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Jan 19 - March 16

Rachel Rader:

Galactic Selfies and Iconic Discoveries of Archer Adler


This series of work is a playful presentation of artifice: a presentation of Our origin story and the tools needed to excavate these “truths”.


Archer Adler travels through time and space to find artifacts of humanity’s origin story. Through trial and a significant amount of error, Archer creates a series of time machines. Presumably, Archer has found success in this venture, as noted by her mysterious disappearance. In this exhibition objects serve as relics of Archer’s explorations of time: iconic discoveries uncovered of the “big bang” found in core samples, primordial ooze sourced from the dawn of micro-organisms, and galactic selfies of Archer traveling through time and space. As the Department Head of Time Travel at Ancient Truth Investigators (ATI), Archer knew she was taking risks inherent in the role but ATI is hopeful that she will find her way back to this timeline.

Archer Adler, one of the many alter egos of Richmond-based artist Rachel Rader, is a character that is derived from Rachel’s current obsession with time travel. Archer is uniquely messy, scattered, ruthless, and unstable. Archer Adler (an anagram of Rachel Rader), is a time traveler and the newest character of an ongoing project called Ancient Truth Investigators (ATI) that Rachel created over 10 years ago. ATI is a narrative-driven exploration in performance art, wearable objects, and sculptural forms. By embodying the characters in her ATI storyline, Rachel invites viewers to suspend disbelief and engage in her artwork, with a heightened sense of receptivity to a fantastical experience.

Rachel’s work has a strong foundation in Craft and material exploration. The materials incorporated in her work ranges widely and includes glass, metal, wood, latex, acrylic, polymer, leather, and small electronics. But the cornerstone of her artwork is humor and her sense of play. In this new series of work, primary colors and Memphis design have wiggled their way into her visual language. Rachel has departed from an organic aesthetic in favor of work informed by maximalism and pop art. In a post-pandemic post-Trump post-billionaire-space-odyssey world, she has come to fully embrace the important difference between artifact and artifice. The tangible necessity to employ candy colors and playful narrative in a world jaded by the misuse of the word “truth”. Rachel’s work rides the line of fact and fiction presenting her work in a performative context, her socio-political motivations buried within the driving force of her creations, only observed by a discerning eye. This series of work is a playful presentation of artifice: a presentation of Our origin story and the tools needed to excavate these “truths”.


Rachel lives in Richmond, VA where she maintains a full time art practice. She dabbles in a myriad of materials and forms of expression as a multidisciplinary artist. In her current project, Ancient Truth Investigators, she combines her love of performance with her devotion to material exploration.

She holds a BFA in Material Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University. Rachel has taught at numerous institutions including Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle, WA, Penland School of Crafts in Penland, NC, and UrbanGlass in Brooklyn, NY.

She was a 2017 resident artist at the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC as a part of the Artists’ Studios Program, and the recipient of a 2016 CGCA Flexible Fellowship at Wheaton Arts in Millville, NJ. She has shown her artwork in various galleries and museums including The Brooklyn Metal Works Gallery, The Bullseye Gallery New York, Quirk Gallery in Richmond, VA, The Racine Art Museum in Racine, WI, The Society of Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh, PA, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Norfolk, VA and The Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, OR.