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Cicelia Ross-Gotta

Feel Just Like Home

Is someone who resides in temporary housing still homeless? Cicelia Ross-Gotta explores this question with hand-embroidered internet reviews of the motel where a family member has lived since August 2016.

Cicelia Ross-Gotta. Feel Just Like Home, 2019. Internet reviews of the motel where a family member has lived since 2016, used bed linens and towels, embroidery floss, and towel racks. Photo: Ruth Kazmerzak
  • October 3 - 31, 2019
  • Opening: Thursday, October 3

Hung on cheap towel racks, the reviews are painstakingly stitched onto used bedsheets and bordered by towels with raw edges. While the domestic associations of embroidery and quilting gesture toward home-making, the unfinished presentation stops short of achieving that goal – because while her family member is housed, they are not home.

Personal in origin, the work has grown beyond her family member’s story. As Ross-Gotta sorted through online commentary, she became fascinated by what she learned about the community at this motel: from complaints about noise and conditions to critiques written by and about the homeless people who stay there.

Ross-Gotta has color-coded the stars on the reviews to highlight trends she’s identified:

Red – drugs, sex work
Orange – dirt, bugs
Yellow – linen and towel complaints
Green – review written by someone who lives at the motel
Blue – reference to the motel residents by other reviewers
Purple – reference to danger
Black – no reference in particular

She welcomes viewers to gently remove the reviews from the towel racks, to sit, read, and then carefully replace them when finished.

This exhibition was funded, in part, by a 4Culture Art Projects Grant.

About the Artist

Originally from Kansas, Cicelia Ross-Gotta earned her AA from Front Range Community College in 2013, her BFA in Sculpture from Colorado State University in 2015, and her MFA in 3D4M (sculpture) from the University of Washington in 2017. That year she also became a mother.

Ross-Gotta’s work has been featured in Surface Design Journal’s 2017 International Exhibition in Print and exhibited at venues throughout Seattle including the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park, and the Vestibule Gallery. She was awarded a GAP Grant from Artist Trust in 2018 and an Art Projects Grant from 4Culture in 2019.