nothing in stasis – a solo exhibition

My solo exhibition was installed last week. I feel sort of like I am returning from a long break and things are unfamiliar. Though, I’ve been working steady. Truth is, I don’t remember protocols anymore. Do we still send out a press release? Who are the press people? What year is this?

Photo courtesy of Frank Gonzales

Let the record show this post acts as PRESS RELEASE and INVITE!
This exhibit has been 2 years in coming. Whew….COME JOIN US!

Portrait of Vanya, The All That Is, 2022

For the last decade, Phoenix-based artist Monica Aissa Martinez has been researching and depicting the intricate structures and complex diversities of living organisms. From humans to microorganisms, Martinez masterfully captures the physical, mental and spirit of our biological world. Nothing In Stasis features Martinez’s latest body of work of more than 30 colorful physiological and anatomical drawings.

* Monica Aissa Martinez is a 2019 proposal winner.

WHEN:      APRIL 8 – August 7, 2022
                  → ARTIST RECEPTION: MAY 13, 2022 (7-10pm)

Martinez_SoloFREE and Open to the Public
Musical Entertainment by Djents
Numerous Art Exhibitions with Artists in Attendance
Light Refreshments and Cash Bar
Mesa Arts Center is located at One East Main St., Mesa, AZ 85201 → Driving Directions
Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum: (480) 644-6560
HoursMondays: Closed
             Tue – Sat: 10 AM – 5 PM
             Sun: Noon – 5 PM

More  → Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum


no woman is an island

The Onloaded Project I call Cella, opened (last) Friday night in the phICA containers on Roosevelt Row. The brightly lit boxes and the steady stream of visitors make the night memorable.


OnLoaded boxes activate at sunset on Friday night.


Last visitors as we prepare to close.

The evening is followed by the annual Phoenix Art Detour beginning Saturday morning and going through Sunday. Again, I enjoy steady visitors. I love watching how people move through the space and interact with the work. I manage a few sales.


Richard Ross, whom I meet exactly one year ago when the Contemporary Forum visits my studio, drops in. I enjoy reconnecting. We talk art, materials and hanging systems. Interested in several works he decides on a flashcard painting – the Pancreas. These are small, two-sided (two views), 6 x 4″ studies that hang in line, together. He likes that it’s somewhat abstract and resembles something that might live underwater, a sea creature perhaps. Some of the glands in the set have that quality, yes I agree.

Thank you Richard!


The Pancreas (part of the endocrine system), anterior and posterior view, mixed media, 4 x 6″

Will and Louise Bruder come into the container, while I chat with Richard. They too decide on a flashcard work – the eyeball – but not before Mr. Bruder congratulates me for representing Phoenix in the State of the Art exhibition at the Crystal Bridges Museum. They’d been to the ASU Art Museum the day before and note my work in the project room. I remind him we met years ago at a Burton Barr Central Library celebration.

He explains where and how he wants to hang the small work. He will enjoy it while drinking his morning coffee, he says, near an east facing window that allows in morning light. He’s pleased by the idea of seeing an eyeball – so appropriate, he says. He wants to know about the materials. Casein, I tell him, the Egyptians used it. The medium passes the test of time. That works for him.


Before the weekend is over Ted Decker picks a flashcard out too. The bladder and prostate gland get his attention. I also call the image The Minister of the Reservoir and the Water Gate. I explain I also see the small drawing as a milagros (votive offerings). He nods with appreciation.

bladder and prostate

The Minister of the Resevoir and the Water Gate, Front and Back view of bladder and prostate gland, 6 x 4″

It seems to me that having a Cella, a room of one’s own, to settle and reconnect to the self – feels appealing more now than ever.

Thank you Richard, Will, Louise and Ted.
And thank you to phICA for the invitation to exhibit – a unique experience, for sure!

The blog posts titled No Woman is an Island acknowledge the people and/or organizations who support me and the work I do.


Solo opening this last week, memorable.  We drive through one wild monsoon storm to get there.  The weather only adds to the event.

I enter the space and my eyes land…across the room, on my newest painting, which is lit up and center stage. Cacti speckled mountain show jut beyond it. I am pleasantly surprised. I’d been concerned for a while, that it would read as crucifix more than anything. I didn’t want that. I knew the connection would be made, but I also wanted other things to come through.

It just so happens the structure of the building (student services on the college campus) that houses the gallery is influenced by  church architecture, or perhaps in this case, a mission.  I’d studied church layout in graduate school, I understand it’s very precise in the sort of experience it wishes to create for the people moving through it.

This building has what could be a nave, a transept, and an apse, particular areas of a church building. I  didn’t really understand this, until physically there, the day I deliver art work. I wonder out loud, if the new painting will really take on a crucifix, in the setting.  Well then, lets just play it up, I decide.  I ask if the painting can hang in the area of the apse. Light it up. Let it be. I leave trusting they’ll do a fine job hanging everything.

I’ve mentioned earlier, the exhibit consists of a few works from most of my series’ of the last decade. The one new figurative work, here/now takes on the form of presenter. And for me it does present the sacred.  It’s titled Creative Structure, and has much more behind it. But here in this space, it deliberately sits at a transition point, an area of transformation. The center, perhaps the nave, is empty but for a few seats off to the sides, for visitors.  Walls on either side hold artwork, within framed niches. The space is sacred space by the very nature of it being an art gallery.

The reception brought in a steady stream of visitors. I heard the food was excellent.  I spoke with guests much of the night and didn’t get to taste it. The evening was cool and electrical in more ways than one. The photo of the lighting didn’t come through…too bad, it’ll just have to sit in my memory.

The exhibition, A Constant Vital Commotion, runs to Nov. 5th.