621 Gallery Presents:



a group exhibition by Sirena LaBurn, Rachel Loyacono, Britt McDermott, Sarah Norman, Elise Thompson, and Connie Zheng. Curated by Nathan Mullins.

OPENING RECEPTION | April 2nd, 2021 | Doors Open at 6:00 PM | Talk begins at 7:00 PM

EXHIBITION DATES04.02.2021- 04.30.2021 

Curatorial Statement: 

Mythopoeia is a show of works on paper by six women artists from around the United States, whose art shares in the creation of new iconographies, new systems of symbols that engender new personal narratives and myths responsive to our new lived realities. Sirena LaBurn, Rachel Loyacono, Britt McDermott, Sarah Norman, Elise Thompson, and Connie Zheng all engage in disparate modes of expression and mark making, some working more observationally while others operate in full on abstraction. The substrate of paper acts as a unifying element in this show. Paper is where the artist returns to develop new ideas; it is a medium that elicits the generation of alternative paths and encourages freedom of thought and expression. 

A book which shares the name of the show serves as a companion and guide for the myths found in these works on paper. Six poets currently living and working in the Tallahassee area – Collin Callahan, Brett Hanley, Lauren Howton, Diamond Forde, Dustin Pearson, and Erin Slaughter – have written ekphrastic poems that begin the work of spreading the good news. These poems are responses, interpretations, and meditations on the power of both the symbols and the mark-making present in the works by our artists. The proceeds from the sale of this book directly benefits Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida.

The works that constitute the body of both this show and the book, for they are indeed two different things, exhibit bright new possibilities for myth during our time.

– Nathan Mullins, Curator



Born in Nederland, Texas in 1986, Sirena LaBurn received her MFA in Painting from the New York Studio School (2014), and her BS in Arts Administration from Wagner College, New York (2009). Before beginning her MFA, LaBurn worked as the Collections Catalogue Assistant at the Stark Museum of Art, Orange, Texas, and is a former studio resident at The Art Studio, Inc., Beaumont, Texas. In 2014, 2015, and 2017 she assisted Graham Nickson in his internationally recognized Drawing Marathon. After living in Germany for 8 years, Sirena returned to Texas. She currently lives in Houston, Texas and is an adjunct instructor at Lamar University in Beaumont, TX

Sirena LaBurn


Rachel Loyacono grew up in rural Magnolia, MS. As an only child, she spent hours with her grandfather in his woodworking shop or poring over his books of artists like Degas, Van Gogh, and Manet. In 2014, she received a Bachelor’s Degree from The University of Southern Mississippi in Painting and Drawing. She now resides in New Orleans, Louisiana, a city whose people and vibrancy influence her work today.

Rachel Loyacono


Britt McDermott is an artist and art educator from Atlanta, Georgia. She is currently based in Nashville, Tennessee, with her pitbull Greta.

Britt McDermott


My drawings are representations of the delicate, natural world. Using a combination of earthly materials, as well as traditional media, I collage and create images of clouds, rain, water, ice, rocks, soil, plants and rainbows. In my drawing, Magic Teeth, I take on the role of the archaeologist: a jagged stone sits in the middle-ground above the remains of a jaw, seemingly the same. In Melt into the sea with me, slow at first, then rapidly, I play the role of the climatologist, drawing diagrammatic visual elements to represent the cyclical conflict between rising sea levels and melting ice caps.

Sarah Norman


Layers of material in these works exhibit varying degrees of opacity, composed in architectural swoops, fields, and curves. Sheer pools of paint and clear dura-lar call on intricacies of transparency, both physical and figurative. Gestures made below, between, and above continue to be seen all at once in some way, because what is done can never really be gone. Clear or muted communication and the history of past moves are explored, resulting in often playful, quirky, and eerie images. References to entrances and exits hint at places to explore or be barred from physically or psychologically. These “places” can feel familiar cinematically yet other worldly. Through semi-symmetrical, layered gestures of concealing and revealing,

competing tendencies to hesitate or be decisively clear reflect a desire to remain private or explicitly share.

Elise Thompson


Connie Zheng is a Chinese-born artist, filmmaker, writer, and gardener living in Oakland, CA. She has exhibited work in the Netherlands and around the United States, through venues such as the IMPAKT Festival (Utrecht, Netherlands), the Asian Art Museum (SF, CA), the Berkeley Art Museum and and Pacific Film Archive (Berkeley, CA), and AIR Gallery (New York, NY). She has received fellowships and residencies from the Headlands Center for the Arts, the Oak Spring Garden Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, and ACRE, among others, and was a Collection Fellow at the Kadist Foundation in 2020. She recently published a chapter in the Routledge Companion to Contemporary Art, Visual Culture, and Climate Change, with other written work commissioned by the Headlands, SFMOMA’s Open Space, and other platforms. She received her MFA in Art Practice from UC Berkeley, as well as BAs in Economics and English (Creative Nonfiction) from Brown University, and is currently a PhD student in Visual Studies at UC Santa Cruz.

Connie Zheng