The Handwerker Gallery presents:

ORIGIN STORIES: Alien Apostles

Work by Katie Dorame

January 21-March 6, 2015

Opening Reception: Thursday, January 22, 5-7 p.m.

Alien Apostles is an exhibition of work fusing together imagery from the troubled legacy of American colonialism. Artist Katie Dorame re-contextualizes familiar characters and storylines from the false legacies of Hollywood and history books into a personal lexicon of otherworldly hybrids. Dorame's process attempts to untangle the complexity of a troubled and fictionalized history by borrowing symbols from sources as varied as the romanticized "golden era" of the west coast religious missions to Hollywood B-film science fiction. Her work adopts traditional mediums (oil painting, pen and ink), but injects the Western art historical canon with the unheard voice of time-traveling reptilian colonizers, morphing converts and exasperating locals.  

Katie Dorame, a visual artist from Oakland, CA, received her Master of Fine Arts degree from the California College of the Arts and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California- Santa Cruz. Her work has been featured in a solo show at the Galería de la Raza in San Francisco, and was included in "Bay Area Currents" at Pro Arts Gallery in Oakland. She is a member of the Gabrielino/Tongva tribe of California and was recently awarded a Native American Arts & Cultural Traditions Grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission. 


ORIGIN STORIES: Altar Apparitions

Work by Mercedes Dorame

January 21-March 6, 2015

Opening Reception: Thursday, January 22, 5-7 p.m.

Filling in the cracks with mud, yarn, and cinnamon, Mercedes Dorame's photographs capture staged interventions of ceremony in the Los Angeles landscape, re-opening portals of memory and mourning of the land. A member of the federally unrecognized Gabrielino/Tongva tribe in Los Angeles, Dorame investigates the critical importance of access to space for gathering to build and sustain community, identity, and proof of authenticity.  By creating new narratives that incorporate her own personal history with her cultural ancestry, Dorame walks the fence between fact and fiction in an exploration of public and private space, ownership, and visibility.

Mercedes Dorame, born in Los Angeles, California, is a member of the Gabrielino/Tongva Indians of California tribe. Dorame received her Master of Fine Arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute and her undergraduate degree from University of California- Los Angeles in American Literature and Culture with an emphasis in Native American Studies. Her work was recently acquired by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum in Berkeley, California. She is the recipient of grants and fellowships from En Foco’s New Works Photography Fellowship Program, Galería de la Raza, the Harpo Foundation, among others. Her writing and photographs have been featured in publications such as 580 Split and News From Native California.