MAKING AND RETELLING: Nicole Havekost and Chris Rackley
La Crosse, Wis. – UW-La Crosse’s University Art Gallery presents Making and Retelling—a duo exhibition of artwork from Rochester based artists Nicole Havekost and Chris Rackley. Making and Retelling features works of scale and time through labor-intensive processes that examine the body and memory.
With evocative materials and almost obsessive repetition, Nicole Havekost’s works delve into the intricacies of the human body—her own body, specifically—that she describes as an exquisite, repulsive organism. The acts of piercing, pulling, and closing are present in this exhibition with Havekost’s sewn sculptures of the body she is compelled to explore. She describes stitching as an act of accumulation, saying, “It is a collection of marks, moments, and attachments that give shape to a form. Sewing these forms, I rest in my own body more fully.” Havekost, who is a multi-time recipient of the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant, is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design (BFA in Printmaking) and earned her MFA in Printmaking at the University of New Mexico.
The other half of this winter’s exhibition has also been awarded grants by the Minnesota State Arts Board—Chris Rackley, an interdisciplinary artist experimenting with video, sculpture, and drawing to explore memory and perception. “I create opportunities for viewers to shift their point of view by requiring them to peer inside or around objects in the gallery,” he says. “I want viewers to feel as though they are moving between being inside and outside of an experience.” Rackley’s work, which has seen both solo and group exhibitions on the national stage, showcases obsessively detailed miniature recreations of architectural elements based on childhood memories of the shopping malls where his father worked. His awards also include a 2022 Kolman & Reeb Gallery Project Space Grant and a 2018 Art(ists) On the Verge Fellowship. He earned a BA in Studio Art from Davidson College and an MFA in Painting from George Mason University.
Artists will give a talk at 4 p.m. across the hall from the gallery in the Annett Recital Hall followed by a reception from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Each year, the UWL Gallery displays works by student, faculty, regional, and nationally known artists in all areas of art. In conjunction with the gallery program, the Department of Art presents a visiting artist series of lectures, demonstrations, and workshops.