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CMU art and design department announces visiting artists Bobby Zokaites and Melissa Sclafani

Arizona artists bring sculpting to 437CO

Grand Junction – The Colorado Mesa University Department of Art and Design announced Conflux, the latest exhibit at 437CO. Open to the community, the CMU downtown art gallery will feature the exhibition beginning February 7. According to artists Melissa Sclafani and Bobby Zokaites, Conflux is based on a singular premise.

“The average person sees some ten thousand images a day while social media platforms are being accused of promoting false narratives,” said Sclafani. “The space between artists and their work is significantly smaller than the geographic distances of old. So the exhibit explores what happens when two artists start at the same location and walk in two different directions.”

In the exhibition, Sclafani and Zokaites’ work meets at the intersection of play and mark-making. Their work merges and diverges from the playgrounds of Aldo van Eyck into a series of sculptures, performances, paintings and mixed media works that show the breadth and expansion of childhood nostalgia. Sclafani draws from her background in traditional sculpture, journalism and gender studies to create a relationship between labor-intensive processes and social interactions in her artistic practice. Zokaites is known for his large-scale and colorful objects and spaces that invite audience participation.

Gallery partners invite the public to join 437CO on the first Friday opening reception where attendees will enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres from Tacoparty and beverages from Carlson Vineyard and Kannah Creek Brewing Company.

437CO, CMU’s art gallery, is located at 437 Colorado Avenue in Grand Junction, Colorado. Gallery hours are Tuesday, and Thursday through Saturday, 12-5pm. Admission is free. On Friday, February 7 from 5-8pm there will be a public reception to view the exhibit with remarks and a Q&A with the artists and gallery director, scheduled for 6pm. For more information, call the Department of Art & Design at 970.248.1833 or visit the department website.

About the artists:
Melissa Sclafani and Bobby Zokaites are both based in Tempe, Arizona. Sclafani received her BFA in Sculpture from SUNY New Paltz in 2009 and her MFA in Sculpture and Post-Studio Practices from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2018. Bobby Zokaites received his BFA in Sculpture from Alfred University and his MFA in Sculpture from Arizona State University in 2014.

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Written by David Ludlam