Homebodies no. 11 – HT MacDiarmid & Fiona McElhany

Homebodies no. 11 – HT MacDiarmid & Fiona McElhany

The Homebodies series explores the personal spaces of community members, the artworks and interesting objects they’ve collected through the years, and how those pieces live with them every day. For a few posts, we’ve asked members of our gallery committee for a tour. This post explores the shared collection of our Committee Chair HT MacDiarmid and Fiona McElhany, who are both working artists and currently curating a gallery space out of their own garage called window mine.

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1. (Top Left) Alex da Corte’s poster for the exhibition, “Marigolds,” at Karma Gallery, New York. (Bottom Left) Etching by HJ (2016) from Laika Press’s first group exhibition, “Groundwork,” in the summer of 2017. (Center) 1970s printed fabric by Helenius Ov of Finland, a gift from Fiona’s nonna. The red, orange, and yellow have definitely influenced the color palette of the room. (Right) Thomas Gamble painting from 2019 exhibition, “The Natural History,” at the Holland Project.

2. (Top) John Knight enamel painting from 2019 exhibition, “Hook and Ladder Dreams,” at the Holland Project. We like being able to have this unique size painting at the top of the wall because it brings color to the room and is reminiscent of incandescent T12 lights. (Top Left) Nick Larsen’s piece was a gift picked up from his studio sale before leaving Reno. It’s cool to have a piece to remember the awesome show from Oates Park in Fallon, “I Wonder If I Care As Much,” with Omar Pierce and Tim Conder. (Bottom Left) Ally Messer’s accordion-fold book, “UPROOTED,” from ACTIONN’s fundraiser event in 2018 addressing Reno’s housing crisis. (Bottom Right) “Ritual Landscape II, A Clear Horse,” a collaborative photo-zine by Hanna Kaplan and Omar Pierce.

3. (Top Right) This is an early Alberto Garcia Rodriguez drawing that HT feels honored to have and pairs well with Ray Mueller’s portrait. (Bottom Right) Ray Mueller’s self-portrait etching that HT picked up from the same Laika Press “Groundwork” exhibition in 2017. Side note, Laika Press is a little off-shoot printmaking collective project that gets support from the Holland Project, and it’s really nice to think that Holland has inspired smaller non-profits, like KWNK radio as well, to get started and thrive. We hope more group projects like this pop up in the future. 

4. We don’t have a lot of space, so we have to be creative with the wall-space that we have. Using the alcove to hang work makes the little nook a more defined and comfy area. You might be wondering what that big dark piece is about. The painting has been in Fiona’s family for a long time – after burning in a fire at a wealthy family’s home in Philadelphia in the 1940s, the painting was gifted to Fiona’s great grandfather, the family’s gardener. A mysterious, archaic painting for sure, but the hand-carved wood frame is a gem.

5. (Top and Center Left) Tom Wixo’s painting and drawing duo from 2019’s “ALL IN.” Side note this purple is very inspirational especially this year is the 100th year of women’s suffrage. (Bottom Left) Ally Messer’s silkscreen print of a rutabaga baby that Fiona bought as a gift for a friend, but ended up keeping.

6. (Top Left) An exclusive print that came with Thomas Gamble’s publication “Infinite Hesh.” (Bottom Left) An iconic Ana McKay silkscreen printed record sleeve. (Top Right) These two works are photographs and photo-collage gifts from Ray Mueller that hold fond memories. (Bottom Right) A gift from the artist, Ashley Westwood, from her show at window mine earlier this year. HT and Fiona had talked with Ashley for a few years about having a show at their garage-gallery space, and it was exciting to be able to see this happen and host this exhibition even during a weird-virus-era. 
These individual pieces are all very different, but it is fun to arrange paintings in a salon-style and kind of think about the shared themes the work might have. 

7. (Top) This is a Denali Lowder piece from her exhibition “Crux” at the Holland Project. She is the best at experimenting with analog processes.  Bottom: An etching by Quynh Tran, an MFA graduate and former printmaking instructor at UNR.