2016 winners of an 'Art Space Is Your Space' residency award, Valerie Molnar and Matt Spahr stayed at Wave Pool for the month of July 2016. During their time at Wave Pool they transformed the gallery into a plant rehabilitation center with multiple pop up greenhouses. Visitors were encouraged to bring plants in and leave them in the gallery for as long as they’d like in order for their plants to receive specialized care. An official drop-off event took place on July 10th, where plant owners had “before” people/plant portraits taken. The plants will be groomed, repotted, fed, and enjoyed incentives and comforts for optimal happiness such as appropriate light and humidity zones, tesla healing plates, disco lights for sunset, and twelve hours of plant appropriate music.
People Via Plants concluded with a “Dance Party Plant Celebration” on July 23rd where visitors retrieved their revitalized plants and celebrated with the finished installation in the gallery. A group of students from Walnut Hills Highschool also exhibited their work and contributed to the dance party celebration with a coinciding exhibition in the upstairs space at Wave Pool.
Molnar and Spahr describe their interest in Cincinnati: “While our perceived primary goal is the transformation of plants through various forms of care and to help struggling plant owners learn how to better care for their botanical partners, we are also interested and excited about creating additional reciprocal moments. We would like to offer public programs that would not only benefit the plants and their owners but also provide advertising and community relations building for different businesses that may not normally interact such as a plant nursery with a yoga studio.”
Matt Spahr, a sculptor from Cali (among other places), and Valerie Molnar, a painter from Cleveland, are based in Richmond, Virginia where they both teach at Virginia Commonwealth University. Matt earned his BFA from California State and Valerie from The Cleveland Institute Of Art, they both made their move to Richmond for their MFA's at VCU. Last summer the pair attended Mountain Lake's Art Lab Residency, and they're excited for this summer's line up forming now, including Wave Pool and a group show in the Bronx.