Swings and Ladders

Location: Fairfield Inn & Suites 

120 E Harrell Dr. Russellville AR 72802

 

Closing Reception: Fairfield Inn Conference Room April 2, 2022, from 2:00p to 4:00 pm, Meet the artists for refreshments and a talk about the work.

Swings and Ladders 

Two artists from different walks of life look back at their childhood, they each recall fond memories of being young kids. They remember their friends and the games they played. But those memories are now tinged with the lens of time, responsibility, and experience. Swings and Ladders is a show about remembering a time when the only thing that had to be worried about was being home for dinner. It is a show about looking back through the lens of today, of relishing that time because they now know what the next twenty years will bring. 

For Andrew, the ladders are an important icon in this series of work. When he was a young boy, for about two summers, he and his friends built 15 to 20 tree forts all around their neighborhood. Any tree could be a fort so long as they could build a ladder onto it. They scavenged wood from old pallets and construction sites. They rummaged for nails and paint in garages and sheds. Back then, the ladder signified that whatever tree it was hammered into was no longer a tree, it was something so much more. It was a place where they would play, it was their castle tower, their defense against invading hordes and armies, where their imagination would run wild. For these sculptures, the ladder also represents growth and the idea of the child who looks forward to adulthood without realizing what that means, and an adult who looks back on childhood with full understanding. 

For Jesse, the playgrounds were a place where he and his friends created many fond memories. Most days after school, on weekends, and during the warm summer vacations, you could find Jesse and his pals hanging around the swings or sharing stories on the seesaws. The swing sets were base camp for Jesse and the neighborhood kids to meet up and plan the day’s adventures. At the end of the day, the swing sets were the meeting place where all the kids reunited together and bid each other farewell before the streetlights came on and everyone rushed home on their bikes. The dangling swing with broken chains represents the moments in life every child must face, the first fight with his best friend or the first heartbreak. However, the swings now sit empty with no activity because those children grow up and no longer visit those wonderful memories of yesteryear. The empty swings now call the kid in each of us to remember those magnificent reminiscences that were created at the playground and invite you to take a swing every now and then in the past of your childhood. 

Andrew Malczewski

c.a.m.
75.00

20220304_082152.jpg

Wood,nails,paint
17"x 4" x 3"

 

s.j.l.
75.00

20220304_081759.jpg

15" x 6" x 4"
Wood, nails, paint, screws

a.a.j.
75.00

20220304_081849.jpg

7" x 4" x 6"
Wood, nails, paint, screws

l.m
75.00

20220304_081940.jpg

10" x 7" x 4"
Wood, nails, paint, screws

p.p.
75.00

20220304_082029.jpg

11" x 4" x 4"
Wood, nails, paint, screws

a.e.w
75.00

20220304_082111.jpg

15" x 8" x 4"
Wood, nails, paint, screws

j.l.h.
75.00

20220304_082152.jpg

8" x 6" x 3"
Wood, nails, paint, screws

s.m.
75.00

20220304_082232.jpg

9" x 7" x 4"
Wood, nails, paint, screws

Jesse Barraza

June 1992
50.00

IMG_20220302_171229418.jpg

5" x 9" x 4"
Wood, aluminum tubing,carriage bolts, zip tie.

August 1993
50.00

IMG_20220302_165742471.jpg

5" x 9" x 4"
Wood, aluminum tubing,carriage bolts, zip tie.

Spring 1988
70.00

IMG_20220302_164159559.jpg

5" x 19" x 4"
Wood, aluminum tubing,carriage bolts, zip tie.

Missing You
50.00

IMG_20220302_171556363.jpg

5" x 9" x 4"
Wood, aluminum tubing, carriage bolts, zip tie.

First Love
50.00

IMG_20220302_165240845_edited.jpg

5" x 9" x 4"
Wood, aluminum tubing, carriage bolts, zip tie.

Fall 2021
70.00

IMG_20220302_170001896.jpg

5" x 19" x 4"
Wood, aluminum tubing, carriage bolts, zip tie.

April 1999
60.00

IMG_20220302_164804122.jpg

5" x 15" x 4"
Wood, aluminum tubing, carriage bolts, zip tie.

E+B 04/06
60.00

IMG_20220302_164947064.jpg

5" x 15" x 4"
Wood, aluminum tubing, carriage bolts, zip tie.

Jesse Barraza     Email. -jesterbarraza@yahoo.com   Web - https://grim18tens.wixsite.com/jessebarraza

Artist Statement 

Growing up as a member of Generation X and being raised in a low-income family, I spent a lot of time at the city parks and neighborhood playgrounds for entertainment. My friends and I would gather at what we referred to as “the park” to play on the equipment or just hang out. So, many of us from that time remember the old swing sets and hardwood see-saws with the large carriage bolts we so fondly played on. 

The Abandoned Playground is meant to represent those memories. However, those memories over time get shoved in the back recesses of our minds and become replaced with responsibilities and deadlines. Those happy childhood memories, like the playground, begin to decay and wither away over time until they no longer exist. 

 

The series is a reminder to us that as adults we must take time for ourselves and remember to play and let our imaginations soar from time to time so we do not forget the joys we shared as kids. 

Jesse Barraza

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Bio

Jesse was born in El Paso, Texas, and raised in Morton, Texas, a small rural farming town that is located West of Lubbock. Having grown up in the dry, arid plains of Llano Estacado he found a love for the vast wide-open spaces of West Texas at a young age. His love for horror movies and the process that is involved in the making of movie monsters is what led to Jesse’s love for the arts.

 

Jesse works in graphite or acrylic on Bristol, wood, clay, and creating miniatures.

He enjoys the realism that graphite can bring to artwork. Jesse gets his creative ideas from modern popular characters and classic movie monsters. The works of Karoly Grosz like the classic Frankenstein or the pop art of Burton Morris’ Coca Cola have always been an inspiration for the artist. Currently, Jesse is working on his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Arkansas Tech University and resides with his wife and two sons in Russellville Arkansas. 

Andrew Malczewski  E-mail. - malczewskiandrew@gmail.com Web. - www.andrewmalczewski.com

Artist Statement

I have been working with different ideas and concepts surrounding imagination memories. I've been drawing a lot recently on memories of childhood and that sense of uninhibited joy that kids have and the fact that kids tend to have no filter. I try to make work that is bright and uplifting and not let my own cynicism about life bleed into it too much. I want the work to reflect the memories I have of childhood but the knowledge of being an adult, the responsibility, stress, and worries color the lens of those memories. 

 When I make objects the objects themselves are made to inhabit and incorporate that sense of play, imagination, and freedom. It is fantastic and wondrous, something that brings cheer and joy, and is not necessarily a thing recognized, but it invokes those feelings. In this way, I hope that the view is drawn into memories of their own. 

Andrew Malczewski

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Bio

Andrew was born and raised north of Chicago where he developed his love of art and found his calling as a sculptor while working as a studio assistant and fabricator. He decided to pursue formal education as a way to deepen his understanding of the arts and received his Bachelor of Fine Art from Northern Illinois University and his Masters from Texas A&M University Corpus Christi. 

Since graduation Andrew has been working and living in San Antonio. At the start of 2019, he became an instructor at Inspire Fine Art center where he taught intermediate and advanced welding courses. He was privileged to be part of their community outreach classes to help bring art education to underprivileged areas of San Antonio. Unfortunately, due to a loss of finical assistance due to COVID-19 Inspire was forced to permanently close its doors in May of 2020. 

At the beginning of 2020, he accepted the role of Woodshop manager at Texas State in San Marcus and he has had the pleasure of working when needed as a Gallery Tec at Blue Star Contemporary Art Gallery in San Antonio. 

Now at the start of 2022, he is the Windgate Artist in residence at Arkansas Tech University. Through this residency, he will be able to connect with the community, teach and build a sculpture for ATU. 

In addition to this work, Andrew produces and co-hosts the podcast Artsplanations with his fiancée, contracts as a fabricator, and accepts private commissions for drawings, paintings, sculptures, and ceramics.