Bonnie Staley, MFA 2018

March 21 - 24, 2018

Opening Reception March 23, 6-8pm




It's Okay to Fly Low, 2017
Dye, distemper, oil on canvas, and muslin
6.8 FT x 5.4 FT


Still Warm and Breathing, 2017
Oil on canvas, flash, and paper mache
3.2 FT x 4.8 FT

Artist Statement

I compare the intersection of my painterly strengths and weaknesses to the subtlety and

craft of delivering a joke. What might be read as an affinity for the absurd, actually reveals a

deep fascination with human foibles. I translate memory and invention into image; I question

artifice and objectification. By utilizing acrylic, oil, egg tempera, distemper, and fabric

manipulation, my investment in craftsmanship and desire for risk-taking engage in a complicated

duel. Within my work, there is vulnerability tinkering towards self-deprecation.


My best ideas are often conceived during ordinary moments when I let my thoughts drift.

I stockpile notes and drawings to take shape, as tangible objects, in the studio. I allow these

notions to morph mid-process if a more interesting solution comes to mind. Confidence not

present in my life shines through my work, inciting new, unknown conversations.


Economy is important to my process. I use what I see laying around, material collected

over the years. I gather scraps from the wood shop; the found shapes often dictate what I make.

After lugging them to my studio, the effort of my miter saw yields a meaningful engagement

with the material. I intuit when something is finished, but proudly claim ownership of the object

at every stage. Ideally, my work exudes both sloppiness and elegance.


Making gets me out of my head, elicits an emergence from repression, and the process

itself is a welcome relief.