“Memory and Secrets by Vanessa Mayoraz” opened Friday at Tipton Gallery, 126 Spring St., in conjunction with downtown Johnson City’s monthly First Friday celebration.
The free public exhibition, presented by the East Tennessee State University Department of Art and Design in partnership with Johnson City’s Urban Redevelopment Alliance, features Mayoraz’s new series of drawings based on secrets entitled “Rendering Anonymous,” as well as some of her earlier works on lightboxes called “Botanica Memorabilis” and miniature drawings on capsules, “Ouragans Intimes.”
Mayoraz describes the “Rendering Anonymous” series as being about secrets and how everyone keeps some. She considers a secret as “sometimes a burden and sometimes … just what makes us complete.”
Her work is inspired by the rumors and pieces of stories that she is given to share, and some of these secrets have found their way into works included in the exhibition through the “Johnson City Project,” a website where people can submit their secrets anonymously.
“The ‘JC Secrets’ project provides an avenue to private memories that people hold dear,” Mayoraz states. “Johnson City itself has a hidden history that we might or might not see appear through this collecting process.”
Currently a visiting faculty member in the ETSU Department of Art and Design, Mayoraz received her bachelor of fine arts degree from the Geneva University of Art and Design in Switzerland and her master of fine arts in art and public spaces and new artistic strategies at the Bauhaus University Weimar in Germany. She has given workshops and lectures on such subjects as “Artist as Archivist” and “Contemporary Art Practices,” and she has had her work exhibited internationally.
Tipton Gallery is open Thursdays from 4-6 p.m. and other times by appointment.
For more information, to make an appointment to visit Tipton Gallery, or for special assistance for those with disabilities, contact Karlota Contreras-Koterbay at (423) 483-3179 or contrera@etsu.edu. The “Johnson City Secrets” website may be accessed at jcsecrets.weebly.com.