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Date of Exhibition


Title of Exhibition

Prograde & Retrograde

Artist Statement

Images of suburbia are a ubiquitous metaphor for

nostalgia and the myth of the American dream.

Growing up moving around the Eastern US, the

American suburbs were the backdrop of my childhood.

These seemingly identical neighborhoods existed no

matter which county or state lines my family crossed.

This made suburban homes feel reliable yet, in a way,

inescapable. In this way, my art takes a critical look at

the gap between the promise and the reality of the

American dream and suburbia.

Type of Work

Mix Media

Short Description

Memory Lane is a manifestation of these nostalgic

memories through self-reflection and collaboration

with my family. To begin, I asked my parents to

each draw every house I ever lived in from memory.

I then combined their designs and added my own

memories to create the final renderings for each

house. The result is an imaginary suburb, birthed

from inaccessible memories and flawed nostalgia.

By using the theatrical device of the façade, I am

emphasizing the temporary and undefined nature of

each house. These houses do not exist in reality, not

in the way that they are represented here. Time has

altered each house; memory has added windows,

changed colors, made things larger or smaller. This

is my childhood, and yet it isn’t. The weathering and

overgrown look of my sculptures implies that the

memory has been eroded over time. Some houses are

more eroded, or more forgotten, than others. I have

represented the superficiality of suburbia through

creating the houses as façades, like those on a film

set. The renderings that my parents and I created are

featured in the installation to call to mind a process

behind the neighborhood. Behind each cookie-cutter

suburb is an impersonal artistic process in which a

house is designed, then copied and pasted with a few

HOA approved colors and trims. Here, that process

is disrupted by lingering memories and emotions,

leaving each house with a distinct personality that

turns the once monolithic American suburb into my

unique Memory Lane neighborhood.


20 in x 14.5 in x 55.5 in


polystyrene foam, phenolic foam, polyester fiberfill, gypsum plaster, cork board, wood, static grass, paper, thread, electrical wiring

Date of Online Publication



Copyright 2022, Sophia DiMarzio. Reproduced with permission. The artists and/or collaborators who contribute to the Rollins College Student Art Gallery and Archive retain the rights to their own works. In making these collection materials available, Rollins College does not grant permission to reproduce or redistribute them, in part or in full. The College does not own the copyright to any of the materials, cannot grant any requests for permission to reproduce them, and will forward reproduction requests to the artists and/or collaborators.


mixed media, suburbia, nostalgia, America, American dream, memory, reflection, neighborhoods, homes


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