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Jonathan Gruchawka and Mark Leavens

  • Project Space 613 Allen Street Austin, TX, 78702 United States (map)

In this exhibition, we study the nature of man-made structures and their journeys. We choose to personify and romanticize man-made objects and spaces that are composed of common building materials by instilling in them a history and future of their relationships to the living. These objects include frameworks for housing, “bones” of monuments, and two-dimensional depictions of their various states. The work weaves in and out of its own timeline, capturing single moments as well as broad swathes of its own experience, making physical evidence of what is normally passing and intangible. It is intended that through traversing from one temporally isolated work to another, a viewer can construct their own loose narrative around the pieces based on their physical, aural, and visual engagement. In this process of experience and analysis, real objects become entangled with romantic imagination, and through a phenomenological approach there is born a physical union between the warmth of possibility and the weight of past certainty.

With these ideas in mind, one might ask themselves some larger questions: Is divorcing one’s self from the past and building a new future as simple as rebuilding a house, or tearing down a monument? What do the things we manipulate, occupy, and leave behind really say about us?

Jonathan Gruchawka is an artist currently studying at the University of Texas at Austin. He was born in New Jersey in 1987 and has since resided in other states across the American south and east coast such as Georgia, Connecticut, and Tennessee. In these experiences Gruchawka has gathered many perspectives in his approach to art-making and strives to find some of the roots and common bonds that command universal understanding, emphasizing the importance of experience, interaction, and personal reflection. Jonathan has participated in several group exhibitions at the former Xue gallery in Dallas, featured work in DCCCD’s League of Innovation, and was a finalist for the Dallas Art Dealer’s Association’s (DADA) Edith Baker scholarship, featuring work at Irving Arts Center.

Mark Leavens was born in 1991 in Houston, Texas. In 2014 he graduated with a BA in studio art from The University of Texas at Austin, where he first studied architectural design and public relations before moving on to the study of painting and other visual arts that include photography and sculpture. His geometrically abstract style investigates perspective and his interest in formal elements of interior structures. He has exhibited at the Visual Arts Center in Austin and is currently keeping up with an avid studio practice in the city of Austin as well.

SUMMERSCOOL is a bridge between studio practice and exhibition production for young artists between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five. This mentorship based program provides training and insight as artists prepare for their exhibitions coupled with a hands on experience of managing an art space. Selected artists receive two months of personal access to Co-Lab Project's administrators, curators, artists and assistants to learn practical professional development skills required in the visual arts industry.