IN CONVERSATION: Austin Ballard + Nadia Haji Omar
Opening Reception January 20 from 6 to 8 PM

This series of exhibitions is about starting a conversation – between two artists, and with the viewer. We invited an artist partner to ask another artist that inspires them to exhibit their work together. In Conversation captures the exchange between two practicing artists that illuminates the parallels they recognize in their work and beyond.

Austin Ballard, a Charlotte-born and New York-based sculptor, works with woven cane and extruded epoxy clay to craft objects with spontaneous structures, meandering shapes, and camouflaging shells.

Nadia Haji Omar, an artist of Syrian, Indian, and Sri Lankan descent based in Rhode Island, creates works on paper and paintings that are meditative and improvisational accumulations of small gestures built upon each other.

While both artists’ work differs in their mark-making and materiality, Austin and Nadia’s lyrical approach to imagery, with no clear beginning or end, allows the eye to abandon outcome.

Detail of AUSTIN BALLARD, Perforator II, 2022, cane webbing and epoxy clay, 34 x 20 x 34 inches overall.
Detail of NADIA HAJI OMAR, Blue Star, 2018, acrylic and ink on bleed proof paper, 12 x 9 inches. Courtesy of the Artist and Kristen Lorello, NY, photo: Charles Benton.


Lives and works in Ridgewood, NY
(b. 1987)

Born in Charlotte, NC, Ballard received an MFA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA from the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, where he also served as an Assistant Professor in Textiles. Ballard has received numerous awards including a Joan Mitchell Foundation Scholarship, a Windgate Foundation Fellowship, a Kenneth Stubbs Endowed Fellowship, a Peter S. Reed Foundation Grant, the Chenven Foundation Grant and the Rhode Island School of Design Graduate Studies Grant. He has been awarded full fellowships to the Museum of Arts and Design, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Ox-Bow School of Art, the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, Vermont Studio Center, Wassaic Project, and the McColl Center for Art + Innovation. Ballard has been featured in Maake Magazine, Art Maze Magazine, Wall Street International and Wide Walls. Ballard has held solo exhibitions at Smack Mellon, NY, Wave Hill, NY, Napoleon, PA, Real Art Ways, CT, and Ithaca College among others. Upcoming shows include Mckenzie Fine Art in New York, NY and Whitespace in Atlanta, GA. He currently lives and works in Ridgewood, NY.


Lives and works in Rhode Island
(b. 1985)

Nadia Haji Omar is a multimedia artist who explores issues related to the human mind, body and environment. She often combines the practices of painting, drawing, and photography. Her work investigates and visually addresses the philosophical and physiological challenges of the human condition. Haji Omar is of Syrian, Indian, and Sri Lankan descent. Haji Omar received a MFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2014 and a BA from Bard College.  Her works have been discussed in New York Magazine/Vulture, and Hyperallergic, among other publications, and are included in the collections of the RISD Museum, Providence, RI, and the Hallmark Art Collection, Kansas City, MO, among others.