UW-Parkside Gallery Hosts Medusa and Midas

Published: March 7, 2023

Medusa and MidasThe University of Wisconsin-Parkside Mathis Gallery will host Medusa and Midas, a new work by Melissa Scherrer Paré and Mike Paré from Jan. 31 through April 7. The artists will visit UW-Parkside on March 29 for a series of events including an artist talk with Melissa and Mike Paré on March 29 from 2-3 pm, followed by a reception from 4-6 pm. There will also be a paper pulp workshop with Melissa Paré in the Ceramics studio from 6-8 pm.

Through a range of mediums including silk painting, paper pulp sculpture and drawing, Melissa Scherrer Paré and Mike Paré invite viewers to engage with a variety of pictoral and sculptural questions. The works in Midas and Medusa explore the energy that ensues from two forces coexisting. 

Melissa Scherrer Paré’s work uses the detritus of domestic life to create beauty out of the mundane. Paper from credit card statements, medical records, daughter’s old schoolwork, receipts, coupons are shredded and mixed as ingredients into paper pulp. The pulp is sculpted over objects from recycling including chianti wine bottles, corporate branded water canteens, and used skin lotion containers, transforming them into sculptural vessels.

Her silk madhala-like paintings pull from popular motifs found in domestic textiles (bedspreads, curtains, tea towels) and clothing patterns created for ‘mature women’. She reorganizes these patterns, adding color, organic lines and free flowing shapes to form intricate mandalas.

Although substantial in detail these pieces have a tendency to go off the structural rails as the intuitive linework strays away from the precise designs of familiar domestic patterns they originate from. The imperfections begin to form their own patterns building a visual arrangement of their own.

Melissa received her MFA from the University of Illinois Chicago and BFA from UW-Milwaukee and has exhibited her work nationally.

Mike Paré is an artist working in the mediums of drawing and incense. He has a BFA in Printmaking from the California College of Arts and Crafts, and an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of New Mexico. His work has been exhibited in the US and internationally. He has lived in Milwaukee since 2012.

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