statement and bio

For the past five years, I have set aside my practice as a figurative oil painter to explore alternative materials and mark-making processes. I have co-opted utilitarian products from hardware and industrial fabric stores in order to develop new vernaculars in my painting repertoire. These items are mass-produced for maintenance work and not intended to draw attention to themselves. They play a functionally supportive role and almost always operate in the background. These paintings, however, bring them to the center of the viewer’s gaze.

I work intuitively to allow the materials to dictate my direction. I look for visual rhymes (correlations in texture, color, pattern, or luminosity) between disparate materials and pair them together. Subtle painterly variations direct the flow of the work. Compositional choices are made in order to emphasize dialogues between substrate and surface.

As a mom who’s taken on the role of managing the household and caring for my daughter, I am doing a lot of maintenance work that layers into the background-unseen. My art practice is the inverse of my daily life.

Born in Nebraska 1977, Tana Quincy Arcega obtained a BFA from the University of Nebraska and an MFA from the New York Academy of Art where she studied figurative painting and sculpture. An illness altered her methodologies over the course of several years to evolve her practice into one of material exploration, mark-making research and abstract painting. Her mouth paintings were featured in Her
Living magazine in the story, “Overcoming Obstacles". She taught at the college level for six years and partnered with Make-A-Wish Foundation to teach a 7-year-old girl with cancer to paint artwork that would hang in a museum. She was a recent Finalist for the Sustainable Arts Grant. Since 2015, she has exhibited solo shows yearly at the Foundry Art Center in Missouri, CounterPulse, Red Poppy Art House, and Incline Gallery in San Francisco. Last year, she completed eight large-scale paintings during a 6-week residency followed by a solo exhibition at Gene Space in Shanghai, China.