he started working with Los Angeles gallery owners Bennett Roberts and Richard Heller, exhibiting regularly in Los Angeles and in New York, Miami, Maastricht & Rotterdam, Paris, Cologne, Munich and Brescia, Italy. Roper moved to New York City in 1986 and then back to Nebraska in 1988 to start a family. In 1993 he and fellow artist Cameron Shaw were asked to exhibit at the Sheldon Museum of Art (Two Guys from Nebraska). Soon after, Roper earned his MFA from UNL. From 2008-2012 Roper operated ProjectRoom, a small but highly influential art gallery in downtown Lincoln. Roper is the recipient of a Vreeland Award for Outstanding Achievement in Painting from The University of Nebraska at Lincoln, a photography grant from the Mid-America Arts Alliance, a masters grant and a merit award from the Nebraska Arts Council, and has had art work published in The Paris Review.
Garric Simonsen's artwork draws from a large collection of family history. Simonsen works with traditional materials and inter-disciplinary approaches, including dry-etching, encaustic, collage, hand-coloring and digital print, the evolution of what could be classified as his antipainter persona. His Swedish heritage and deep roots in Pacific Northwest history pull away from abstraction and focuses on artifact, the timeless quality of both object and image.
Simonsen is a fifth-generation Washingtonian, artist and musician. He holds an MFA from Washington State University, BA from The Evergreen State College (Olympia, WA) and is currently tenured faculty at Spokane Falls Community College. He has exhibited at Bellevue Arts Museum, Jundt Art Museum, Boston Center for the Arts, Platform Gallery (Seattle, WA), Seattle University, Eastern Washington University, University of Wisconsin Madison, the 2010 Brucennial (NY, NY), Wheaton University (Norton, MA) and Bradley University (Peoria, IL). Other achievements include 2012 and 2014 nominations for Portland Art Museum’s Contemporary Northwest Art Awards, MFA Scholarship Award (WSU), Art Music Grant (WSU), JUNO Award (TESC), Mark Blakely Award (TESC). Reviews and publications of Simonsen’s work are included in: The Stranger, Seattle Weekly, Art Collector Magazine, has written for Hyperallergic art blog in Brooklyn, NY and has received grants from the Vermont Studio Center, Artist Trust (Seattle, WA) and The James and Janie Washington Foundation (Seattle, WA).