IT IS FINALLY HERE! The collection I’ve been working on slowly for over two years. This collection is deeply personal to me. I call this series The Divide. You can see and shop the full collection at Latela Gallery. We will also be hosting an opening show on June 30th.

Details on the Show Opening:
Date: Saturday, June 30, 2018
Time: 4-6pm
Where: Latela Gallery, 716 Monroe St NE #27, Washington, DC 20017
RSVP: Let us know if you are coming by RSVPing on Facebook

The Divide is a celebration of life and death, seeking beauty in both places, and finding peace in it all. This body of work largely encapsulates where I have been for the last two-and-a-half years.  In the past two-and-half years I have lost four family members and my college roommate to tragic, sudden deaths. This series has a wide variety of works available from very large works on canvas that come framed, to very small works on paper. There is a size for all spaces.

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I painted the first piece in this series, ‘Burning Me Up’ after my cousin went missing off the coast of Hawaii while spearfishing. Her body was never found. Over the next couple of years, I would lose two of my uncles and one of my aunts. These works came out of an outpouring as I processed each successive death. I painted the final works in this collection “Let It Hold Your Hand” and “Unto Ashes” in April 2018, when my college roommate died in childbirth as she left behind twin baby boys.

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Each work has a title that reminds me of one of my lost loved ones, they are things they said to me, or memories I associate with each of them. One piece is called “Yeah?” this is something one of my uncles always said when he finished sentences, for example, “we should go hiking, yeah?”

Before my roommate would leave our room in college she would always ask, “How do I look?” These pieces are memories of the loved ones, and tributes to their impact on me.

Death has been a companion. Sometimes it just feels like he walks by my side, holding my hand, reminding me not to hold on too tightly to the world. It reminds me to love people, to soak in every moment, to live richly, and to give more.

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These paintings have brought me so much peace as I’ve coped with loss. If you are struggling with a loss, I invite you to take a deep breath, and let go. Soak in the peace that is letting go of your questions, and your pain. You may need to do this, over and over, I know that I have. Letting go and being at peace is not a one-time thing. It’s a practice. It’s something that we have to be reminded of, and that’s what this series has done for me. Every time I see one of these works, or feel the tinge of the pain and loss, I’m reminded to seek peace, and let go. These pieces are a visual reminder of that.

My hope is that as you experience these works you dig a little further, hug a little tighter, breathe a little deeper, and spread life more abundantly.

Mostly, I hope that as you take each of these works in and as you welcome them into your spaces that you’re minded of the beauty and peace that comes with the weight of the unknown. It’s ok that we will never know the answers to all questions in this life. It’s ok to live with the “why them? Why now?” It’s ok to rest in the fact that loss is a part of life and loss can beautiful, impactful and important even when we don’t understand it. I invite you to see The Divide and soak in it.

Again this show Opens on June 30th
Date: Saturday, June 30, 2018
Time: 4-6pm
Where: Latela Art Gallery, 716 Monroe St NE #27, Washington, DC 20017

If you can’t make it to the opening it will be up for the month of July. June 30-July 28, 2018 at Latela Art Gallery. Gallery hours are Saturday 10-2pm and strictly by appointment. For all purchase inquiries please contact Marta Staudinger, owner and director of Latela Art Gallery at marta@lateladc.com

If this series or event is something you think your friends would enjoy, I invite you to share it with them on social media! Follow me on Instagram @christineolmstead Pinterest @christineolmstead Facebook @ceolmstead