Fair Trade: Recent Work by Staple Goods Collective Members, July 2015

Fair Trade: Recent Work by Staple Goods Collective Members

July 3th- 25th – opening reception July 3, 6-9pm

COOP Gallery is delighted to present another exchange project; this time with the New Orleans based collective Staple Goods.

The show will feature works by members of Staple Goods Collective, which includes: Elizabeth Chen, Aaron Collier, Cynthia Scott, William DePauw, Anne C. Nelson and Jack Niven. The exhibit will contain an eclectic array of drawing, painting, ceramics and found-object sculpture among other media. The collective is dedicated to keeping contemporary art relevant and available for the New Orleans community, the U.S. and abroad. Each artist represented in this exhibit strives to continually adapt their work to the changing environment and personal philosophies.

More about Staple Goods
Located in a former neighborhood grocery in the St. Claude Arts District of New Orleans, Staple Goods is an artist collective gallery dedicated to innovative programming of contemporary visual art by its members and invited guests from the U.S. and abroad. The gallery opened in 2010 and has mounted continuous exhibitions every month since. Although small, the gallery and its collective members have garnered national attention and reviews, and was selected to produce a window installation for the New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center during Prospect.2, the international biennial (now triennial) founded by Dan Cameron. Proud of its location in the close-knit St. Roch community, Staple Goods includes its neighbors in projects and believes that art is a staple of life, not a luxury.  postmedium.com/staplegoods

Members exhibiting at COOP:

Elizabeth Chen

One of Staple Goods’ newer members, Elizabeth Chen works by day as an architect and brings this sense of structure and meticulous attention to detail to her sculpture. Usually consisting of many layers of individual drawings on mylar suspended in space, they take on a magical floating ethereality which resolves into solid forms as one moves around the piece. The two works displayed at COOP were originally made as items of sculptural clothing.

“I approach projects as a series of processes and tests which may or may not have a premeditated form. Often I’m interested in systems and regimented techniques combined with superficial mimicry, unexpected consequences and misinterpretations.”


Aaron Collier

Since graduating from Tulane University with an MFA in 2005, Aaron resides in New Orleans with his wife Kristen and two sons, Camden and Ellis. He teaches drawing and painting at Tulane as an Assistant Professor and is honored to be involved with a fine bunch of artists in Staple Goods collective. In 2014 Aaron was selected for the inaugural Joan Mitchell Foundation professional development residency in New Orleans, which has led to a further month-long residency in Brooklyn this summer.

“Paint has the binary ability to summon and refuse, reveal and conceal, beautify and debase.  My work attempts to revel in these manifold offerings, for in so doing, the resulting imagery is consonant with our tangled interactions with the world.  Routinely, we happen upon phenomena that we are seemingly able to know, grasp, and understand as well as those we fundamentally cannot.  Paint fittingly pictures this paradox, for painting itself is an in-between act, a simultaneous doing and undoing.”


William DePauw

William DePauw received his BFA in Painting from Northern Michigan University and his MFA in Ceramics from Tulane University in 2004. He has held the position of Professor of Practice and Ceramics Lab Tech at Tulane University since 2006.

Primarily occupied with making objects, Depauw is interested in the visual references embodied in physical form, abstract and otherwise. He investigates the broad range of associations in an object’s visual presence.  Employing various arrangement and presentation strategies with these objects, Depauw investigates the subjective content that resonates with particular relationships and various juxtapositions.


Anne C. Nelson

Originally from Minneapolis, Anne Nelson moved to New Orleans in 2010 to attend a nine-month artist residency. After falling in love with the vibrant city and its lively residents, she received an MFA from Tulane University in 2013, and has continually found ways and reasons to stick around. Nelson is a founding member of Staple Goods Gallery and Collective and is also represented by Cole Pratt Gallery. She has coordinated the St. Roch Community Church Artist Residency, and teaches painting and drawing at Tulane University.


Jack Niven

Originally from Canada, Jack Niven has lived and worked in New Orleans since 2005. His work can be found in private and public collections in Europe, Canada and the United States. During the international biennial Prospect.1 (2008) he produced a curatorial project, American Beauty South – a collection of artist-produced billboards mounted on motels located along a stretch of Highway 61 in New Orleans (www.americanbeautysouth.com). For Prospect.2 (2011) his street mural Liberty’s Mule was featured in the Oxford American’s, “Best of The South 2012” and is now permanently installed at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Returning to the streets for Prospect.3 (2014), Jack produced a new multi-panel mural, Reckon. Niven is also represented by Martine Chaisson Gallery in New Orleans.


Cynthia Scott

Cynthia Scott followed a BFA in Sculpture from Rhode Island School of Design with stints as an actress (Aliens) and singer (Red Flame/Virgin 10 Records) in New York, London and Los Angeles – eventually completing the circle by establishing a home and art studio in New Orleans, where she received her MFA from Tulane University in 2008. Scott is the recipient of several public art commissions, an Artist Fellowship, and numerous grants. She has exhibited in London, Edinburgh, New York, Los Angeles, and many cities across the U.S. From 2009 to 2011 she established and coordinated Current:NOLA, a discussion group/think tank of artists and writers engaged in raising the national and international profile of contemporary New Orleans visual art through dialogue, promotion, and critical writing. Scott is one of the founder members of Staple Goods.

“Besides appealing to my sense of Earth stewardship by using everything that crosses my path at least twice, I find that recycled materials have a history and connotation which can either underscore or challenge a point of view. I like the idea that art can be made out of anything at hand without depending on money, specialized equipment, or esoteric knowledge.”