Knapp/Pizzo Exhibition

On April 29, 2013


Whitdel Arts is pleased to announce that it will be hosting the artwork of two local Detroit artists for their May 17th – June 15th exhibition. Jay Knapp and Kathyrose Pizzo, both WSU graduates, will be sharing the gallery space to show the most recent incarnations of their respective bodies of work. Loosely joined by the motif of “clouds,” yet psychologically distant in terms of personal and social meaning, the Knapp/Pizzo exhibition promises to give us all some new perspective to consider.

Since 2009, Knapp’s acclaimed body of work, “Nests and Shells with Skirts and Bells,” has sought to redefine Americans’ relationship with the Atomic Bomb. His delicate, shell-white sculptures, each representative of the mushroom clouds of atomic testing, no longer stand as terrifying symbols of imminent destruction like the images of their inspiration, but rather as decadently refined, seductive objects which long to be incorporated into the daily lives of their many viewers.  Since it’s inception, this body of work has attempted to motivate its audience to accept nuclear weapons as something comforting, and to overcome the darker, associated anxiety.

In this latest exhibition, Knapp expands his body of work, incorporating photographs that both contrast and reinforce his viewpoint. The photographs, mostly of darkened houses on night-shrouded, sleeping suburban streets, are forcefully framed and nearly monochromatic views into the privacy-laden enclaves. Knapp emphasizes the paranoia of these communities with new photographic techniques that show the viewer the actual “view through the camera” so they become as much of an interloper as Knapp himself. With these new images, Knapp’s work continues to disassemble the American view of safety in the common society, showing how those things which we fear keep us safe, and those things we think grant us peace and security are perhaps some of our greatest vulnerabilities.

Kathyrose Pizzo’s work explores the notion of memory, and questions how much awareness we have around memory and its formation. Her sculptures are predominately abstract in nature, and use building materials such as scaffolding that represent stages and supports in building and renovation. Her hand sewn and stuffed fabrics are cloud-like forms that are representative of Pizzo’s interpretation of inflated memories we keep alive in a myriad of ways. Inspiration from past memories, as well as experiences and thoughts relevant to outward expression, and inward reflection, all have a part in how she chooses to fashion the materials. Her method of additive sculpture parallels the mind’s ability to design endless constructs, while the cloud-like, stuffed cotton shapes are based on the memories that are abstracted. For Pizzo, the mind’s memory is reinforced through repetition, and her sculptural process is a perfect reflection of her concept. Her chosen method of hand stitching creates a ritual that reinforces her “thought forms” which are then symbolically stuffed with past experiences, and stored amid her elaborate scaffolds.

The exhibition will run from May 17-June 15, 2013. This event is free and open to the public. All ages welcome. Open gallery hours are Saturdays during exhibitions, noon-3pm, or by appointment. For more information, e- mail Danielle Todd at For a full schedule of exhibitions and events at Whitdel Arts, please visit

A division of CAID, Whitdel Arts is an 1800 sq. ft. professional exhibition space that showcases the work of local and international established and emerging artists. Whitdel Arts is located at 1250 Hubbard Street, Suite B1, Detroit MI 48209. Whitdel Arts is also located on the web at


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