CURRENT EXHIBITON:
Boredom Fantasy Mimesis*
New work by Sam Dirck
Virtual Opening
04:20:2020
*view by request

Learn about or Schedule
a Virtual or Private Tour!


STAFF
Jehra Patrick, Founder
Kristina Johnson, Director 

CONTACT
gmail. waitingroomartinfo@
twitter. @waitingroomart
facebook. /waitingroomartmn
instagram. /waitingroomart

LOCATION
Northwestern Building
Suite 707
275 4th St E
St Paul, MN 55101

Waiting Room functions as
practice and platform;
we exist by virtue of presence.

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Boredom Fantasy Mimesis
New work from Sam Dirck 
Curated by Kristina Johnson
Virtual Opening
April 20th, 2020

Waiting Room is pleased to present Sam Dirck’s first solo show Boredom Fantasy Mimesis at our new location in Lowertown Saint Paul. Tempering chance and intention to generate varying expressions of surface texture Sam Dirck positions himself within a set of conditions and moments in an abstract narrative nagivated by his painterly skillset. His work investigates a balance between the reciprocated image and abstraction. Paintings and sculptures serve as improvisational landscapes or implied gestures, delivering the effect that each piece could be a memory you never truly lived. Occasionally a recognizable symbol emerges, making it clear that signs exist within this abstract realm but do not dominate it.

A certain technical prowess is exhibited by Dirck, each piece oozing with a distinctive vocabulary of symbolic expression. While in its production, he bounced between digital and physical means as a nod to his dedicated exploration of the grid. Digitally mapped gestures and handmade marks take on sweeping, continuous linearities in some compositions creating a unique layer-by-layer camoflauge to his methodology; while other works are consumed by his familiar style of hard-edged, dimensional painting.

This show is a collection that pushes to occupy the space between the pictoriality of painting and the spatiality of sculpture; merging the two with elements of abstract design. Dirck’s paintings exude playful interjections, embedded through inherent rhythms of mark, gesture, color and symbol. Each piece is rooted in the familiar but infiltrated by a carnal use of “play,” an utterly interpreted—nonprescriptive—element to the work. 

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Lowertown’s 1st Sweetheart Market 
Pop-up event with Stranger & Co.
Curated by Kristina Johnson & Maura Kelly Doyle
February 8th-21st, 2020

Opening reception
Saturday, February 8th
12-5pm

𝐒𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐝𝐚𝐲, 𝐅𝐞𝐛 𝟖𝐭𝐡:⁣⁣⁣
• Nice Nice Ceramics⁣⁣⁣
• Ital Vibrations ⁣⁣⁣
• Runi Clay Studio⁣⁣⁣
• Crybaby Clay⁣⁣⁣
• Stranger & Co.⁣⁣⁣

𝐒𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐲, 𝐅𝐞𝐛 𝟗𝐭𝐡:⁣⁣⁣
• Nice Nice Ceramics⁣⁣⁣
• Runi Clay Studio⁣⁣⁣
• Artifactx Vintage⁣⁣⁣
• Forrest Wasko⁣⁣⁣
• Stranger & Co.⁣⁣⁣

𝐒𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐝𝐚𝐲, 𝐅𝐞𝐛 𝟏𝟓𝐭𝐡:⁣⁣⁣
• Jac & Violet⁣⁣⁣
• Crybaby Clay⁣⁣⁣
• Stranger & Co.⁣⁣⁣

𝐒𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐲, 𝐅𝐞𝐛 𝟏𝟔𝐭𝐡:⁣⁣⁣
• Sandwich Ceramics ⁣⁣⁣
• Kristina Johnson⁣⁣⁣
• Stranger & Co.

• Forrest Wasko  

In honor of opening our new doors in historic Lowertown Saint Paul, Waiting Room’s new director Kristina Johnson (KJ) has invited local business Stranger & Co. to hold a small goods market over the month of February. Stranger & Co. is owned and operated by Maura Kelly Doyle, who comes from a formal background in sculpture. After working in both gallery and retail management over the last decade, Maura is now blending her love of design and community-making into her newest endeavor. Doyle has curated weekend events for our Sweetheart Market, which features a list of creative vendors within the Twin Cities (see list above).


How to become lost
Featuring the art of Sayge Carroll, Meg Murphy, Lamar Peterson, Jacob Aaron Schroeder, and Maggie Thompson
Curated by Leslie Barlow
February 21 – April 20, 2019

Opening reception
Thursday, February 21
7–9 pm

Discussion with the Artists Thursday, April 4
5:30 pm Social, 6:00 pm Conversation

How to become lost is an exploration into the ways artists escape into the content and method of their work as a means to process, heal, and liberate–and to get closer to a truth about life in ways that cannot necessarily be seen or framed through ordinary language or experience. This exhibition invites you to be transported into the complexity and humanity of each artists’ work and world, but also poses the question of why and what motivates someone to create: asking viewers to consider the tensions of making work in a painful, traumatic, accelerated and angering climate while holding desire for artwork to be slow, pleasurable, and meaningful. Is this process futile? Are we allowed to enjoy our work? What privileges come with escapism? How important is it, or detrimental? How do we reclaim our space, our work, our joy?

Pleasure as resistance, artistic process as healing, creation of an alternate reality. To escape is to slip or get away from control and restraint, to gain or regain liberty. It can also be a withdrawal, an avoidance, desertion, but perhaps through this flight, a rescue. Each artist in this exhibition reflects on how escapism permeates the layers of their work–their choices and methodology greatly informed by their personal experiences and identities. Sayge Carroll employs her art to soothe and calm when words have failed and articulation falls short. Photos serve as proof or record, clay acts as grounding and honoring, painting as exploration of what is not known, as she investigates themes of identity, ritual, and motherhood. Meg Murphy creates fantasy worlds in her paintings where the womxn are so big, such giantesses, that nothing can hurt them anymore. Her womxn are central characters in their own stories where they take up as much space as they want–and they eat, and eat, and grow exponentially powerful.
The sugar candy colors and cartoon-like surrealism of Lamar Peterson’s paintings create a humorous, nostalgic, awkward, and unsettling environment for his characters. Deconstructing themes drawn from popular culture, race, and the ideal of the American dream, the paintings are a collection of vignettes telescoping on banal experiences which, upon closer inspection, present unexpected delight and danger on human pathways. Through the meditative and labor-intensive processes of manipulating textiles through hand-stitching, burning, and bedazzling, Jacob Aaron Schroeder uses the aesthetic qualities of gender-associated objects to expose the internal conflicts queer men experience. The works in this exhibition demonstrate not only self-investigation and catharsis, but also a means of our current societal understanding of queer mental health. Maggie Thompson desires to memorialize “lost” relationships by creating abstract mixed media textile pieces based on memories. The ending of a long-term romantic partnership, and recent deaths of her father and best friend drew her to reflect on how grief becomes sewn into a person’s evolving identity. Using her artistic process to work through grief and depression, she explores ideas of self-worth, stability, preservation, and the complexities of human relationships.




Yes, and the body has memory…
Curated by Mara Duvra

November 15–Dec 8
Gallery 71

January 5–January 26
Law Warschaw Gallery

Opening reception
Thursday, November 15th
7–9 pm
Gallery 71

Public Discussion and Book Launch
Wednesday, January 23rd
7 pm
Law Warschaw Gallery

Featuring the work of Leah Edelman-Brier, Lorena Molina, Carla Alexandra Rodriguez, and Rikki Wright

How do familial and cultural histories evolve through generations? What unexplainable, ineffable legacies are formed through trauma? And what is the impact on the body? This exhibition brings together four artists whose work touch on home and its connection to the body. Home as in land, a place of origin / home as the corporeal and spiritual connections to our mothers, sisters, and aunts. Home as a place of deepmemory / tenderroots

The work is a weaving together of familial and personal history. Understanding the body as a spiritual and physical heirloom.


Carla Alexandra Rodriguez
Carla Alexandra Rodriguez is a first generation Venezuelan-American artist making work in Saint Paul, MN. Her work is in constant search of intimacy, the more intimate, or personal, the more universal. We connect to others through the telling of our lived experiences. The further inward she goes, the more others are let in. In her current body of work she confronts the trauma of losing her parents, her mother due to late stage cancer, and her father a few years after due to mental illness. Both losses are traumatic, but in dramatically different ways due to her personal relationship with them and the context around their deaths. Even though it is painful to deal with these topics, Carla's work is rooted in the practice of catharsis, and confronting these traumas and hardships in her art making is integral to it.

Leah Edelman-Brier
Leah Edelman-Brier is a visual artist primarily using the medium of photography. She received her B.F.A. from Rhode Island College and holds a M.F.A. in Art Photography from Syracuse University. As an artist she is interested in the female body. She creates images heavy in metaphor and simile. She aims to disrupt beauty ideals by using themes of desire, fertility, family, and metamorphosis to question the female experience throughout her work.

The series ‘Body Becoming’ aims to construct beauty out of what appears outwardly grotesque while questioning the resilience of the body. The images intensify the space between youth and decrepitude as figures within the work take on the roles of mother and daughter. The daughter fears what time has done to the mother, not the mother herself. She fears the weight of flesh, the pull of gravity, the uncertainty of health, things that are set in flesh and blood.

The images reveal the similarities in shape and size that the related bodies take on. The mixing notions of genetic lineage, the process of aging, and the lack of control presented by destiny, exacerbates an anxiety, which speaks to a profound fear of becoming the mother.

Rikki Wright
Rikki Wright is a Photographer and Artist based in Los Angeles, CA. Her work explores notions of community and sisterhood, especially among women of color, and looks at the way a community can mold or expand our ideas of femininity and masculinity, strength and beauty. Wright grew up with two older sisters who were her best friends and her source of support through life’s trials and tribulations, beginning with the loss of Wright’s mother at the age of two. Her sisters taught her the power of having women by her side who she could be real with and depend on, and her work seeks to capture this sense of power. At the same time, she felt the void of her mother intensely, and her youth was marked by a constant sense of searching for examples of femininity and motherhood. At her grandmother’s house, she would spend hours studying the poses and gestures of the women in the family portraits hanging on the walls. Wright’s aunt was also a photographer, and she would accompany her aunt to the studio and marvel at the way women would command their bodies before the camera. Photography became a way for Wright to explore the void left by her mother, using the camera to imagine different possibilities for womanhood.


Lorena Molina
Through the use of photography, video, performance art, and artist’s books, I explore intimacy, identity, pain, and how we perceive the suffering of others. My work interrogate relationships and the formation of relationships as political acts that are guided by negotiations of power and privilege.

My latest work Nothing Hurts like Home was influenced by my move to rural central NY as I simultaneously became a US citizen. It deals with ideas of dislocation, otherness, white washing and the process of making home in the in-between. This work explores the ways I hold on to my cultural roots as everywhere I go demands adaptation and assimilation. Ultimately, my work is always asking for witnesses. To witness is to open oneself up to difference. To witness is not to judge or resolve but to see. To witness is to acknowledge that, although difficult to understand, unfamiliar experiences and often silenced stories are an essential part of our collective narrative.

Lorena Molina is a Salvadoran multidisciplinary artist and educator. She is currently a visiting Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Cincinnati. She received her Master of Fine Art degree from the University of Minnesota in 2015 and her Bachelor of Fine Art from California State University, Fullerton, in 2012. Molina was a recipient of the Diversity of Views and Experiences fellowship and The Kala Art Institute Fellowship. In the classroom, she works with students to understand the way that images are laden with history and vocabulary. Photography tells stories, but who gets to tell the story matters.




Home Inside Out

Featuring the art of Lamia Abukhadra, Katayoun Amjadi, Sarah Sampedro, Chris Willcox.
Curated by Katayoun Amjadi
August 9 – October 27, 2018

Opening reception
Thursday, August 9
7–9 pm

Discussion with the Artists
Wednesday, October 17
5:30 pm Social, 6:00 pm Conversation


Home Inside Out explores the idea of “home” not just as the sheltering eave and centering hearth, but as the site of alienating dynamics of loss and the slippage of identity, of barriers to ownership, of separation and longing. The artists in this exhibition reflect on the idea of sheltering space, from personal, collective, national or cultural perspectives. Home becomes a discursive arena in which inside and outside spaces hold specific social and cultural associations that can be subtended or subverted through artistic representation.

Inside and outside are conflated in Sarah Sampedro’s installation where the vulnerability within social and economic power structures becomes part of the everyday. Here the occupant is held “outside” by the language of exclusion and hidden borders. As an exile, Lamia Abukhadra looks into historical and colonial narratives and portrays the trauma of inheritance and national loss. After all, in Adorno’s words, ‘it is part of morality not to be at home in one’s home.” The outside spaces in Chris Willcox’s paintings evoke a temporal and metaphoric threshold: the contemplative place between home and play or work. Here time suspends, light fades, quiet settles in. Promise waits at the door. Katayoun Amjadi’s works take on a metaphorical approach to the ideology of home as commodity, the consumable good. Clay and porcelain speak to production and prefabrication yet the work suggests a fragile vulnerability. Time and gravity whisper in conspiratorial tones.