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MAY 2021

Ryna Frankel is a contemporary artist who earned an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Washington in 2017. She spent the month of May 2021 working diligently for a one-person show opening on June 4th at Creative Spaces NWA in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Her work has evolved from the flat surface of a canvas to a 3-dimensional investigation of composition and space. Her exploration of objects in the recent past were often sewn constructions in large and dynamic installations to include the audience in the interactivity with the materials. Memory, story, and relationships with objects are often a theme in these installations which typically include many handcrafted pieces.

For this residency term of a month, her goal was to complete the production of the objects for a one-person show where she currently resides in Arkansas. This was the first time she has worked with wood blocks. In conversation with Ryna, she talked about her childhood memories of creating with blocks and relationships with objects and crafts that the various family members would construct. Color is a predominant element of this work. Like recent artist in residence - Hannah Gumbo - Ryna also has an affinity towards pink. She pushes the color palette to encourage delight, joy and cuteness. Painting more than a 100 blocks within a certain amount of time by hand with a brush with just the gesso layer was a methodical and tedious task. The addition of an airbrush a few weeks into the stay, made the process much faster and rewarding to achieve the timeline.

Ryna was on the residency with her partner, fellow artist Alex Hanson, and their dog Millie. They were able to develop a routine for work, exploring, and socializing. Breaks are always important especially when focus for the scale of the work is needed.

Often times when one is a participant in an exhibition, they don't have a sense of the entirety of the creative process. The founder of the residency, Val, as a former design professor would always encourage students to recognize that the process had more value than the final product because that's where all the decisions and innovations are made. This is why documentation of this process is included in a blog post like this.

The residency is open to groups, families, partners, and even pets with advanced notice and organization of the calendar to suit the needs of the participants and other applicants. It was a joy to have Millie around and apparently she blossomed into a different dog by being in her own nature immersion. On the last day, even the camp cat cutey joined her on a long walk in the woods.

Check out Ryna's portfolio for more of her extensive installation and examination of the object along with the related human experience.

As the month came to a close and Ryna's objects sprung into life forms, the next stage of the process began to emerge - assemblage and presentation.

Congratulations to Ryna on her exhibit and the final installation of these tiny sculptures that are little worlds of their own. Color, Joy, and an ode to childhood memories (her love of books is a hint)! Make sure to follow her on Instagram for more updates.

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