Ellis Island

Zack Rafuls - Ellis Island

2014, plaster, paint, faux-metal hardware, and cast rubber



I think of my practice as textual, an amalgam of image, word, and gesture to be read as relational components in poetic rhythm. Central for me is the notion of ‘tracing’, taking form as both the literal, formal process and as a metaphorical anchor. Through an eclectic range of materials and modes of making, sources including modern literature, cartoons, art history, literal refuse, poetry, and commercial/industrial spaces are ‘traced’, retooled as narrative props, inspired by the idea of dramatic or filmic ‘scene setting’. Tracing in this context is the balancing act between hand and appropriated sign; between presence and absence; a cycle of extraction, consumption and regurgitation.




Zack Rafuls was born in Miami, FL, and lives in Nashville, TN. He received his BFA from Watkins College of Art, Design, & Film in Nashville in 2015, and in Fall 2014 studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as participant in the AICAD Mobility Program. Currently, Rafuls is co­director/co­curator of The Packing Plant, an artist­-run project space in Nashville. He has shown in both solo and group exhibitions in Nashville, and has exhibited nationally in New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. His work can be viewed at zackrafuls.com, and more info on The Packing Plant can be found at thepackingplant.net.