Melissa Rivenbark: Excavations On Hirta – Obsolete Display – June 2017

July 10, 2017

Melissa Rivenbark: Excavations On Hirta – Obsolete Display – June 2017

“All experience is a muddle, until we make a model to explain it.”

     Artist Melissa Rivenbark bases her art around this quote by famed author Robert Anton Wilson and the work displayed in her exhibit at the Pima County Public Library last month lived up to Wilson’s philosophy.

     In her art, Rivenbark uses a variety of mediums, such as drawing, sewing, and painting, conjointly to form what she refers to as a series of “ambiguous environments”. The pieces I saw hung along the library walls illustrated this concept excellently as each medium’s presence in the works acted as their own landmarks on the canvas’ landscape. Patches of fabric in a hill-like form exists alongside roads of sketchy lines. Along with geometric environments, Rivenbark also uses this method to create cloudy fluid-like masses of color and texture.

     At first glance, these pieces may look like a random assortment of shapes and colors, but upon closer inspection, there is a lot more method and form to their madness. What Melissa wants to inspire with her art is conversation amongst the viewers of how to fit the abstract “muddled” nature of her work into a “model” that can be understood.

     To me, the interplay between methods of mark making to create an abstract map reminds me of the city of Tucson itself and how each downtown district and area is very distinct in identity from each other.

Check out Melissa’s work in the slideshow below, as well as on her online profile and Facebook page!