the blue jay and the spine; we had a teapot on the side
May 1 – May 31, 2019
First Friday Opening Reception:
May 3, 6-8 pm
Teresa Getty, as a child, lived in Guam, Georgia and California. She played in clear ocean waters and interacted with a culture rich in myth and legends, read books, fished for crawdads, rode horses, picked berries, learned about intense prejudice, overcame extreme shyness and briefly rebelled. Each of the places had a profound impact on her life and the memories helped shape her work.
Teresa pursued painting after thinking she would be a doctor or scientist. She received her BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago and MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She taught art part-time at the University Wisconsin-Madison, balancing her professional art career and being a mother to her medically complex daughter. She currently resides in Seattle, Washington.
Each of her paintings has a story that beings with an everyday experience, a current event, an experience shared with her daughter, or simply a looking and seeing moment. While she works, memories surface. The work walks itself back into the past: memories, some peaceful, some dark. Without censorship, she allows them to flow into her mark, into her responses of lines and color.
At first she works slowly mimicking life and then engages more spontaneously, often with aggressive cuts and extraction. Then, like someone ashamed at an outburst, she buries things by pouring material over them. In the process, hidden things resurface, revealing a visual mixture of the veiled past and the surface of the present. This creates an archeology beyond her anticipation.
The archeology is the link she seeks to have a conversation with her viewer. The layers of her personal journey, the process of figuring things out for herself through failure and rediscovery, and the letting go of it all.
Teresa Getty states, “the blue jay and the spine: we had a teapot on the side centers around ideas of story telling, the future and the past. The work is strongly personal, responding to two significant events: one is the passing of my mom last year and the second being the likelihood of a spinal fusion surgery for my medically fragile daughter with so many unknowns. The pieces centering around my daughter’s spine are layered, light and delicate while also being a little hazy. They become the horizon line of the exhibition. The place where the land meets the sky, where now meets tomorrow. They are not dark or brooding. They are hopeful works filled with connections to the stories that wander through my mind as I work. In contrast, the works that celebrate the memories of my mom are bold and bright as if memory itself brings things into a clearer light. They focus on two specific memories and play abstractly and very spontaneously with two symbols from these: a stellar blue jay and a classic tea pot. Along with these large scale paintings will be framed accordion books. These have a strong relationship to the larger works in visual language and the immediacy of mark. They are my way of working almost journalistically, this is the aspect of the present. They offer respite, a place of slowing down and looking, a place to reflect on the visual language and how intricately woven it is with memory and story telling, the creator of oral history.”