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Rita de Kelaita: Recent Works

Blackfish Galley
Portland Apr 30-Jun 1

Rita de Kelaita Horse #2 (2000), mixed media [Blackfish Gallery, Portland, Apr 30-Jun 1]
Rita de Kelaita’s third exhibit at the Blackfish Gallery features a selection of past and recent work in the gallery’s shared exhibition space. De Kelaita’s work is easily identified by the hybrid assemblage style that she has committed to since completing her formal training as a ceramicist at PNCA (Pacific Northwest College of Art). She combines hand-built ceramic pieces of animal and doll heads and figures with a variety of found objects – wood, wire, plastic figurines and buttons, arrowheads, rocks and bicycle parts. De Kelaita takes apart and reassembles these objects to create her assemblages.

This artist is interested in where modern culture meets traditional folk culture. De Kelaita’s newer pieces focus on the folklore of animals. Some of her works are wire sculptures of eggs and chickens. Translucent white and mother of pearl buttons are strung into her skeletal wire structure creating a shimmery egg form. For de Kelaita, this is folk art as fine art. Buttons, chickens and eggs crafted for hours to be exhibited in a gallery setting.

Her working process, conceptually and physically is like that of a mosaic. It is about the joining of separate elements. De Kelaita also likes to draw on spiritual themes and translate them into her own world. She is a folk artist for our contemporary time.

© Allyn Cantor

 Mon, Apr 1, 2002