Object Reality

In developing a new shared space, I have been spending a lot of time thinking about objects that surround us.  Researching the best types of chairs for the space, scouring antique shops for great finds of particular periods, and not least of which spending a summer hand crafting table tops.  It is this process of building and making that is the starting point of of an awareness of an object's story.  For my tables, the wood already had a back story as reclaimed lumber salvaged from roof rafters of a Detroit home, they provided shelter for 50 years plus years from countless storms and played host to countless stories lost to me.  Through the process of refinishing, this wood has been given a new life and a new purpose, already collecting memories about my work and business with hopefully a long life of capturing many other moments of community and events.  I like to imagine that we leave imprints on these objects as we use them, a bit of our own histories rub off and mingle with other remnants to form a story for that object alone - sometimes the stories can be read through the nail holes and coffee stains left behind, but other times they lie beneath the surface as hidden secrets.

For husARt's first exhibition, we have three wonderful artists and friends who have an ability to unearth these secrets.  Through their work, the hidden lives of objects can be felt, appreciated, and imagined.  

Opening Reception and husARt Launch party will take place November 21st 7-10pm at the husARt Design Collective 1800 W 21st St

Exhibition will be on display through January by appointment only.  Please contact us to schedule.


Gretchen Hasse

When I was young, my health was abruptly taken away from me, and for a time I lived with significant physical disability.  I still live with the residue of that life change. Because I deeply understand how hidden experiences can shape a person, I am compelled to create complex narratives in my work. 

I create stories with writing, video, photography, drawing, painting, and recycled materials. I build handmade props and create makeshift “effects” for my videos. I am drawn to an imperfect, punk aesthetic, because it feels authentic to me.

My inspiration includes travel journals, videos that I produce for social justice groups, and life lessons that take a really long time to learn.


I work in several mediums, many of which involve a lot of digital processing. My work with collaged trash and other discarded items is a reaction to the pristine nature of digital work. In 2011, I began recycling some of my many, many figure studies into collages with wood, cardboard, and other found objects. These became narrative, and sometimes, I think, heroic.


Tracy Kostenbader


Because I am both an artist and an arts organizer, I founded AnySquared Projects, an all-volunteer collaborative/network with the mission to encourage art-making, produce exhibits, create projects and organize events with fellow artists and neighbors. This community-oriented mission, and my career as an artist and arts organizer, are of a piece with how I choose to live my life by certain guiding values, which have also led me to spend a good portion of my life working directly on social justice issues.


I develop my own work as an artist even as I organize for my community, which gives me a unique perspective. I see both as interrelated and influencing each other as I strive to find a balance between the very individual process of creating my own work and the work that I do as an AnySquared arts organizer.


I am a relationship-builder encouraging others, creating venue for artists, and make my resources and myself available to all who are interested. From facilitating my public weekly art-making sessions at my studio, to assisting with ongoing community murals, to organizing both ongoing arts series and pop-up exhibits, to participating in and planning community arts events, as well as promoting others in the arts community, I have had a history of working on and supporting group projects with fellow artists and arts supporters.


This year, “SALVAGE, An Exhibit at The Plant” is the most recent project that I both conceptualized for AnySquared and with G Studio, and participated in as an exhibiting artist along with eight others. As the main artist and organizer of AnySquared, I was also recruited by the Hairpin Arts Center to activate their space with installations, a large exhibit, events, and activities through a residency from September 21, 2014–November 16, 2014. I look forward to continuing more collaboration with artists and art spaces in the future.





My body of work is based on images of objects. I develop my visual ideas through engagement in working on each piece, where concepts and use of media also evolve in the process. I use painting, encaustic, printmaking, photography, and digital techniques depending on the subject, and I shift media depending on the subject.

Beginning with a general concept, then, responding to the materials and content, I work through a particular dialogue. Discovering and experimenting with visual connotations through rethinking combinations of parts is a satisfying process, as in my Rampant Objects Series. I add elements, remove or cover them, and layer until the piece is finished, and I usually work on a few pieces at the same time within the same framework -- with each piece creating different outcome.

In the Rampant Objects Series, I used symbols and images of objects that are drawn and carved into encaustic on panels. I have been interested in instructional diagrams with simplified images of objects, patterns, and shapes arranged differently on each subsequent piece.

In the process of these wax paintings, I build up the surface from an under-painting or drawing. I apply the wax on top and play with its translucence to create a sense of depth. I melt it to manipulate the surface between rough and smooth -- sometimes playing with the texture and other times using it as a glass-like coating. I carve and scratch into the surface at different depths to define or cover lines or to create a pattern. I rub in oil-based paints into to crevices or to apply a stain to the wax. Then, I may interchange different steps to get a certain effect to build or deconstruct parts of the painting.

The works on display reflect the beginning and middle of my investigation of this series. Recently, I have been selecting some of the more simplified pieces from this series and reworking them adding “history” with detail and patina.

In other work, I also engage in word/image play, use of set of words, or play with word fragments combined with images, as a basis to explore narrative and meaning.


Tara Zanzig is a multi-disciplinary artist with a focus on non-traditional screen print applications, mixed media, and video work. She received her BFA from The School Of The Art Institute. Her current work strives to connect the inner and outer.

Tara is also an educator offering private classes and workshops. She is available for custom screen printing including apparel and paper products