Noël Ash


Statement and Exhibition List

February 2018 - Ahrnsbrak Gallery, UW-Marathon County, Wausau, WI

February 2018 - Art Lofts Gallery, UW-Madison, Madison, WI

November 2017-January 2018 - Christ Presbyterian Church, Madison, WI
November 2017 - Capitol Lakes Retirement Community, Madison, WI
October 2017 - Art Lofts Gallery, UW-Madison, Madison, WI
September-January 2017 - Wally Douma Gallery, Madison, WI
September-November 2017 - Christ Presbyterian Church, Madison, WI
August - September 2017 - Oak Park Township, Oak Park, IL
August 2017 - PenArt, Fish Creek, WI
August 2017 - Township Gallery, Mineral Point, WI
July 2017 - Cedarburg Cultural Center, Cedarburg, WI
March 2017 - Cross Plains Public Library, Cross Plains, WI
August 2016 - Exposition Center, Wisconsin State Fair Park, West Allis, WI
August 2016 - Waterfront Art Fair, Pewaukee, WI
July, August 2015 - Latham Street Gallery, Brigstock, Northamptonshire, England
October 2014 - Ballweg Gallery, Madison, WI
July 2014 - Gallery 1308, UW-Madison, Madison, WI
June 2014 - Gelsy Verna Gallery, Madison, WI
May 2014 - Arterie Fine Arts - Naperville, IL
April 2014 - Warehouse Gallery - Madison, WI
November 2013 - Cabinet Gallery, UW-Madison, Madison, WI
November 2002 - G2 - Chicago, IL

I find myself trying to read The Republic, and these monsters won’t stop pestering me to solve their disputes and let them watch shows. So I’m reading about the importance of preparing children to be good citizens while I yell at my own to leave me alone.   -- a father from University Housing

It’s the chaos that draws me in. I’m familiar with this chaos because I am a student/parent myself. Parenting can be a challenge no matter who you are or what your circumstances, but I am experiencing this phase of being a student parent as a whole new conundrum, because I no longer feel guilty about bringing my work home with me; rather, keeping my mind on my ‘other job’ when I ought to be focusing on my family feels like the right thing to do. In fact, I think I ought to be devoting more time and energy to my studies than I have to give, and so I experience the children’s neediness as an affront to my efforts to provide for the family.

In the midst of this I am fortunate enough to be living in a community of other student parents who are willing to be open about things like yelling or wearing headphones or putting on the television more than we’d like. These relationships have helped me navigate the guilt.

My personal history is papered in still lifes. Not the artificial assemblages but the ones we encounter on our own tabletops at the end of a meal. I’m interested in these moments plucked out of life. Not snapshots, but meandering, peeking, snooping perusals. Here I am wandering through the houses of my neighbors; graduate students who are also parents, who are also possibly the most important relationships in my life right now. Poking around in these anonymous spaces that have been filled with all these little solutions to the problems of daily living: The way that one of my families values their visitors more than the aesthetics of their living space, and so has spare bedding, a mattress, and piles of suitcases in their living room. The way that storage can be improvised to carve an adult space out of the otherwise toy-ridden atmosphere to give parents a place to rest their eyes at the end of the day.  A lot happens in these makeshift homes, and the still lifes lead me there.