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The Secrets We Keep

February 20, 2017

On view at the Dayton Visual Arts Center, The Secrets We Keep: New Works by Zoe Hawk, Ashley Jonas & Stephanie McGuinness includes paintings, prints and installations with strong references to the home life, but teeming with tension within each subject, perspective and technique.


Zoe Hawk, “Little Lamb, I’ll Tell Thee,” 2013, oil on aluminum

The worlds created by artists Zoe Hawk (Doha, Qatar), Ashley Jonas and Stephanie McGuinness (Dayton, Ohio) are intimate and comforting. Domestic objects and inhabited homes are represented both through observation and imagination; however, the subject within each space expands far beyond what we understand as familiar.


Installation view of “The Secrets We Keep” at Dayton Visual Arts Center

Ashley Jonas wrote: “I think about these works as exploded paintings, like fireworks that do not fade.  But rather than celebrating a single day or event, the works are dedicated to the longevity of building a life.  These works are about the relationship between moveable objects, the space those objects inhabit and my perception of the fantastic, peculiar connectivity embedded within that relationship.”


Ashley Jonas, “Painting/Construct in the Rain,” 2016, wood, foam, paint, found objects

About her work, Stephanie McGuinness wrote: “I have long been interested in how life events physically manifest themselves within the realm of private spaces.  Collecting discarded notes and lists found in public spaces has granted me limited access to intimate and honest moments of strangers’ lives.  Using these found documents, I create narratives told through the environment of a multi-generational household.  In a similar way  to how i find the documents, viewers are granted access to personal spaces, but hover slightly outside of the frame, unconnected to its inhabitants.”


Stephanie McGuinness, “Parking,” 2016, oil on canvas

Zoe Hawk wrote: “My work delves into the world of adolescence, depicting clusters of young girls in natural, domestic, and institutional settings.  Themes of identity, anxiety, group dynamics, and performance are addressed within scenes of girlhood play and interactions, often stylistically referencing children’s storybook illustrations. The constructed narratives are meant to be sweet and somewhat familiar to the viewer, yet upon closer inspection they take a slightly mysterious or unsettling turn.”


Zoe Hawk, “Cry, Sally, Cry,” 2014, oil on aluminum

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The Secrets We Keep: New Works by Zoe Hawk, Ashley Jonas & Stephanie McGuinness is on view January 13-February 24, 2017.  Learn more at



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