Artist Adrian Kay Wong painting an abstract, geometric orange canvas in his studio.

For the group exhibition Keepsake, fifteen artists reflect on the concept of keepsakes and how an artwork can serve as a vessel to carry a message, memory, or metaphor from the creator.

Prior to creating a new body of work, the artists were asked to respond to the question: what memory, or message from you, does your artwork carry with it? Approaching the idea of keepsakes both conceptually and personally, the artists featured in this group exhibition offer insight into universal connection and experience.

Adam Frezza & Terri Chiao (CHIAOZZA)

CHIAOZZA’s works reflect on the elusive and captivating qualities of the natural world. Like peeping into the undergrowth of the forest floor, CHIAOZZA’s whimsical paper pulp sculptures embody the magic and mystery of nature’s growths and flourishes.

Adam Frezza of the artist duo CHIAOZZA painting Lump Nubbins, small whimsical sculptures, in his studio.

"This is a keepsake of a special moment felt while investigating the natural world. This sculpture is inspired by getting low in a forest or a field and discovering the magic and mystery that lies at our feet. When looking at this work, we're reminded of special growths and flourishes in nature and how they reflect our desire to spend more time within the space of awe and wonder. It makes us feel inspired and transports us to an awareness where everything is connected in chaotic harmony," CHIAOZZA on Lump Nubbins.

A group of small, whimsical sculptures with colorful patterns by artist duo CHIAOZZA.

Adrian Kay Wong

In his newest paintings, Wong has bifurcated his compositions so that one portion exists as a separate addendum to the other. With this painting-logic, Wong’s languid scenes of stillness seem to extend beyond each canvas’ perimeter, calling to attention the environment in which they’re displayed and moments of pause that can be found outside the painting’s limits.

Artist Adrian Kay Wong in his studio using a ruler to create a straight line on a yellow canvas.

"This is a keepsake of my own. This painting was inspired by a corner of my studio where old paintings and new paintings sit together. When looking at this work, I'm reminded of the personal journeys we all are in the midst of walking. It makes me feel peaceful and transports me to a place where I can appreciate both the peaks and valleys a little bit more," Wong on Slow Crawl (Pictures and Clock).

Sun shadows cast on an unfinished painting installed on a white pegboard wall in artist Adrian Kay Wong's studio.

Anastasia Greer

Greer’s stitched silk works offer a similar moment of pause and meditative release. Patchwork pieces sewn and stretched together create a playful confluence of gradients and geometric abstraction that suggest movement and transformation.

Patchwork pieces with colorful gradients and checkered patterns by artist Anastasia Greer in her studio.

"This is a keepsake of confections. This textile piece was inspired by the sticky sweetness of dessert. When looking at this work, I'm reminded of the tastes and colors I’ve enjoyed. It makes me feel fulfilled and transports me to the holidays when mixing in the kitchen," Greer on Watch Your Step.

Artist Anastasia Greer wearing a purple shirt in her studio using a staple gun on her stitched silk work.

Blake Aaseby

In Aaseby’s works, the artist uses the rhythm and repetition inspired by the warp and weft of textiles to explore the connection between memory and mark making as a cartographic practice to navigate past and present moments. In Aaseby’s paintings, the interplay between drawn, carved, and absent marks assumes equal significance, allowing lines and patterns to intertwine, construct, and deconstruct.

Artist Blake Aaseby standing on a ladder in his studio and drawing pastel lines on a large distressed canvas.

"This is a keepsake of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. This painting was inspired by a surfing road-trip a few years back. When looking at this work, I'm reminded of tall cans and funnel cakes, long rights, and adventure. It makes me feel fulfilled and transports me to a time when the hardest decision I was faced with was to pick out which free t-shirt came with our pizza slice deal," Aaseby on Re Membered (Snack Shack) Snack Shack.

Artist Blake Aaseby in his studio carrying a large, gray textured painting.

Bryce Anderson

In Anderson’s works, what is missing is also as important as what is included. As the artist draws on popular culture and art history, his paintings are a conversation investigating how the object of the painting and the pretense of the painted image can exist alongside one another.

Artist Bryce Anderson wearing a black long-sleeve shirt and holding up his painting with a white flower against a white wall.

"This is a keepsake of Chrysanthemums. This painting was inspired by two previous works with the same subject. When looking at this work, I'm reminded of a period traveling through Japan. It makes me feel a multitude of emotions. To the Japanese, the white Chrysanthemum symbolizes grieving or death, while the red variation speaks of love and longevity. It transports me to a number of places; the first being the trip through Japan, but with each iteration of the subject it has the ability to acquire new meanings and memories, to periods when life is joyous and periods of grief and mourning," Anderson on Chrysanthemums.

Two paintings by artist Bryce Anderson, one minimalist one and one with black shoes, installed next to each other on a white wall.


Bbblob uses color and form to reconstruct memories of place into dimensional objects that act as stand-ins for moments spent traveling and experiencing new environments. Contrasting rounded curves and strong rigid lines suggest an architectural grounding of both structures observed and structures imagined to contain the subjective experience of observation.

Multicolored drawings and shaped canvases in artist Bbblob's studio.

"This is a keepsake of my residency in Lisbon. This shaped painting was inspired by the colourful tiles around the city. When looking at this work, I'm reminded of the lively Tagus river and cool ocean along the beach. It makes me feel calm and transports me to the sea where I was dolphin spotting or laying on the warm sand under the sun," Bbblob on Cool marina.

Artist Bbblob holding a colorful shaped canvas with geometric patterns in her studio.

Chad Kouri

Kouri’s works respond to the theme of keepsake conceptually. Each titled "Your Title Here", once a collector purchases the work, they are able to title the work themselves, making a direct connection between the collector’s experience of the artwork, and the artist’s intended message. In this case, Kouri’s intent behind the paintings is for the collector to be able to memorialize the artwork as a celebratory symbol of a specific feeling, memory, or experience. Once titled, the artwork will be renamed in the artist’s inventory and permanently recorded in his artistic legacy.

An in-progress painting by artist Chad Kouri with a purple swath overlaid with gray shapes.

"This is a keepsake of great importance. This painting was inspired by the joy and progress that lives inside us. When looking at it, I'm reminded of the gratitude we feel for the time we have here. It makes me feel love and transports my mind to a place of peace and stillness," Kouri on Your Title Here.

An in-progress work by artist Chad Kouri of a yellow circle taped to red fabric.

Erik Barthels

Mining personal paper ephemera including mix tape marginalia, notes-to-self, faded letters and decades-old fanzines, Barthels recreates the faded palette of his paper source by squeeging diluted acrylic pigments over new paper, cutting, and re-collaging in a self-reflexive practice. The individual pieces are rearranged like puzzles, going through multiple iterations until the works are balanced in the compositions yet have an unexpected element of surprise - much like the experience of rediscovering bygone mementos.

A close-up of an abstract paper collage by artist Erik Barthels.
A close-up of a squeeged surface on artist Erik Barthel's work.

Erin Zhao

Through the interplay of color, shape, and transparency, Zhao’s work straddles ambiguity and familiarity, creating unique visual vocabularies that invite experiential speculation and welcome recollection of seemingly forgotten memories.

Artist Erin Zhao in blue and red dressing standing next to her painting, Letter To The Unknown #15, on an easel in her studio.

"This is a keepsake of exploration. This painting was inspired by the spontaneous dance of abstract symbols, forms, colors, and emotions. When looking at this work, I'm reminded of a meditative journey into the depths of the subconscious. It makes me feel introspective and adventurous. It transports me to a place where the boundaries of the known and the unknown blur, encouraging my spirit to explore uncharted territories," Zhao on Letter To The Unknown #15.

An abstract, geometric painting by artist Erin Zhao on top of a wooden storage unit in her studio.

Jocelyn Tsaih

A focus on dualities can be seen in Tsaih’s work. Darkness and light, groundedness and buoyancy, levity and seriousness - these visual polarities offer insight into the artist’s own emotional processing, the careful consideration of each angle, vulnerability, and desire for self-preservation.

A close-up of a purple painting of a surrealist figure with a plant growing out of its head by artist Jocelyn Tsaih.

"This is a keepsake of a feeling. This painting was inspired by intense longing that sometimes feels suffocating. When looking at this work, I'm reminded of how I overcame these moments. It makes me feel comforted and transports me to a time when I persevered," Tsaih on Humid Heat.

Artist Jocelyn Tsaih hanging up a purple painting next to other paintings on a white wall in her studio.

Karina Bania

Bania’s paintings feature pale hues and layers of subtle texture, often incorporating traditional pigments and dyes in stains and washes. Focusing on harmony between spontaneity and intention, each discrete shape in her paintings provokes a conversation between visible and unseen landscapes.

Four abstract, gestural paintings of various sizes by artist Karina Bania installed in her studio.

"This is a keepsake of a memory. These two paintings were inspired by the feeling of eternity. On this night, after a long day at the beach, we sat in the warm water of the tidepools, listening to music, drinking wine, and laughing. The sun was setting, and the light cast the whole sea in a warm pink hue. Clouds were reflecting off the still tidepools and it felt like you could see forever. These paintings feel both grounding and uplifting. When looking at this work, I'm reminded of the freedom and fun of that evening," Bania on Tidepool Karaoke I & II.

Two abstract, gestural paintings by artist Karina Bania installed side-by-side on a white wall in her studio.

Laura Naples

In Naples’ paintings, swaths of biomorphic and aqueous pigment evoke the sense of a shared space - between subjects in a painting, between former and current selves, between artist and viewer. Within these dualities, the artist suggests the generative capacity for new and collective meaning.

Artist Laura Naples working on the floor of her studio surrounded by beige and black abstract acrylic paintings.

"This is a keepsake of how experiential meaning can change through time. This painting was inspired by a William-Adolphe Bouguereau work that I visited at the Detroit Institute of Art as a young child - and again at age 40. When looking at this work, I'm reminded of how, when I was young, my connection with Bouguereau’s painting catalyzed some of my earliest creative impulses. It makes me feel curious about the interplay of color, texture, and light, and transports me to moments of making art throughout my life, when I played with elements of wonder that became the throughlines of my work," Naples on Gathering I.

Artist Laura Naples standing in front of a grid of her black and beige acrylic wash paintings installed on a white wall in her studio.

Lourenço Providência

In Providência’s work, the artist has bound paired sets of his paintings together in a custom wood frame to further reinforce their co-dependent relationship. Providência’s minimalist ink paintings capture his subject's most essential qualities through an economy of line and color. In these works, Providência’s paintings recall images of the artist’s youth spent at the seaside in Portugal. The pairing of each painting acts as a poetic duet, each telling their own story and together creating a third and novel narrative.

Artist Lourenço Providência sitting in his studio using a thin brush to paint blue lines in his sketchbook.

"This is a keepsake of a beach. This painting was inspired by what I saw and experienced there. When looking at this work, I'm reminded of the long summers spent at the beach where far from technology or commerce I live happy moments and learned to appreciate and value the beautiful and simple things present in nature and life," Providência on Céu.

A row of three diptychs made from thin, blue brushstrokes by artist Lourenço Providência.

Senem Oezdogan

Oezdogan’s paintings provide an illusory counterpoint, smooth gradients and subtle plumes of concentrated pigment play against a continuous drawn line that meanders across the painting’s surface. These paintings act as a keepsake of her residency in the Caribbean, capturing the manifestation of nature’s forces contrasted with the calm serenity of island seclusion.

Artist Senem Oezdogan painting on a large, striped orange and white canvas in her studio.

"This is a keepsake of my residency in the Caribbean. This painting was inspired by the forces of nature and how they manifest. When looking at this work, I'm reminded of movement and change. It makes me feel humble and transports me back to the island when I was able to work in a studio surrounded by nature and solitude," Oezdogan on Flaneur.

A close-up of a striped, orange and white painting by artist Senem Oezdogan.

Tyler Scheidt

In Scheidt’s layered works, he abstracts organic elements of the landscape that nod to an ancient yet ever-evolving topography - an accumulation of history, experience, and the passage of time.

Two abstract paintings by artist Tyler Scheidt leaning against a bush on the sand.

"This is a keepsake of memory. This painting was inspired by my experience of the southwest and the passage of time. When looking at this work, I'm reminded of deep layers of the desert and the connection to nature. It makes me feel interconnected and transports me to a realm of other histories," Scheidt on Stereo Star.

A close-up of a textured painting by artist Tyler Scheidt.

Keepsake is on view Nov 2 - Dec 22 at Uprise Art. Learn more about the exhibition here.

Featured Artists