Eleanor Scholz, a Palo Alto native, spent most of her formative years in Salt Lake City, Utah. After graduating from Westminster College, she was active in the SLC art scene for 5 years—participating in gallery shows and art festivals throughout Utah, where she also worked as a designer, mental health worker, and taught high school English and art.
In 2014 she left Salt Lake to travel, study Islamic geometric design in Turkey, and pursue artistic opportunities elsewhere. Since then she has been mobile, working out of Palo Alto, Boston, and New York. She was recently an artist in residence at Flux Factory in New York City, and has returned to the Bay Area this winter for shows in Santa Cruz and Oakland.
Scholz uses hand tools to create meticulous wood burnings that are rich with ornate lattices and geometric designs. Beauty, detail and pattern combine with contemporary cityscapes and symbols, drawing visual connections between the human impulse to illuminate and transcend, and modern culture, where very little credence is given to the non-physical world.
Geometric patterns have been used across the globe and throughout human history to represent experiences beyond the physical realm. These seem to be fundamental to the human condition. Our modern western world is new, and uprooted from ancient mythology or spirituality. Scholz’s work explores and provokes the aesthetic of the transcendent experience, with the intention of provoking our basic human impulse to worship, and provide moments of wakefulness and transcendence in a society that is too often numb or jaded, instead of reverent.