Alchemy Exhibition


Here at Create! Magazine, you can explore the virtual exhibition on a computer or download the Exhibit App for mobile viewing.

Exhibition Essay

Curators: Charuka Arora, Victoria J. Fry, and Mona Lerch

Essay by Christina Nafziger



: a power or process that changes or transforms something in a mysterious or impressive way

As artists, part of what we do is transform. We take materials like canvas and paint, clay and fire, camera and film, and completely transform them into a work of art. We alter the current state of these materials and manipulate them until they are often completely unrecognizable. One minute there are several different materials laying on a studio table, and the next they are changed into our own artistic vision. To others outside this process, it may seem like magic—like alchemy. The process of creating art often goes unseen, left for others to imagine as mysterious or out of reach. Enter the myth of the “lone creative genius”. However, behind this ‘genius’ is a lot of behind-the-scenes labor, a series of endless trials and errors. But when we do achieve that result, when our vision finally comes to life, it often does feel like magic. Our vision is transformed from a mere idea in our heads to a physical (or digital) object out in the world—something that never existed before and will never exist in the same way again. What is more magical and mysterious than that? Perhaps art-making is true alchemy, the process being the vehicle for transformation, the artist’s hands being the conduit for magic.

In this exhibition, the concept of alchemy is explored not just through the creation process, but also through the lens of experimentation, change in nature, the journey to self-healing and growth, otherworldly abstraction, the resilient and transformative power of radical joy, and of course, through looking at the concept of magic itself, wandering down eerie paths of surreal imagery. Themes like inward and outward transformation, everyday magic, and life’s mysteries can also be found throughout the work on view. Together, these works take the notion of alchemy and use it as a way to create something mesmerizing. The true alchemy is not in the materials, but in the artist, for they are the true conjurer, transformer, inventor—they hold the power.

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Curators for this Exhibition

Charuka Arora

Victoria J. Fry

Mona Lerch, Artist

Artists for this Exhibition

Emily Budd
Carla Caletti
Alexandra Chiou
Charles Clary
Raechel Christine Curtis
Amelia Dennigan
Mark Engel
Tara Esperanza
Madge Evers
Karen Christie Fisher
Kristy Gordon
Annabrooke Hill Greene
Hee Jung Han
Cassie Howard
Erika Jaeggli
Deborah Kennedy
Sierra Nicole Kinsora
Pyre Klein
Carrie Lederer
Huey Hyuk Lee
Caterina Leone
Rose Malenfant
David Mcclinton
Claire Milner
Nathaniel Moody
Dena Novak
Whitney Oberg
Shelly Pamensky
Catrin Perih
Rachel Perls
Sarah Renzi Sanders
Kaitlin Santoro
Debra Cook Shapiro
Katrina Thibodeau
Miles Toland
Shu Tu
Paula Valenzuela
Maria Vasconcelos
Jessie Mordine Young
Despina Zografos


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