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Event Series Event Series: Paolo Arao: Reverberations

Paolo Arao: Reverberations

February 25 @ 11:00 am - 5:00 pm


Paolo Arao makes sewn paintings, weavings, and site-responsive installations that are rooted in geometric abstraction. This exhibition will showcase Arao’s work over the past 5 years including work he began while a resident at Bemis Center in the spring of 2020 as well as site-specific installations utilizing the architecture of Bemis Center’s galleries. Through the use of textiles, Arao’s work weaves together a lineage of abstraction that both explore the elastic concept of queerness and reflects his Filipino-American heritage. By centering on a cross-cultural and queer perspective, the work reconnects patterns and color in textiles from the Philippines and the influence of hard-edge painting, Op-Art, and the Pattern and Decoration movement. Arao has said, “Working with textiles feels like an appropriate material to help soften the geometry and ‘straight’ system of the grid that I’ve been working with throughout the years. Color is vital to my work. I carry color within me. My relationship with color is not passive. It is political, it is personal, it is emotional, it is felt, and it is in my very being.”

Arao received his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and was a participant at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He has shown his work in numerous group exhibitions nationally and internationally and has presented solo exhibitions at the Columbus Museum (Georgia), David B. Smith Gallery (Denver), Western Exhibitions (Chicago), and Morgan Lehman Gallery (NYC).

Residencies include MacDowell, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts (Open Studio Residency), Art Omi, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, The Museum of Arts and Design (NYC), Millay Arts, MASS MoCA, Vermont Studio Center, Lower East Side Printshop (Keyholder Residency), NARS Foundation, Wassaic Project, BRIC Workspace, Fire Island Artist Residency, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Arao’s work has been published in New American Paintings, Maake Magazine, Artmaze, Dovetail, Harper’s Magazine, and Esopus. Paolo Arao is a 2021 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Painting from The New York Foundation for the Arts. He lives and works in West Shokan and Brooklyn, NY.


February 25
11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Bemis Center
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Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
724 S. 12th Street
Omaha, NE 68102 United States
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