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ArtPrize 2022 artist Keren Kroul!


On Saturday, ArtRat Gallery got a visit from Keren Kroul (she/her), who flew in from Minneapolis to install her ArtPrize submission, The Shape of Memory. She's one of four artists exhibiting at ArtRat's "Converge" show. 

Come experience this majestic work at ArtRat Gallery's opening reception for "Converge" Thursday, Sept. 15. "Converge" will run throughout ArtPrize (Sept. 15 to Oct. 2), and continue until the end of October.

An empty wall and ladder at ArtRat Gallery, where Keren Kroul will install her original watercolor painting.Keren Kroul and assistant affixing watercolor paintings to the wall of ArtRat Gallery.Keren Kroul and assistant affixing watercolor paintings to the wall of ArtRat Gallery.

Keren's installation process is fascinating to watch, and the result is striking: After applying a precise grid of screws to the wall, Keren used small magnets to affix the twelve large sheets of watercolor paper that comprise the piece. The subtle effect complements the mystery of the painting by making the work appear suspended.

Keren Kroul and assistant affixing watercolor paintings to the wall of ArtRat Gallery.

Keren makes large-scale watercolor works on paper and paper installations. Examining identity through time, memory, and place, they are fantastical landscapes of the mind. Born in Haifa, Israel, to an Argentinean father and Israeli mother, Keren was raised in Mexico City, Mexico and San José, Costa Rica. She currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she teaches art, design and Spanish.

Of The Shape of Memory, Keren writes, "I was raised in a family enveloped in shadows: My father fled Argentina during the political terror of the Dirty War; many of his friends were not so lucky. My mother is the daughter of Holocaust survivors of Austrian and Romanian descent; her extended family were victims of genocide.

Keren Kroul and assistant affixing watercolor paintings to the wall of ArtRat Gallery.

"I examine this legacy to parse my own identity, attracted to and horrified by the yearning and the fear that it elicits. My work is about loss and longing, but also about resilience, continuity, and beauty. I mine family stories, personal
memories, and historical references, wrapping memory and terrain into a fluid
topography.

"With watercolor on paper, I create large-scale multi-paneled works. Marks are repeated, accumulated, and layered into dense and rhythmic passages. While some images are opaque, reflecting their solid presence in the mind, others are a watery wash, the literal dissolving of concrete places, lives, and memories."

ArtRat is located at 46 South Division Grand Rapids, MI 49503. From Sept. 15 to Oct. 2, our ArtPrize hours will be Mon-Sat, 11am-8pm; Sun, 12-6pm.