The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) announces Cycle 30 of its Artist Studios program. The selected artists, who will work in MAD’s sixth-floor open studios from August 7, 2018, through February 3, 2019, are Elodie Blanchard, Damien Davis, Jesse Harrod, Victoria Manganiello, Lily Moebes, and Monika Zarzeczna.
“The thirtieth cycle of the Artist Studios program perfectly coincides with its tenth anniversary and MAD’s fall 2018 season, which is focused on the notion of the Future of Craft,” said Cathleen Lewis, Vice President of Education and Programs at MAD. “Each of the six incoming artists utilizes craft and design processes in innovative ways that ignite conversations about the intersections between the personal and the political.”
Launched in 2008 by the Museum’s Education Department, the Artist Studios program assigns studio space to emerging to midcareer artists and designers for a six-month period. A diverse committee of Museum staff and outside professionals in the fields of art, craft, and design selects six resident artists, each of whom works in the studios one day per week. Studios are open to the public, welcoming visitors to observe and engage in the exchange of ideas while providing residents with the opportunity to open a dialogue surrounding their artistic practice. Both a platform for creativity and an innovative model of public engagement, the Artist Studios program has served over 150 artists and designers.
During each cycle of the Artist Studios program, some residents elect to host a MADmakes workshop. MADmakes is a drop-in, hands-on educational series that invites visitors to learn the artists’ own methods and test their skills at art making and creative production. The series engages visitors in various techniques and ideas, facilitating greater understanding and appreciation of skill-based practices. Great for visitors of all ages, backgrounds, and interests, MADmakes workshops are free with Museum admission. This cycle’s workshops will take place as follows:
Thursday, August 9, 2018, 6-8 pm
Thursday, September 13, 2018, 6-8 pm
Thursday, October 11, 2018, 6-8 pm
Thursday, November 8, 2018, 6-8 pm
Thursday, December 13, 2018, 6-8 pm
Thursday, January 10, 2019, 6-8 pm
The Artist Studios Talk and Closing Reception will take place Saturday, January 26, 2019, from 3 to 5 pm.
Monika Zarzeczna’s sculptures stem from an exploration of objects, forms, and their perceived purpose, asking deeper questions regarding the intent and history of an object. Zarzeczna assembles and preserves collected materials, colors, and found objects to create work that evokes nostalgia and reflection along with a simultaneous sense of nature and urban decay. Her work depicts notions of transition-of objects having lost their original function due to time, damage, or gradual obsolescence-exploring the in-betweenness that occurs when one moves from a known to an unknown situation or place, and attempting to visualize misunderstandings of systems, the adaptations required, and the ideas born from that chaos.
A recurring strategy in Zarzeczna’s work is to incorporate found objects and their lingering individual language such that they coexist with forms created by hand. At MAD, she will continue her series “Them,” made with air-drying clay, paper and muslin, gouache, and acrylic paint alongside found and pre-used elements.
Lily Moebes | Textiles
Lily Moebes seeks to map the politics of dissociation, especially as it diminishes agency in the traumatized body. She explores the politics of details and their erasure, with a focus on the body, the family, and the public sphere. Erasure being inherently violent, she engages details as a practice of resistance. Theater, psychoanalysis, and social theory inform her multimedia practice, which includes textile arts, printmaking, and sculpture.
At MAD, Moebes will continue her project “The Gatekeepers,” a series of ten larger-than-life figures rendered in embroidery and quilting. Each figure will live in a rectangular frame, the size of a large door, outlined with architectural details that suggest the interior of a home. The Gatekeepers are idealized protectors, agents of the domestic sphere that watch over families and intervene in situations of abuse. They enforce boundaries, they lash out against violation. The project is not just a material study, but also a multidisciplinary inquiry into what it means to be an advocate.
Elodie Blanchard | Textiles
In her artistic practice, textile designer Elodie Blanchard makes use of the textile waste that inevitably accumulates during the process of designing fabric and creating fiber installations. For her series “Growing Out of Scraps,” she constructs playful “tree” sculptures out of Poly-Fil, metal rods, concrete, and fabric, and sews embroidered textile scraps to create large collage wall hangings inspired by fauna or flora. Taken together, these elements comprise an enchanted landscape of nonsense, an alternative universe made of all the stuff not needed in our society of overconsumption. Blanchard’s interest lies in spotting discarded objects and transforming them into something whole and beautiful.
At MAD, she will expand her “Growing Out of Scraps” project, creating a wonderland in which her tree sculptures and wall hangings coexist. The landscape will incorporate costumes and masks, drawing on her roots in fashion and performance art.
Jesse Harrod manipulates and transforms materials to animate their sexual and sensual qualities and explore the intersections between queer kinship, support, and sexuality. In her sculptural installations, she works with rope as a pliable element that she regards much like a drawing tool, utilizing knot-making techniques such as macrame in ways that can be understood as simultaneously restraining and supporting. She is interested in the doubleness of rope as an element used within queer sexual play and as a material that conveys how bodies rely upon and support one another.
At MAD, Harrod will create a series of works that investigate the relationship between color and gender identity. While color has always played an active role in her sculptural practice, in these new works she aims to utilize color as a conceptual tool to explore how physical form, and forms of gendered embodiment, are made and remade through perception.
Damien Davis’ practice explores historical representations of blackness by seeking to unpack the visual language of cultures both domestic and abroad, questioning how cultures code and decode representations of race through craft, design, and digital modes of production. His work is rooted in an ongoing project to establish a growing visual lexicon made out of a discrete iconography. Ultimately, he is developing a personal language of discourse by amassing, curating, and strategically deploying individual icons into various assemblages and objects.
At MAD, Davis will continue to grow a new body of work focused on waiting rooms in children’s hospitals, which exist as a site for both nostalgia and trauma. This series will begin to unpack the complicated dynamics of families with sick children, and examine the US medical establishment’s long legacy of discriminating against and exploiting black Americans, the indelible memory of which remains deeply embedded in the collective consciousness of the community.
Exploring the intersections between materiality, space, philosophy, and storytelling, Victoria Manganiello makes installations, abstract paintings, and performances with hand-woven textiles, using hand-spun yarn and hand-mixed natural and synthetic dyes. These labor-intensive and monotonous processes subliminally act as connectors to all cultures, current and past, that have uniquely yet simultaneously developed textile techniques across space.
At MAD, Manganiello will use tubing as weft to pump dye through her textiles. Small computers program the color’s movement through the tubing, causing the cloth’s surface to become a display with moving patterns. The project transforms a familiar material into a surprising technology, and utilizes this functionality to tell a story about the social benefits and detriments of computers.
ABOUT THE MUSEUM OF ARTS AND DESIGN
The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) champions contemporary makers across creative fields and presents the work of artists, designers, and artisans who apply the highest level of ingenuity and skill. Since the Museum’s founding in 1956 by philanthropist and visionary Aileen Osborn Webb, MAD has celebrated all facets of making and the creative processes by which materials are transformed, from traditional techniques to cutting-edge technologies. Today, the Museum’s curatorial program builds upon a rich history of exhibitions that emphasize a cross-disciplinary approach to art and design, and reveals the workmanship behind the objects and environments that shape our everyday lives. MAD provides an international platform for practitioners who are influencing the direction of cultural production and driving twenty-first-century innovation, and fosters a participatory setting for visitors to have direct encounters with skilled making and compelling works of art and design.