Mary Jane Parker: Keepsakes

Exhibition Dates: March 3 – March 31, 2012
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 3 from 6 – 8 pm
Gallery Location: 432 Julia Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Contact Info: 504.522.1999;

The Arthur Roger Gallery is pleased to present “Keepsakes,” an exhibition of mixed media work by Mary Jane Parker. The exhibition will be on view at Arthur Roger Gallery, located at 432 Julia Street, from March 3 – March 31, 2012. The gallery will host an opening reception Saturday, March 3 from 6-8 pm.

Tattooed, 2011. Giclée. 34 x 51 inches.

Mary Jane Parker’s work is inspired by the masses of foliage that blanketed the New Orleans landscape in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Struck by the natural patterns of vines and how they decorated the surfaces of the city, she began photographing, drawing and cutting stencils of them.

References from history, medicine and botany often inform Parker’s work as she looks for affinities with the natural world and our human desire to organize it. Pairing dissimilar elements together and finding a connection is fascinating to the artist and her current work explores these ideas.

In “Keepsakes,” faces of anonymous people are grouped with prints of pressed plants and heirloom doilies. Photographs, once records of people of importance, become obscured by other items of more importance slid down into the same frame. Reasons for keeping a piece of lace or a pressed flower are forgotten and what is left is a collage of pattern. This current body of work is a lush, yet slightly uneasy collision of patterns, mementos, nature and the disquiet of suppressed memories.

Mary Jane Parker, a native New Orleanian, received her B.F.A. from Louisiana State University and her M.F.A. from Illinois State University. She received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2009. Mary Jane Parker is the chairperson of the visual arts department at the New Orleans Center for Creative Art and a member of the teaching faculty.