Gallery Glance: “Rena Detrixhe: Red Dirt Rug”

“Red Dirt Rug” (2016), by Rena Detrixhe, installed at Current Studio gallery in Oklahoma City. The artist will create a new “Red Dirt Rug,” using loose red Oklahoma soil imprinted with modified shoe soles, at the KCAI Crossroads Gallery in September, and another one at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in October. (from the artist)

They’re magic, embedded with reflections on history and our relationship to the land. During a year-long residency in Oklahoma, Rena Detrixhe conceived her “Red Dirt Rug” series, made by sifting and spreading red Oklahoma soil into a large rectangular expanse on the floor and imprinting it with modified shoe soles.

The results evoke luxury carpets, but the choice of material overrides associations with domestic decoration. As Detrixhe writes in a statement, “This rich red earth is the land of the dust bowl, of the end of the trail of tears, of land runs and pipelines, of deep fault-lines and hydraulic fracturing.”

In conjunction with the 27th International Sculpture Conference in Kansas City, the KCAI Crossroads Gallery will feature a “Red Dirt Rug” installation by Detrixhe, a 2013 graduate of the University of Kansas. She will create the work on site, then sweep it away at the end of the show. The exhibit is not her first in Kansas City: In 2015 she showed at the Charlotte Street Foundation’s La Esquina Gallery during her CSF studio residency. More recently, Detrixhe was one of 12 artists to receive a Tulsa Artist Fellowship in 2016-17, the program’s inaugural year.

“Rena Detrixhe: Red Dirt Rug” opens with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 1 and continues through Oct. 28 at the KCAI Crossroads Gallery, 1819 Grand Blvd. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and by appointment on Saturday. For more information, 816.914.5394 or kcai.edu/crossroads-gallery.

A “Red Dirt Rug” by Detrixhe will also be featured in the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art’s “Ephemera” exhibition opening Oct. 19.

Alice Thorson

Alice Thorson is the editor of KC Studio. She has written about the visual arts for numerous publications locally and nationally.

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