Nick Peña is a Memphis-based artist and educator, exhibiting for the second time with Sager Braudis Gallery this February. He holds a BFA from the School of Art and Design at Southern Illinois University–Carbondale and MFA from the University of Missouri–Columbia, with an extensive exhibition record and numerous honors and publications, including two features in New American Paintings. In his most recent series the American home, representing stability, and a fragmented and shifting landscape (instability) are veiled by a digitally-produced mat. Traditionally a mat is a flat, thin piece of paper-based material included within the picture frame to serve as additional border. Peña activates the commonly overlooked mat by using Sintra (a flattened sheet of PVC), that has a digitally-drawn image cut out. The mat is thus transformed from inactive decoration to digitally-produced veil that represents the technologically anxious precision with which we surround ourselves. Each composition is based on composites of a fragmented American landscape in peril, where tension lies in the contrasts between past and present, analog and digital, representation and abstraction, and stability and instability.