Marina Eckler is a painter and multidisciplinary artist based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in painting and printmaking from San Francisco State University and completed her MFA at Maine College of Art in 2013. She teaches printmaking, drawing, and two-dimensional design in the Visual and Performing Arts Department at University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Her work has been shown at The Harwood Museum in Taos, New Mexico, The New York Art Book Fair, The Lab in San Francisco, California, and was the subject of a two-person exhibition at UCCS’s Gallery of Contemporary Art in 2014. Her ongoing performative slideshow and interview project, Going Home, has been staged at Skylight Books in Los Angeles, CA, Unnameable Books in Brooklyn, NY, and as part of the 2017 ArtPop Festival in Colorado Springs. From 2013—2016, she founded and operated Mountain Fold Books, a non-profit bookstore and event space for the arts in Colorado Springs. In her most recent project, Fin: A Going Away Party, she orchestrated a farewell event to bid the earth, as we know it, goodbye due to climate change predictions and actualities. Her art deals with issues of time, power, gender, and other mysteries.
My art practice coexists with (and is generated by) family and work life as a point of strength. This is a liberating flexibility: making art in the flow of life rather than fulfilling the romantic notion of the isolated artist sequestered in his or her studio. It’s a practice that follows the literary adage to “write what you know” in conceptual terms. The conditions of my own life, with its myriad demands on my time, have become the immediate source for my art. My drive to work provides important mental wandering; these minutes serve as a provisional sketchbook practice that is both meditative and highly focused.
GOCA: Have you participated in previous faculty exhibitions at UCCS, if so, how many?
Marina Eckler: Yes, I started teaching at UCCS in 2013. I was part of our faculty shows in 2014 and 2016. I was also featured in a two-person show at GOCA, so this will be the fourth time I’ve shown work at UCCS.
GOCA: Why do you think it is important to hold a faculty exhibition?
ME: Most importantly, faculty shows help students see what their teachers are thinking about. It’s also a good way to welcome artists and curious people from around town who want to see how visual artists are responding to circumstances and envisioning new futures.
GOCA: What type of impact to you believe it has on campus?
ME: I think impact is really up to the viewer, but I always hope visual art in America opens a few doors, even a crack, so the mind has somewhere to go other than to obsess about competition and acquisitive definitions of success.
GOCA: The theme for this exhibition is time. How do you see this theme connecting to your work?
ME: Time is a major theme in my art, so the connection was pretty easy and direct. In general, I think about time in terms of proximity to privilege. How much time do we have to do the things we value? In one of the pieces I’m working on, I reference Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion project which looked at, among other things, how much time Americans in the mid 20th century spent at home and where specifically they spent it. How much time do we use our living rooms, for example, and doing what? Are living rooms even necessary? Those ideas have been the backdrop for a text-art project I’m working on that focuses on how I spend my time, and the anxiety of worrying about how much time is left, in other words, glass-half-empty-glass-half-full thoughts. I’m also working on a larger drawing which connects calendar time to self-portraiture.
GOCA: As an artist, what advice have you received that has proved to have a large impact on you or your work?
ME: While not advice directly given, this passage has been a beacon for me over the years:
“Now, I will simply do these maintenance everyday things, and flush them up to consciousness, exhibit them, as Art.”
from MANIFESTO FOR MAINTENANCE ART 1969! Proposal for an exhibition “CARE” by Mierle Laderman Ukeles
Come see the work of Marina Eckler and her fellow UCCS VAPA Faculty at TIME at GOCA Ent Center for the Arts (5225 N Nevada Ave) starting January 31st and running through May 12th.
Marina Eckler will give a free artist talk on March 14th along with exhibition artists Pauline Foss, Abbey Hepner, and Nikki Pike. Register HERE.
Also, don't miss out on a farewell celebration to remember on April 22nd.
In celebration of Earth Day 2019, Marina Eckler presents Fin: A Going Away Party—an event to bid the earth, as we know it, goodbye due to climate change predictions and actualities. In the tradition of going away parties, visitors will be invited to mill around, eat cake, and share thoughts and memories of humans. Register HERE.