Laura Wacha , Statement
I am motivated by the potential theater of the painted picture. My work is narrative in nature, and my focus is to create a visual itch that lingers in the mind like an unanswered question. On each canvas I paint images both familiar and fantastic, giving equal importance to topics domestically mundane and globally tragic or vice versa. Tucked between cartoon-like creatures and patterned backdrops are brightly colored dollops of intrigue and ambiguity that serve as an invitation for the viewer to fill in any perceived narrative blanks.
Naturally, opportunity exists in the act of painting to create a pleasurable anxiety not only through the characters present in each narrative, but also in the manner they are portrayed. Both composition and color urge that I take full advantage of their potential through balance, discord and repetition. In my work, for every action there is a reaction or rebuke, for every blue there is an orange or green, for every shape there is it's echo and void. I work on these aesthetic aspects of my paintings rather intuitively, keeping at it until the canvas feels like the controlled explosion of design and color that best expresses the tenor I am aiming for.
Laura Wacha, Bio
Born and raised in Sarasota, Florida, Laura Wacha's formative years were steeped in the cheerfully low and tastelessly high of American culture; the usual Florida kitsch and kin. From retired circus performers and aging munchkins, to wealthy blue haired dowagers with their dyed-to-match poodles, the young artist found many characters worthy of note, and saw in John Ringlings' marvelous collection of theatrical paintings how art could both amaze and amuse. Declaring herself an artist at age three, she attended pro-wrestling matches and watched the greyhounds chase the mechanical rabbit in practice runs at the dog track. She ran through sprinklers, ate grilled cheese sandwiches and recited the Brownie Promise in a neighborhood of modest ranch houses. In third grade, Ms. Wacha began attending school at a unique campus set aside for the gifted offspring of area professionals, and eventually completed her liberal arts education by graduating cum laude from Mt. Holyoke College in S. Hadley, Massachusetts.
Ms. Wacha began painting in acrylic on canvas in 1992, and later began making papier mache sculptures when she returned to elementary school as a teacher. At present she has produced over 300 paintings, 100 sculptures, 2 sci fi novels and 2 children. Her home and studio sit on a 5 acre compound of dead cars, broken appliances, and old trailers in the New Mexico desert.
Ms. Wacha declares her work to be personal allegories of her life at home and of the world at large. Flamboyantly colored and tightly packed, her paintings employ images both grotesque and humorous, cartoonish and yet beautifully executed, to show what may lie beneath the surface of how we view ourselves, our roles in society, our families, our neighbors, and even the nightly news report. Her paintings often carry many narratives on a single canvas which encourage the viewer to spin stories of their own.
Laura Wacha b.1961, Sarasota, Florida, U.S.A.
Education: 1983, BA, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts
Awards: President's Award, 2015, NMAEA
Local Treasure, 2015, AABA Albuquerque, NM
Best of Albuquerque, Best Visual Artist 2014, Albuquerque The Magazine
2016 Wonderfully Weird Wonders III, Curly Tale Fine Art, Chicago, IL. Invitational group.
Imaginary Friends and Fools, Tortuga Gallery, Albuquerque, NM. Three person show.
The Figure in Contemporary Painting, Matrix Fine Art, Albuquerque, NM. Group invitational.
2015 WILD+LIFE, Page Coleman Gallery. Albuquerque, NM. Group show to benefit NM Wildlife Rescue.
Circus Interruptus, KiMo Theater Gallery. Albuquerque, NM.Two person show.
Twitterpated/Deflated, Downtown Contemporary Gallery, Abq, NM. Invitational group.
Dog and Pony Show, Matrix Fine Art, Albuquerque, NM. Solo exhibit.
2014 Transformations, Tortuga Gallery, Albuquerque,
NM. Juried group.
Parallel Worlds, So. Broadway Cultural Center, Albuquerque, NM. Invitational group.
2013 Lolo Solo, UNM Valencia Fine Arts Gallery, Los Lunas, NM. Solo exhibit.
Likely Stories, Matrix Fine Art, Albuquerque, NM. Solo exhibit.
2011 Fifty, Matrix Fine Art, Albuquerque, NM. Solo exhibit.
2009 Albuquerque Now, The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History. Invitational group.
Sock Puppets And Spilt Milk, Matrix Fine Art, Albuquerque, NM. Solo exhibit.
2008 Biennial Southwest 08, The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History. Juried group.
Circus Show, A Bitchin' Space and Verve Gallery, Sacramento, CA. Invitational group.
Everything But The Kitschen Sync, La Luz de Jesus Gallery, LA, CA. Juried invitational.
2007 Good Intentions, Matrix Fine Art, Albuquerque, NM. Solo Exhibit.
2006 Katrina Lasko Gallery, Bernalillo, NM. Group exhibit.
2005 Transitions, Albuquerque Contemporary 2005, Albuquerque, NM. Juried group exhibit.
2004 Aniles Fabulae, Katrina Lasko Gallery, Bernallio, NM. Solo exhibit.
Texas National 2004, Stephen F. Austin State University. Nacogdoches, TX. Juried.
SoQ, Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, NM. Invitational group exhibit.
2002 Coleman Gallery, Albuquerque, NM. Two person and group exhibits.
Art Of Albuquerque, Magnifico!, Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, NM. Juried group.
2001 Coleman Gallery, Albuquerque, NM. Group exhibit.
La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. Juried invitational.
2000 More Confessions of a Compulsive Painter, Coleman Gallery, Albuquerque, NM. Solo.
Coleman Gallery, Albuquerque, NM. Group exhibit.
Texas National 2000, Stephen F. Austin State University. Nacogdoches, TX. Juried.
1999 Why Albuquerque? , Magnifico!, Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, NM. Juried group.
Plan B Gallery, Santa Fe, NM. Invitational group exhibit.
Confessions of a Compulsive Painter,Coleman Gallery, Albuquerque, NM. Solo exhibit.
1998 Texas National 98, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, TX. Juried.
FAC Annual, Fine Arts Center, Lubbock, TX. Juried group exhibit.
1997 Coleman Gallery, Albuquerque, NM. Two person exhibit and group exhibit.
1996 Tartan Pony Gallery, Santa Fe, NM. Group exhibit.
AleRT, SITE Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Santa Fe, NM. Juried group exhibit.
Southwest '96, Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, NM. Juried group exhibit.
1995 Harwood Art Center Gallery, Albuquerque, NM. Two person exhibit.
1994 Love Objects, Salt Of The Earth, Albuquerque, NM. Group exhibit.
1993 Women Artists '93, Matrix Gallery, Sacramento, CA. Juried group. Merit award.
Java Joe's, Albuquerque, NM. Solo exhibit.
Visions of Excellence, Albuquerque, NM. Juried group exhibit. Merit award.
1992 What's It To Ya', San Francisco, CA. Invitational group exhibit.
1990 Bristol City Museum, Bristol, England. Juried group exhibit.
Clifton Arts Club, Bristol, England. Juried group exhibit.
1987 Nightingale Theatre, Brighton, England. Screening of independent film-makers.
1986 Brighton Gallery of Fine Arts, Brighton, England. Invitational group exhibit.