Visual Arts instructor Chelsea Dean opened a solo exhibit on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 at the Merchant Gallery in Santa Monica. Dean has created a set of mixed media collages using her own photographs, prints and found materials, like cracked linoleum. The each of the collages feature a colorful print in the background and a photo of an abandoned “Jackrabbit” homestead shack that has been cut out with an Exacto knife and mounted on a piece of foamcore board. Dean found inspiration after renting a house near Joshua Tree for a few days and “wandering through the desert, taking pictures and collecting materials,” she recalled. Dean said she wanted to give the impression of a landscape with her multi-layered pieces. She kept the backgrounds flat, but the mounted photos and different materials from the shacks, such as dried paint, giving each piece a multi-dimensional appearance.
“[The collages] mess with your sense of space,” Dean explains. A friend of Dean’s owns Merchant, and after years of planning to work together, the two have now curated and produced the exhibit. This is not Dean’s first exhibit; she curated another show in April of this year and brought her eighth-grade art classes to view it. Dean encourages members of the Marlborough community to come see the show.
“Being an artist is fun!” Dean laughed.