Free Box

June 14th- August 14th

 Closing reception Saturday, August 2nd 5-7pm

A painter by training, Rachel Grobstein‘s mixed-media works combine painstakingly recreated miniature objects with an eye for the poignancy of the mundane. Grobstein’s “Free Box” installation was created specifically for The Mµseum.

Download the exhibition catalog for “Free Box” here!


Free Box  (Statement from the artist)

One of long-standing explorations in my work has been about contradictions contained in the objects put in basements, storage units and backyards — the stuff you aren’t using, but can’t bring yourself to throw away. With “Free Box”, I wanted to create a pile of stuff that hovers ambiguously somewhere in between gift and garbage, where value is called into question.

A famous 6-word “novel” often attributed to Ernest Hemingway (though its origins are disputed) reads: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn”. Similarly, I am interested in the way objects can speak volumes without saying a word, telling quiet stories of passing time, heartbreak, and lives in transition.
I’m also invested in creating an experience of wonderment, and to that end, I’m deeply interested in the miniature. The idea of Lilliputian worlds unfolding hidden from view has fascinated me from the time I was a child, and continues to remain a compelling lens through which to view ideas about precariousness, intimacy and vulnerability operating in the contemporary world. I am aiming to create work on paper that also straddles two and three dimensions, existing ambiguously in the world of the viewer, not just the illusionistic space of the picture frame.

– Rachel Grobstein


Rachel Grobstein "Free Box" detail

Rachel Grobstein “Free Box” detail


Rachel Grobstein first received a BA in Visual Art and Philosophy from Bowdoin College before going on to earn her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.  She has been the recipient of awards including a full fellowship and residency to the Vermont Studio Center, the Sitings Prize for a site-specific installation at the RISD Museum, an international travel grant, and Graduate Fellowship and Honors at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work was included in New American Paintings MFA Annual and has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions.