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After spending her childhood in California, Roche traveled around the country, spending time in places including Seattle, Portland, and Asheville, North Carolina where she was living several years ago when she unexpectedly inherited land in rural Minnesota. Roche and her partner moved to Minnesota, where they built a cabin on the land and commuted to Minneapolis for extended stays during which they would work to earn money. Though they still own the rural property, the couple now live primarily in Minneapolis, where Roche is starting to build a reputation as a painter with unmistakable vision.

Roche’s entry to the public art world came via Tynan Kerr and Andrew Mazorol, friends of hers who work collaboratively as painters. The epiphany came when Kerr and Roche worked together harvesting sugar beets in North Dakota; when they weren’t working, they would sit together in a heated trailer and draw for hours on end. Realizing Roche’s talent, Kerr and Mazorol, Jerome Foundation fellows in 2009/10— encouraged Roche to show her work publicly and to apply for a Jerome Foundation Emerging Artist Fellowship.

It was only last year—2012—when Roche first showed an entire body of work publicly, in a joint exhibit with Kerr and Mazorol at the Modern Times Café in Minneapolis. Just a few months later, she received word that she had been selected as a Jerome Fellow. More group shows followed, and after the Jerome exhibition at MCAD Roche will be preparing for her first solo show at Bockley Gallery. She acknowledges she has been “whirlwinded” into the art world but says the attention has been gratifying and has both inspired her and allowed her to focus more closely on her work.

- Jay Gabler, excerpted from the Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artists catalogue