de Saisset Museum

South Bay's free museum of art and history

Dark Detour: Tracey Snelling

January 27 – March 18, 2006


Oakland-based artist Tracey Snelling finds beauty in the overlooked. Incorporating mixed media sculpture, architecture, photography, collage, film, and audio, her artwork taps into a distinctively American nostalgia.

Snelling’s art encourages exploration and discovery, in the process addressing our universal interest in voyeurism. Her meticulously crafted miniature sculptures are created from found objects and often feature working batteries, wiring, motors, and lighting. Her luminous photographs depict these structures in the landscape, distorting our expectations of scale.

Snelling says, “I’m inspired by so many things: weeds growing out of cracks in the pavement, the thick smell in a summer night where I grew up, Foster’s Freeze®, the sound of neon, rest stops, films, books, highways…” The diversity of her inspirations is reflected in her unexpected pieces, which address both an adult interest in the psychologically compelling and a childlike drive to play and discover.

Tracey Snelling received her B.F.A. from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Mission 17 gallery in San Francisco, Stephen Cohen Gallery in Los Angeles, and the Museum of Art and History in Santa Cruz, as well as group exhibitions at the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco, the de Saisset Museum, and the Center on Contemporary Art in Seattle. This will be Snelling’s first large-scale solo museum exhibition.

Image: Tracey Snelling, The City, 2005, mixed media installation with DVDs, variable dimensions, Courtesy Brown Bag Contemporary