Oct 23–Dec 5, 2021

Beverly Acha (26), Cold Plunge


Lighthouse Works is pleased to present cold plunge, a show of paintings and drawings created by Beverly Acha during the six months she was on island as our inaugural Artist-in-Residence.

Beverly Acha’s practice has long been connected to the places in which she paints. The quote above from Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar illuminates this sensitivity to place. In fact, Acha has had this quote knocking around her studio since she spent her initial fellowship here back in 2017 and first read the novel. This idea of how light changes a space and in turn changes time and reality is central to Acha’s work. The specific winter light out on the island has seeped into these paintings, submerging them into the sound. They appear underwater, light filtering through the shifting blues, the shifting depths.

The pastel drawings in the show serve as a warm counterpoint. They are fiery at times,
more playful—connected to botanical imagery. Their scale and medium gives them a
certain intimacy. They feel like small pocket fires, moments to warm your hands while swimming through the show. They fold, droop and bloom into view. And the largest painting, apariciónes, blooms (fenómeno azulado II) is where both these worlds meet. The layers of blue break way to a large purple bloom. The painting is dotted by small orbs, little lights that float across the surface, delicately rendered. This painting has an optimism to it, the fiery complex interior springs forth from the vast blue like a crocus in March.

Cold Plunge is a brisk and moving show that closes out our year at Lighthouse Works. We feel it is the splash of frigid water that we need to face the New Year.

Image Checklist




Beverly Acha, born in Miami, Florida, creates paintings, prints, drawings, and sculptures that explore structure, time, space and the visible and invisible forces and systems that shape our world. She holds an MFA from Yale University and a BA from Williams College. Recent exhibitions include Mutualities, a solo show at the Roswell Museum and Art Center (Roswell, NM), and group shows at Alexanders Garage (Brooklyn, NY), Laundromat Art Space (Miami, FL), La MaMa Galleria (NYC), and El Museo del Barrio (NYC). Recent residencies and awards include The Wassaic Project Residency, Roswell Artist-in-Residence Fellowship Program, Salem Art Works Fellowship, Robert Schoelkopf Memorial Travel Grant, and Frederick M. Peyser Prize in Painting. Acha has served as a visiting critic at the School of Visual Arts, Rhode Island School of Design, and Williams College where she was also Visiting Lecturer in 2015. She was appointed Smelser-Vallion Visiting Artist at Oklahoma State University for 2017-2018 and will be a Lecturer in Studio Art at University of California Davis beginning January 2018.