WHY AM I HERE?
JUNE 16 - AUGUST 20

  • Opening Reception / Meet the Artist: Friday, June 16 / 5-8pm
  • Free and open to the public
  • Art Round Town: Friday, July 7 & August 4. 5-8pm.*


Artist Statement:
I make sculptures, drawings, and paintings that utilize the symbol of Papel Picado to draw attention to the experiences that have marked my life. Papel Picado, a decorative craft made by cutting elaborate designs into sheets of tissue paper, is used for joyous celebrations but carries an inherent violence because of the cutting or carving required for creation. This metaphor allows me to engage in various personal dialogues about grief; how I have felt about the self erasure of my culture required to exist within white spaces, the loss of a pregnancy, and the disenfranchisement felt when confronting my sexual assaults.

The works begin as a set of preliminary drawings composed around the text of a terrifying question: Why Am I Here? From there I make stencils to create physical banners of Papel Picado. These banners will then be installed and photographed for their final use as still life reference images. The fragility and darkness within each composition will be emphasized through the use of dramatic lighting that casts deep shadows. Once the photography is complete, graphite drawings and subsequent acrylic paintings will be created. Each material provides a unique perspective into a subconscious reckoning between how to celebrate joy within grief.


Natalie Lomeli bio:
Natalie Fisk is a Mexican American (Chicanx) artist living and working in the Hudson Valley. She is an alumna of Pacific Northwest College of Art, the Vermont Studio Center Residency, and the Trestle Gallery Residency in Brooklyn. She received collegiate scholarships or grants from the San Francisco Art Institute, PNCA, The Vermont Studio Center, and the Anderson Ranch Art Center. Originally from North County San Diego, Fisk has shown work in various cities on the West Coast before heading east post graduation. Her work has been commissioned from companies such as Rudyʼs Barbershops, PNCA, Ace Hotel NYC, and Hersha Hospitality. Fisk was a member of the art collective Gowanus Swim Society from 2013 until its dissolution in April of 2020. She curated the creative programming for NU Hotel Brooklyn from 2015 - 2019, including its partnership with Brooklyn Museum. Fisk has been showing her work nationally for over 15 years and her curation has been mentioned in the New York Times, Hyperallergic, and Bushwick Daily.

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*Art 'Round Town is a gallery walk in Portsmouth on the first Friday of each month.

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Stay connected to the Gallery from home: view the virtual Gallery!

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Generously supported by:



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3S Artspace is supported in part by a grant from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

3S Artspace is supported by the New England Foundation for the Arts through the New England Arts Resilience Fund, part of the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund, an initiative of the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with major funding from the federal CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Thank you to our year-round Lead Sponsor: