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Lizbeth de la Luna & Merrick Knudsen

Opening: Saturday April 13th @ 6:00-9:00pm

Tea Party: Saturday April 20th @ 3:00-5:00pm

Open by appt through May 3rd 2019 

Home is central to early learning and development. It is the space where young children learn to perceive themselves and orient to the world around them. Lizbeth de la Luna and Merrick Knudsen create work that considers themes of identity, family, and storytelling. Merrick’s work is influenced by childhood motifs: butterflies, smiley faces on everything, The Big Comfy Couch (a children’s television series), sloppy drawings, and floral patterns. They use bright, playful, and silly imagery to make work about memory, sexuality, and queerness. Some of these topics are uncomfortable to express, so with the of use humor and bright colored patterns they create a comfortable space for themselves. Lizbeth’s work is inspired by their experience as a first generation Mexican-American child of undocumented parents. They take into account themes of identity, culture, tradition, and nationality through their naturally dyed quilts and soft sculpture piñatas. Considering the responsibility placed on the children of undocumented immigrants, their work employs the playfulness of piñatas and the comfort of quilts which both serve as a return to innocence -- reclaiming the childhood that was taken away.

Through colorful and playful work, each artist explores the complexities of navigating a childhood formed by limitations and responsibilities. The domestic setting of Open House provides the perfect space to share our work -- a space where the context of our work falls into place. Even though we touch on difficult topics we find ourselves in common ground when it comes to creating work that is fun.  

About the artists:

Lizbeth de la Luna is a Latinx artist currently pursuing a BFA in Fiber at the Kansas City Art Institute. Lizbeth uses traditional fiber materials and processes such as sewing, natural dyeing, and printing on fabric to create images dealing with issues of Latinidad and immigration. Lizbeth has an interest in art education and community. They have been a tutor at EMBARC (Ethnic Minorities of Burma Advocacy and Resource Center), a mentor for the college prep program Gear Up Iowa, and a co-facilitator of children’s programing through Spark Plugs at Plug Projects Gallery. 

Merrick Knudsen is an interdisciplinary artist based in Kansas City, Missouri and currently a candidate for a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute. Their influences derive from the Internet, The Big Comfy Couch (a children’s television series), and sloppy craft. Their work consists of found object, installation, digital and fiber processes. Finding a balance between fun and eerie, Merrick Knudsen uses imagery taken from themes of memory, sexuality, and identity. Merrick has interned for Luke Haynes Studios as a studio assistant as well as assisted Paige Nicole Gordon in various projects.