Desert Daze

Desert Daze Julie Alpert and Andy Arkley
"Desert Daze" by Julie Alpert and Andy Arkley

Six months into a year at the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program in New Mexico, Julie Alpert and Andy Arkley are bringing their interest in color, flatness and trompe l’oeil dimensionality back to Seattle. Their enveloping installations are improvised stream-of-consciousness constructions—made from everyday materials such as craft paper, cardboard, colored pencil, markers, tape and house paint—that integrate an invented visual language of hearts, hashtags, nonsensical text, bows and drips.

“It’s a way to explore notions of standards of femininity, nostalgia and miscommunication,” Alpert says. “The pink drips in this piece were the final segment of my part of the installation. I wanted to suspend one last burst of color among all the neutral browns.”

“After Julie started this installation, I spent several hours in her studio making drawings responding to the work,” Arkley says. “I then took those drawings and manipulated them digitally, enlarging them, cutting them out of plywood and airbrushing them with acrylic paint. We decided early on that the colors would be somewhat muted for this work—definitely a change for both of us.”

Desert Daze is on view at Bridge Productions Dec. 7–30.