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Artist Lex Gjurasic's RADICAL HAPPINESS Exhibition On View At Chandler Center For The Arts

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Radical Happiness features pieces from the series which she calls, "a love-letter to the natural world."

Artist Lex Gjurasic's RADICAL HAPPINESS Exhibition On View At Chandler Center For The Arts

The Gallery at CCA starts the new year with an exhibition from Tucson based artist, Lex Gjurasic. Radical Happiness will be on display from January 15 through April 9.

Radical Happiness is a collection of mixed media works, which Gjurasic created during the 2020 quarantine, incorporating a wide breadth of unconventional materials, using only what she had already at home-from sample house paint to mortar to Styrofoam.

The artist, who finds the process of creating art to be meditative and soothing for her mental health, developed the series to relieve the anxieties and uncertainties of living in a country ravaged by the virus. Through the process, she disappeared into other worlds-amalgamations of imagery existing somewhere between memory and imagination.

"To me Radical Happiness isn't toxic positivity, it is coping. While creating my Flower Mounds series it was like a visual Prozac, keeping me afloat during the pandemic," says Gjurasic. "And when I noticed the levity I felt while making the art spread to those who experienced the work- that was absolute magic."

Gjurasic's commitment to the safety of quarantine was unwavering; she began hand-making paper when her supply of other viable surfaces dwindled. To do this, she used, among other tools, a child's plastic pool. On this delicate paper, she painted rolling hills carpeted with flowers, creating part of the series, Flower Mounds.

Radical Happiness features pieces from the series which she calls, "a love-letter to the natural world." The pieces draw from Slavic art's reverence for botanicals and a nod to her cultural roots.

"Throughout the creation of this series, I thought often of the delight and solace my Slavic foremothers took in floral motif embroidery on garments, decorated "pisanica" or Easter eggs and traditional Croatian silver filigree jewelry during tremulous times," says Gjurasic.
As the death toll of the pandemic grew over months and then years, so too did the meaning of this body of work. Gjurasic began to see similarities between Flower Mounds and the burial mounds of various global cultures. "Painting mounds of Day-Glo blooms shaped like headstones, I created a new and sacred space for grieving loss."

Join the artist for an in-person opening reception for Radical Happiness on Saturday, January 15, 2022, 4 - 6 p.m. The Gallery at the CCA is located inside the Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Avenue. Open Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Saturday, 12 - 5 p.m. Admission is always free. For more information on Lex Gjurasic's Radical Happiness visit visiongallery.org.

A visual artist from the rain-soaked Pacific Northwest currently living in Tucson, AZ, Gjurasic has exhibited her work nationally for over 29 years most notably in 2009 as a featured artist in the exhibition Kokeshi: Folk Art to Art Toy at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles CA. In 2017 her video as part of the Miranda July Archive Joanie4Jackie became part of the permanent collection of the Getty Institute.

Recently she has delved into public art completing a mural with the City of Tucson's downtown mural project as well as a temporary immersive exhibition at the Scottsdale Public Library with Scottsdale Public Art. Much beloved by the Tucson community, in 2018 she was nominated as a finalist for Best Visual Artist in the Tucson Weekly then in 2021 she was nominated for the Governor's Arts Award. In 2021 she was invited to collaborate with the New Mexico based art collective Meow Wolf as part of the permeant immersive experience Convergence Station in Denver, CO.

For more information visit chandlercenter.orge today!


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