Alice Gonglewski

Alice GonglewskiA Pennsylvania native, Alice grew up outside of Harrisburg and has been based in Philadelphia since 2001. Past venues include Off the Wall Gallery (invitational show participant, excellence in abstract art award recipient, honorable mention – body of work recipient), Goldie Paley Gallery (Moore College of Art and Design) and the Pennsylvania State Museum (Art of the State). Alice has taught art in a variety of settings including the Children’s Museum of Richmond and the Medical College of Virginia (Pediatric Playroom and Adult Chemotherapy Ward).In addition to being a visual artist, Alice worked as a professional storyteller and puppeteer and created interactive educational programs and performances at Please Touch Museum for over a decade. Alice currently serves as the Vaccine Makers Outreach Coordinator for the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The Stick House series is inspired by a recurring dream where she discovers additional rooms or spaces in a past or present home. The series originally manifested as an examination of the simplified symbol for house—the “stick figure” version. The structures also embody an expression of memory as a house, building, or attic containing different spaces filled with images, information, and emotion.
Alice Gonglewski is interested in how the lines simultaneously express relationships and community but also separation. Each stick connects to the others with a solid and specific line, yet is also precariously attached and could snap if enough force is applied. Over time the series has evolved to incorporate wire, fabric, branches and other articles to explore how the juxtaposition of the articles with the stick structures can influence the viewer’s perception in the same way that the skeletal quality of these pieces allows for the direct influence of context.
The wall where each hangs (be it painted, brick, patterned, window, etc.) can change the nature of the piece significantly in the same way a viewer’s preconceptions Alice Gonglewskiinfluence his or her reaction to a piece of art. The still lives incorporate objects found in her home and studio. The cigar boxes evoke her interest in collecting and her tendency to compartmentalize. Alice is attracted to the juxtaposition of hard surfaces (wood, plastic, glass) against soft or fluid ones (plants, fabric).
She both enjoys and struggles with the process of selecting a still life composition. The composition is the armature for the painting and sometimes deciding on the arrangement of the still life takes as much time as painting it does. Still life painting is contemplative and meditative for her, and she finds the act of painting and drawing in this context serves as a compass that connects her back to her artistic core. It is this circling back to the ritual of rendering in her own style, space, and time that allows room for new ideas to percolate and develop.

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