SAAC welcomes El Dorado native artist Brandi R Parker and her solo exhibition “Organism” to the Price Gallery April 4-28. There will be an artist’s reception on Thursday, April 6 from 5:30pm-7:00pm. The show is an exploration of organic abstraction with various media: colored and graphite pencils, pen & ink, watercolor and marker. She hopes the viewers experience the show like staring at clouds to see the forms they hide: with wonder and imagination.

Artist Statement

The show is a philosophical embrace of life and the most characteristic trait in life— uncertainty.

The last eighteen months of life, living through COVID-19, lockdown in New York City, dealing with familial loss and the birth of my daughter, pulls me to move outside, above and through the Collective Consciousness, to look at who we are as humans and our experiences in this plane and craft a narrative through it. “Organism” is this narrative.

As viewers and participants, we see the pieces and we recognize forms or textures, even in abstraction. We interpret them as possible forms of life, or beginnings as embryos; as cells or as complex systems. I’ve chosen to work in graphite, pencil, marker and pen & ink. The finer point of the stylus was integral to communicating intimate detail and delicate, fragile, life. Any paints are washes and texture, giving focus to the lines.

My work sets out to encourage this blurring of interpretation and enable thoughts about what makes up life, as well as what life can be. Through the work, we receive permission to embrace chaos and uncertainty.

I invite you to view the work, first, purely through your default filter.

Then, I invite you to re-evaluate, letting go of certainty, order and expectation.

About the Artist

Brandi R Parker (they/them, she/her) is an El Dorado, Arkansas native who recently relocated back during the COVID-19 lockdown from New York City, where she lived for almost twenty years with her wife, Megann McManus. The couple also now have a baby girl, Ellea Berlin.

A love for the arts is embedded in Parker’s DNA. Her grandfather owned Parker Music on the downtown square for decades into the 1980’s. An artisan himself, he spent his later years woodcarving and tinkering in his shop. Her maternal grandmother also dabbled in oil painting.

Parker graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2000, with a BA in Fine Arts, in Drawing and Printmaking. After college, she worked in local advertising agencies and government for a few years. She and Megann decided to move to New York in 2003 for a new and exciting phase of life. Originally moving to the city with the intention to be a studio musician, she quickly shifted focus for her career back to visual arts. Parker eventually found her way into her current over twenty-year career in designing sustainable consumer packaged goods.

Now, back home, having rearranged priorities to family, community and a slower pace of life, she has had more time to focus on her original love of making art with her hands.