Escape Exploration

DATE: Monday, March 4, 2019

END DATE: Thursday, March 21, 2019

TIME: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

LOCATION: Taber Art Gallery, HCC Library, Donahue Building, 303 Homestead Avenue, Holyoke


"Where does escapism and fantasy fit into your life?" Northampton artist Anya Klepacki wants to know.

Northampton artist Anya Klepacki inside the fantasy tent she put up as part of her exhibit in HCC's Taber Art Gallery.

Fantasy and escapism are the themes of a new exhibit at HCC's Taber Art Gallery by Northampton multimedia artist Anya Klepacki.

Klepacki's show of tapestries, drawings, costumes, mobiles, miniature landscapes and tent filled with creations visitors are invited to touch ­is called "If the Future of this World Can't Be Depended On, I'll Make My Own: Fantasy Spaces in the 21st Century." It runs through Thursday, March 21. The gallery will host an opening reception on Thursday, March 7, from 5-7 p.m., and Klepacki will give a gallery talk on the closing night, Thursday, March 21, from 5-6 p.m.

"This is about engaging with the question of fantasy and escapism in a particular time, the 21st century, when we're facing unprecedented challenges and the kind of impending chaos that a lot of people my age are aware of, but don't know what to do about," said Klepacki.

This is the first solo show for the 28-year-old artist, who grew up in Northampton, attended the Williston-Northampton School in Easthampton, and holds a bachelor's degree in environmental science from Tufts University and a bachelor of fine arts degree from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. 

Beyond the art on display in the gallery, Klepacki invites people to explore the online research component of her work that she describes as a micro encyclopedia of categories related to the themes of her show, from Afrofuturism, science fiction and utopias, to virtual reality, space colonization, LARPing (live action role playing), meditation and transformative festivals like Burning Man.

"There's just all these myriad ways that people engage in escapism or in fantasy when they're not satisfied with the world around them," Klepacki said. "I'm asking people to more specifically consider how they do that, and that's what my gallery talk is going to be about, just having a conversation with people. Where does escapism and fantasy fit into your life? What do you do? Do you find yourself going to your phone? Is social media your escape? This exhibit is my fantasy world."

The Taber Art Gallery at HCC is open Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during regular school sessions. It is free and open to the public and located through the HCC Campus Library lobby on the second floor of the HCC Donahue Building, 303 Homestead Ave., Holyoke.

For more information, please contact Amy Johnquest, director of the Taber Art Gallery, at 413.552.2614.

PHOTOS by CHRIS YURKO: Northampton multimedia artist Anya Klepacki with some of her work on display in HCC's Taber Art Gallery.