The Studios Inc Exhibition Space is pleased to present Topanga Dawn, a solo exhibition featuring resident artist Jarrett Mellenbruch, on view from 05.08.15 to 06.12.15 with an opening reception on Friday, 05.08.15, from 6:00 – 9:00 PM.
Topanga Dawn is an exhibition of new sculptures inspired by Mellenbruch’s brief but impactful visit to Topanga, California. In a whimsical and minimalist sculptural language, Mellenbruch examines his attraction to places on the fringes of society. Nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains north of Los Angeles, Topanga Canyon has long been home to actors, musicians, artists, and others seeking shelter from the hectic life of the city. For Mellenbruch it is a symbol of creative and spiritual freedom, a retreat readily available yet miraculously removed.
Mellenbruch’s practice involves a broad range of approaches to art, often taking place at the nexus of scientific research, transdisciplinary collaboration, and public participation. His Haven project (2011-ongoing) is a network of functional beehive sculptures that provide optimal habitat for honeybees while focusing public attention to their ecological plight. Haven is on view at the deCordova Sculpture Park in Lincoln, Massachusetts, the Kauffman Memorial Gardens, the Kauffman Foundation, Johnson County Community College, 18Broadway Urban Garden, and Hyde Park, as well as in numerous private collections, and (as of Summer 2015) at Arno Park and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art.
Mellenbruch’s Float, a social practice intervention in which hammocks activated the large lawn between the Kansas City Convention Center and the Kauffman Performing Arts Center, was enthusiastically embraced by the public, tweeted by Mayor Sly James, and named a Best of 2012 by The Kansas City Star and The Pitch. A Summer 2014 iteration of Float was hosted at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, and a permanent Float installation will be an element in Mellenbruch’s twenty-thousand-square-foot earth work commission at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, beginning construction in 2016.
Mellenbruch’s current projects also include Virtual Vector Laboratory, a collaboration with researchers at Kansas University mapping the insect vector of Chagas disease in Latin America, and the Kansas City Tool Library, a large-scale intervention set in the Historic Northeast neighborhood of Kansas City that will explore social capital as a mechanism for community growth. KCTL is being developed in partnership with the Hardesty Renaissance Development Corporation and the Kansas City Art Institute.
An adjunct teacher at The Kansas City Art Institute, Mellenbruch has been a guest lecturer at Parsons The New School, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, the American Museum of Natural History, Grand Arts, UMKC, Kansas University, and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art. He earned his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and MFA from the Maine College of Art.
Jarrett Mellenbruch is a resident artist at The Studios Inc. The Studios Inc provides studio space, professional development, networking, and exhibitions for mid-career artists in Greater Kansas City.
The 2014-2015 Exhibition Series has been made possible through the generous financial support of Benjamin Meade.