Masking: Layers of Knowing by Day Wheeler
July 1st - August 26th, 2022
“The Hell with it. MASK UP” is the last line of a piece of prose written by the artist in 2020 several months before the pandemic to accompany a series of gestural archival prints called “Shaken.” Other than being prophetic, the line “The Hell with it. MASK UP” had nothing to do with the pandemic. However, masks and masking run throughout this show in direct and indirect ways. The artist’s alter ego, goat woman, is a figure that shows up throughout the show. The concept of becoming invisible or disappearing is explored through archival prints and cyanotypes. Other works include clay masks with associated drawings and pottery forms. In the micro-gallery, a piece entitled “Disappearing Family” serves as a memorial installation to Wheeler’s father and brother who she lost last year, and a nod to her therapy dogs who also passed last year.
This exhibition was delayed two years by the pandemic. It is somewhat different show than what was originally planned and continued to change right up until finishing the installation.
“At my age, change is pervasive. What has not changed is my belief in the sanctity of the work. If there is a stirring in the spirit as the artist or viewer responds to the work, then it becomes sacred. I feel that “drawing/gesture” or “image framing” as part of the birth of any work (3-D, photography, installation, etc.) gives that work a presence that lies far beneath its surface, at its very core. This gives that work a soul and makes it more profound and a reflection of the artist’s innermost personal being.” – Day Wheeler
Day Wheeler was born in 1950 in Crockett, Texas and grew up in Haltom City near Ft. Worth. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Arlington in 1974 and her Master of Fine Arts in 1979 at University of North Texas in Denton. She retired in 2009 from teaching art in public schools for 30 years. She also taught ceramics and drawing at Del Mar College from 2005 to 2019. A lifelong student, Wheeler has completed summer art teaching residencies at Texas Tech Junction, TCU, University of Texas Austin, TICA painting residency at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and recently, has taken several photography classes at Del Mar College. Wheeler was one of the first K Space Studio Artists to join the co-op in 1995. Today, she is one of its three managers. Wheeler lives in Port Aransas with her husband Jim and their dog Boudreaux.