BoxHeart Gallery welcomes guest curator Cindy Lisica as she presents What We Know - an exhibition of three artists from three coasts: Stephanie Gonzalez (Houston), Tobia Makover (Savannah), and Claudia Parducci (Los Angeles). When considering a curatorial guest for BoxHeart’s exhibition schedule, owners Nicole Capozzi and Joshua Hogan seek out the collaborative energy that has always existed in the art world. BoxHeart’s guest curator must make a case for how she envisions adding to the gallery’s exhibitions in the most meaningful and relevant ways possible, as well as how she imagines presenting the same material in an exhibition that will travel to other regions of focus.
Curator Cindy Lisica has encountered each of these artists under different circumstances in places where she has lived. What ties the artwork together for her exhibition What We Know is their visual poetry and mastery of art-making as a language that moves the viewer into a unique space, a microcosm, even if only for a moment. Lisica remembers the words of her college poetry professor, "Write what you know." This short but profound piece of advice rings true through art that speaks directly to the viewer by forming an emotional connection. These women know things. They are demanding. They are reflective. They are luminaries in their respective circles.
Born in Monterrey N.L. Mexico, Stephanie Gonzalez grew up with her grandparents in Reynosa, Mexico and picked up painting from her grandfather. She began painting at the age of 14 to escape a hostile environment and later started developing new techniques and experimenting with different mediums. As a child, Gonzalez moved from Georgia to Mexico, then to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. After high school, she moved to Houston, where she currently resides. Gonzalez creates mixed media abstract paintings, graphic design, murals, and interior design. She has been known to use a variety of media, such as coffee, wine, aerosol paint, watercolors, acrylics, oil pastels, and china ink. Gonzalez holds a BFA in Interior Design from the Art Institute of Houston and MFA in Painting from Houston Baptist University. She has received awards from the Glassell School of Art, Brownsville Museum of Fine Art, and Rising Eyes of Texas. Public murals and collections include Starwood Hotels Le Méridien Saigon, Lot 8, Chloe Dao Boutique, Skyline Art Services, Make a Wish Foundation, and Pearl Bar. Recent work is currently on view in the exhibition, Withstand: Latinx Art in Times of Conflict, at the Holocaust Museum Houston.
Tobia Makover is a fine art photographer and mixed media artist whose work creates intrigue through timeless and emotive imagery. Each work starts with a photograph, the soul of her work. Makover then encompasses many layers of medium that she paints, carves, torches, and then preserves in wax and resin through an encaustic process that dates back to the 1st Century, BCE. In all bodies of her work and in life, Makover contemplates the physicality of our existence. She questions the importance of our being and the impact of our time here while examining the tension between holding on and the desire to let go. Internationally acclaimed, Makover has exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London, Les Ateliers de L’Image in St. Remy, France, PH-Neutro in Verona, Italy, the Griffin Museum in Boston, AIPAD in New York, and SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah. Her artwork is also included in the permanent collections of Savannah College of Art and Design and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans. She received her MFA in Photography from Savannah College of Art and Design and her BA in Sociology and Communications from the American University in Washington, D.C.. She is a full-time artist who lives in Savannah, Georgia with her husband and two children.
Los Angeles based artist Claudia Parducci’s artwork grows out of an interest in histories of destruction and reconstruction. Her most recent work relates to the nature of this cycle – the idea that we are always somewhere in the process of building and tearing down. Drawing is an essential part of her artistic process. The repetition of lines and structures is a process of interrogation into the interconnectedness and inextricability of forces and tensions, both symbolic and literal. Parducci’s artworks visualize the capacity to hold conflicting ideas at the same time, such as the idea that a structure can be rising or falling, a material can appear supple and rigid, idea and object. Parducci received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2006, and she is currently represented by Ochi Projects, Los Angeles, and Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne Germany. She has also shown her multi-faceted work in a number of solo, two-person, and group exhibitions with Sloan Projects in Santa Monica, L-Shape Gallery in Valencia, Hilger Contemporary in Vienna Austria, Torrance Art Museum in Torrance, Nye+Brown in Culver City, Museum of Contemporary Art in Tijuana Mexico, and Art Bogota in Bogota Colombia, among many others.
Dr. Cindy Lisica is a contemporary curator, writer, and art history professor at The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). A Pittsburgh-native, she holds a PhD in History and Theory of Art from the University of the Arts London, an MA in Modern and Contemporary Art from California State University, Long Beach, and a BA in Integrative Art and Sculpture from The Pennsylvania State University. She has successfully owned and operated two commercial art galleries, Revision Space in Pittsburgh (February 2014 - May 2016) and Cindy Lisica Gallery in Houston (January 2016 - August 2019). Articles and reviews on her curated exhibitions have appeared in national and international publications, such as ArtForum, Artnet News, Le Telegramme, and Visual Art Source. She has previously held positions at museums such as The Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), The Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh), Tate Britain (London), and the Menil Collection (Houston), among others. Her writing on Modern and Contemporary art, Pop art, and Asian art appears in several exhibition catalogs and art magazines. She has also been a guest speaker at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the House of World Cultures in Berlin, Massillon Museum, and The Printing Museum, and served as a portfolio reviewer for the Fotofest Biennial 2018 and juror in a number of art fairs and juried institutional exhibitions.
View images from Cindy Lisica's 2021 BoxHeart Exhibition, What We Know: Stephanie Gonzalez, Tobia Makover, and Claudia Parducci.