NEW ORLEANS (press release) – IBIS Contemporary Art Gallery proudly presents Collective Memory, a solo exhibition of new sculptures by Kathy Stecko.

“In her work, Stecko uses the human figure and masks to explore complex emotions. Her figures are elongated, slender, and child-like in shape and proportion. By grouping figures together, Stecko creates open-ended narratives that have a quality of a waking dream. The centerpiece of the exhibition is Souvenir, a large bronze of a young girl, standing upright with arms relaxed at her side. Her head is slightly tilted upward, and her eyes are closed. She seems absorbed in the light of a full moon made of “spinners,” the winged seeds that spiral down from maple trees in early spring. The serenity of this tableau is punctured by the porcelain figures mounted on the adjacent walls. Their expressions are impenetrable: Some wear oversized masks that cover the sculpture’s head. The disproportionate size and rounded features are playful yet confounding. The subtle combination of glazes and paints on the faces and masks provide emotional cues and sometimes suggest injury. Stecko challenges nostalgia and the sentimentality of childhood and the past. She deftly conveys the mutability of memories, the beauty and fragility of the human condition” — Irene Mei Zhi Shum. 

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Kathy Stecko is an artist and poet based in Brooklyn, New York. She received her BFA from the University of Michigan, where she was the recipient of the prestigious Avery Hopwood Award for Poetry, and MFA from The New York Academy of Art. She was an artist-in-residence at Sculpture Space. She has exhibited at notable galleries and museums including the Grand Rapids Art Museum, Hiestand Galleries (Miami University), DUMBO Arts Center, Mana Contemporary, CUE Art Foundation, and Art Miami, among others. She teaches at Pratt Institute.

The exhibition runs Feb. 4 – March 25, with an artist’s reception on Feb. 4 from 5-9 p.m. It will be installed in IBIS’ Middle Gallery.