New exhibition at Magic Gardens

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South Philly’s Magic Gardens will host a new exhibition titled Threads of Transformation: Works by Krista Dedrick-Lai and Margaux McAllister. The collection showcases paintings, textiles and sculptures by multidisciplinary artists Krista Dedrick-Lai and Margaux McAllister, sharing their journeys of self-reflection and growth through womanhood and motherhood.

On display from May 17 through July 14, the artists examine human connections and transformation, navigating brokenness, tenderness and togetherness through the collection of mixed-media works. 

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The exhibition will be curated by Exhibitions Manager Chelsey Luster and a pay-as-you-wish opening reception will be held on May 17 from 6-9 p.m. at Magic Gardens’ home at 1020 South St. 

Dedrick-Lai is a multidisciplinary artist whose work confronts the everyday struggles of motherhood, domesticity and being human. In her mixed-media work, Dedrick-Lai paints, weaves and sews with a full range of bright neon marks to dark ominous brushstrokes. She negotiates the nonlinear space of healing and acceptance, perpetually carving out spaces of light in the dark and methodically making a way forward. 

After earning her BFA from Tyler School of Art, Dedrick-Lai made Philadelphia her home and now lives and works just steps from the Italian Market with her husband and child. In 2021, a poster Dedrick-Lai created for a project organized by Mural Arts and the streets department was added to the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s collections. In March 2023, a solo exhibition of her mixed-media work, I’ll Carry It For You, was presented at Da Vinci Art Alliance, 704 Catharine St. Before Threads of Transformation at PMG, Dedrick-Lai had solo exhibitions at The Middle Room Gallery in Los Angeles and the Chimaera Gallery in Philadelphia.

McAllister is a multidisciplinary artist based in Phoenixville. In the exhibition, she explores the complexities of motherhood, familial relationships, mental health and healing. McAllister is a nationally and internationally exhibited artist who received her BFA from Moore College of Art and Design in 2004 and her MFA from San Francisco Art Institute in 2010. As an artist and a mother, McAllister creates rug-tufted masks and paintings that express emotional states that challenge and define our identities. Her masks, figures and animals are physical manifestations of feelings brought on by her experiences. The inherent dichotomy that exists in a mask allows for the wearer to hide and expose parts of themselves simultaneously. With her rug-tufted masks, McAllister subverts the domestic qualities of that medium. Joy, tenderness, anger, love and frustration can be found in her works.

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