Whither the American Dream?
2013 Juried Exhibition

November 21 - December 21, 2013

Opening Reception and Awards: 5-8pm
First Thursday, December 5, 2013
Awards at 7pm

Juried by Rock Hushka
Director of Curatorial Administration
Curator of Contemporary and Northwest Art
Tacoma Art Museum


Juror's Choice Award $500
Robert Dupree

PUNCH Choice Award $500
R. Eric McMaster

People's Choice Award $500
Phillip Carpenter

About the Show

Read Juror's Statement

PUNCH enthusiastically presents our fifth Juried Exhibition, Whither the American Dream. A total of 533 artists submitted 1,919 entries from all corners of the globe. Trophies and awards will be announced at the opening reception on December 5 at 7 p.m. And remember to cast your vote for the people's choice award when you visit the show.

Phillip Amrhein : Sacramento, CA
Arthur Bacon : Seattle, WA
Marcus Bowcott : North Vancouver, BC
Rachel Breen : Minneapolis, MN
Stefani Byrd : San Diego, CA
Michael Callaghan : San Francisco, CA
Phillip Carpenter : Seattle, WA
Austin Dickson : Las Vegas, NV
Jennifer Drinkwater : Ames, IA
Robert Dupree : Brooklyn, NY
Jessika Edgar : Las Cruces, NM
Sarah Gilbert : Portland, OR
Natchez Hudson : Chambésy Switzerland
Paul Madsen : Poland, OH
Kari Marboe : Oakland, CA
R. Eric McMaster : Austin, TX
Pat Phillips : Lafayette, LA
Kamila Szczesna : Galveston, TX
Sandy Tramel : The Woodlands, TX
Ling Zhang : Atlanta, GA

Phillip Amrhein : Website
Phil Amrhein lives and works in Sacramento CA., where he received his MA from California State University Sacramento. Amrhein taught high school art for many years and is now working full time in his studio. He has been exhibiting his work for over twenty years. His current focus is on the relationship between brushed line work and fields of sprayed paint.

Arthur Bacon : Website
Arthur Bacon has been photographing the US-Mexico border for 20 years. Through his photographs, Arthur tells a tale where tragedy, hope and fear coalesce in the divide between haves and have-nots, through 1800 miles of human drama, exquisite landscapes, changing politics and present danger. It is a reality that most Americans have never experienced, yet, it is a story that is imbedded in the fundamental nature of what the United States is and has become. Arthur Bacon has exhibited in the United States and abroad. His photographs are in the permanent collections of various museums, including the Tacoma Art Museum, The Utah State Art Museum, The St. Louis Art Museum and the Lerida Art Museum (Spain) among others. He received his MFA in photography from the University of Florida (1980).

Marcus Bowcott : Website
Having lived for 60 years by the sea, Marcus Bowcott’s paintings often focus on the nuances and plentitude of the ocean. His paintings explore the often-uneasy relationships between natural and industrial landscapes. His installations and sculptures explore human evolution as well as our natural and altered environments. He is an alumnus of the Royal College of Art in London, England. He received an MA from the RCA, School of Painting in 1984 and completed his undergraduate studies in Vancouver and Toronto. He currently teaches drawing and painting at Capilano University (since 1991) and has exhibited regularly in private Vancouver galleries since 1986. He exhibits his work locally, nationally and internationally. He is the recipient of several grants and awards, including grants from The Canada Council, The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation and The British Columbia Arts Council. His work is in several private and corporate collections and also in public collections, including The Canada Council Art Bank, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and The Vancouver Art Gallery.

Rachel Breen
Rachel Breen is a Minneapolis-based artist and a Professor of Art at Anoka Ramsey Community College. Rachel draws with a sewing machine as a way to explore ideas of fragility, repair and connection. Her artwork has been exhibited throughout the Midwest and includes both works on paper and large temporary installations.

Stefani Byrd : Website
Stefani Byrd is a millennial generation artist whose practice includes video, new media, and interactive technologies. Byrd is most noted for her interactive temporary public art installations with frequent collaborator Wes Eastin. The two have been collaborating on interactive public art and new media projects since 2008. These works are a hybrid of video and performance art that both disorient and re-orient the viewer. The work is both playful and sophisticated, drawing the viewer into active and often interactive engagement. They have received grants and support from groups such as: Creative Capital of New York, Flux Projects, Atlanta Celebrates Photography, and Idea Capital. Their work has been featured in such places as the Independent Film Channel, the New Filmmakers Festival in New York, the Atlanta Film Festival, the Huffington Post, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Athens Institute for Contemporary Art, the Hunter Museum of American Art and Art Papers Magazine. Their work is held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, the Columbus Museum of American Art, and the Diane Marek Collection and Trust. They are based out of San Diego, California and Atlanta, Georgia. Byrd is currently pursing a M.F.A. degree from the University of California San Diego.

Michael Callaghan
Michael’s art explores the cultural landscape - through photographic anthropology/archaeology; embracing the notion of chance through unexpected interconnections and dialogues, examining fragmentation, where multiple parts are collected, rearranged and reinterpreted, and exploring how we assimilate and process received messaging. His photography has been exhibited globally. Michael is completing an MFA at San Francisco Art Institute.

Phillip Carpenter : Website
I think about my surroundings and I think about the people in this life, the relationships we have, and everything between us that brings us together or distances us. Everything seems ephemeral, even the moment of being aware. There is value in noticing the present, though it is often elusive and difficult to balance between our expectations and reflections. I react to the world as I experience it with the people in my life equally wrapped up in thoughts of the past, the spontaneity of the present, and the unknown possibilities for the future. We exist within the presence of our possible interactions, our experiences. We shape the world with intention and also with a thoughtless human movement. The objects of the world move with us and by us, between us and without us. The specifics of their placement yields insight into our personalities. How we perceive our surroundings and eachother becomes our sense of self if we decide to let it. My work in photography, clay impressions, and constructed artifacts of movement and memory aim to capture and reflect on the ephemeral shapings of our worldly experience. We respond to eachother, the objects before us, and the structures we inhabit. It is this sense of proximity to everything which defines our lives. Most recently, I've been using clay to give physicality to the negative space that exists as an invisible entity of distance and relation between us. This intangible space is at once the barrier and connector to everything.

Austin Dickson : Website
Austin Dickson is a native Hoosier currently finishing his MFA at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. His work primarily focuses on the endless stream of absurdity and nostalgia-based depression created by THE INTERNET.

Jennifer Drinkwater : Website
Words are never neutral. The way that we use language to identify people, places, and things reveal the values of ourselves and of our society. Similarly, the images that we choose to assign to our ideas and to illustrate our words are never neutral. The use of text is an essential aspect to my work, in that it links our use of language with our perceptions of images and forms. I appropriate elements and materials from all areas of visual culture in order to establish connections and renegotiate meanings. In other words, meaning occurs in the juxtapositions of objects, images, and materials.

Robert Dupree : Website
Robert Dupree is from Fresno, California and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from California State University, Chico with a Certificate for Teaching Logic and Critical Thinking and completed his Masters of Fine Art in Photography and Re¬lated Technologies at Parsons The New School for Design. Dupree uses his background in philosophy to explore how people relate to one another and to their broader culture. He began using photog¬raphy as his primary medium, but has expanded upon his photographic foundation by incorporating sculpture, installation, and painting into his practice. Robert Dupree’s work has been shown at DIVA Art Fair in Chelsea and has been shown in multiple Non-Profit Organizations, New York galleries, and Publications.

Jessika Edgar : Website
Jessika Edgar is a ceramic artist and object maker. While her work is often mixed media, the most prominent material is always clay. Jessika earned a BA and MA in Art from California State University Northridge in Northridge, CA, in 2008 and 2009, respectively. In 2011, she received her MFA in Ceramics from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Jessika has exhibited nationally and internationally and has been a visiting Artist-in-Residence at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI, Assistant and Visiting Artist at Guldagergaard: International Ceramic Research Center in Skaelskor, Denmark, and most recently the Post-MFA Fellow at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Art and the Ceramics Area Head at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces.

Sarah Gilbert : Website
Sarah Gilbert is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Art at Reed College, where she has been teaching since 2011. Drawing on a wide range of sculptural materials and processes, her work explores changing definitions of the human and post human in relation to questions of materiality. Many of her projects involve linking the past to the present, drawing on material memory and the tension between figuration and abstraction as springboards for contemplating our experience of time. Her work has been exhibited at the Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, Gallery Project, Ann Arbor, and Hunter College, New York City. She holds a BFA degree in Glass from the Rhode Island School of Design, a BA degree in Art Semiotics from Brown University, and an MFA degree in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts from the University of Idaho.

Natchez Hudson : Website
Currently based in Switzerland, Natchez Hudson graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts (Auckland University, New Zealand) in 2001, winning the prize for best final year painting show. He shown work in solo and group exhibitions across New Zealand and in Europe. Natchez’s work has always straddled the difficult line between visual attractiveness and powerful social critique, resulting in a unique and appealingly sparse aesthetic. While he has tended to focus most closely on painting in his practice, he has also worked extensively on other modes of expression and in particular ways of potentially utilising the internet as a medium for art. The live internet stream from his work in this exhibition can be found here.

Paul Madsen : Website
Born in Chicago, Paul Madsen is now based in Poland, Ohio, a suburb of Youngstown, after earning his BFA from Northern Illinois University, With a background in illustration and painting, Paul primarily creates text pieces on alternative fabrics to explore the new dimensions that they can offer for the canvas stretcher. When combined with stencils and spray paint, this process creates an art that is both delicate and abrasive.

Kari Marboe : Website
Kari Marboe lives and works in Oakland, California. The artist earned a BFA from California College of the Arts (2008) and a MFA from the University of California, Berkeley (2012). She received the Eisner Award for art practice at UC Berkeley (2012), was a resident at Elsewhere in Greensboro, NC (2012) and created the concept for the exhibition and archive MFA: Now at Root Division in San Francisco, CA (2011). Marboe’s site-specific, text-based installations have lived in spaces such as an exterior wall of the Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA, the windows of the Museum of Northern California Artists, Chico, CA, in Latham Square, Oakland, CA and within the air of Southern Exposure, San Francisco, CA.

R. Eric McMaster : Website
R. Eric McMaster received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The Pennsylvania State University in 2003 and a Master’s degree in Sculpture from Arizona State University in 2008. He has shown extensively, including exhibitions in New York, Paris, New Delhi, Miami, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Phoenix, among others. He is a recipient of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship, the Ted Decker Catalyst Fund and numerous scholastic grants and scholarships. Competitive sports are the current vehicle through which McMaster explores themes of order, resistance, and the individual versus the collective. His works often involve fabricated objects, installations, video, photography, performance, and/or athletes. R. Eric McMaster currently lives in Austin, TX where he teaches at the University of Texas at Austin's Art and Art History Department.

Pat Phillips : Website
Pat Phillips is a southern artist currently residing in Lafayette, La. Growing up in a small town, Phillips spend most of his childhood “doodling,” and hanging out in the train yard. His pieces are not only heavily influenced by his graffiti roots, but question the viewer’s perception between culture and subculture. Inspired by his experiences, his humorous approach not only narrates, but tackles social issues, while taking on personal conflicts. While on the surface, his weathered paintings share insight from a graffiti vandal turn gallery artist, but on a deeper level depict current and historical issues. Most recently he has been working a new series, “ROOTS”, which will be showing in New Orleans at Antenna gallery in 2014.

Kamila Szczesna : Website
Kamila Szczesna is an interdisciplinary artist working in various media and formats including drawing, painting, sculpture, and installation. In her work she explores the complex interactions between the human body and the human mind. She was born in Poland where she earned her Master’s degree at the Academy of Art and Design in Wroclaw. Her work has been exhibited and is held in public collections in Poland, Japan, Spain, Germany, Korea., Spain, Germany, Denmark as well as in United States. She has been the recipient of the First Place Award at Assistance League of Houston Celebrates Texas Art, the First Prize at Contemporary Ceramics CERCO-09 inSaragossa, Spain, Bronze Award at the 8th International Ceramics Competition in Tajimi City, Japan. Since 2002 she lives and works in Galveston, TX.

Sandy Tramel
Sandy Tramel was born in Baltimore, Maryland. She attended the Maryland Institute College of Art. She holds a B.S. from Towson University. In 1988 she moved to Houston, Texas. Her work has received numerous awards and has been included in exhibits in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, and Houston.

Ling Y. Zhang : Website
Ling Y. Zhang was born and raised in northern China. With the support of an artistic influence from her family, Ling received MFA degree at Central Institute of Nationalities in Beijing China. After graduation, she successfully exhibited at the China Museum of Fine Art in Beijing. In1988 she was invited by Signet Fine Art, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and The Governor of State of Illinois for the exhibition of The Selected Contemporary Oil Paintings from China. In the past 2 decades, her work has been exhibited in many group and solo shows nationally and internationally, and has received numerous awards. Recently, Ling exhibited with her other 2 sisters for The Zhang’s Sisters in New Orleans, Atlanta, Sacramento and Norman.

Read Juror's Statement

Noon-5pm Thurs-Sat, or by appointment.

Next Exhibition:

Natalie Dotzauer
(more info)


Phil Amrhein

Arthur Bacon

Marcus Bowcott

Rachel Breen

Stefani Byrd

Michael Callaghan

Phillip Carpenter

Austin Dickson

Jennifer Drinkwater

Robert Dupree

Jessika Edgar

Sarah Gilbert

Natchez Hudson

Paul Madsen

Kari Marboe

R. Eric McMaster

Pat Phillips

Kamila Szczesna

Sandy Tramel

Ling Zhang