these things are tangible | January 27 - March 25, 2017
Opening Reception + Artist Talk: Friday, January 27 | 5 - 8 pm
these things are tangible brings together the work of Claudia Mastrobuono, Jodi Stevens, and Sonya Yong James. These three artists work across media communicating similar ideas of self-discovery and investigation into their roles as makers and women. The word tangible is an adjective that describes an object being clear and definite. The work presented in this exhibit explores rendering into the physical the anxieties that go hand-in-hand with the decision to dedicate oneself to a lifelong artistic practice.
Generously sponsored by the CU President's Fund for the Humanities.
(center) Claudia Mastrobuono, Weight, fiber and stone.
(right) Sonya Yong James
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
CLAUDIA MASTROBUONO | As an installation artist with a background in fiber and clay, Mastrobuono often marries the two materials, creating a dynamic relationship between tension and weight. Most recently, she has been investigating the idea of visual tension, using pattern both on flat surface and three-dimensionally.
Decorating the ordinary, Mastrobuono allows the viewer access by using familiar objects and materials. Her work deals with personal conflict between the desire for domestic foundation and the need to fulfill personal goals. She states: "I struggle with my role as a woman, daughter, partner and artist. I translate this fight visually, creating noise and tension with material and pattern. The desire for domesticity versus the need for change and growth within my studio practice has been an ongoing battle for me. I use pattern to create visual tension, representing the push and pull that I feel between my work and personal life. My practice is contemplative, allowing me to think while I make, which while informing the work, is also cathartic."
Mastrobuono explains that time and place heavily influence her work. Working in both fiber and clay, the artist often switches between the two materials, contingent on facilities or site-specific needs, placing parameters while allowing the work to remain organic. http://claudiamastrobuono.com
SONYA YONG JAMES sees fiber as a basic common thread throughout the organic world.
She describes herself as "an artist with a total obsession with fiber". She received her degree in sculpture and printmaking from Georgia State University and has been working with fiber as a new medium for the past nine years for installation work, utilitarian objects and design.
Yong James dyes, spins, felts, weaves and knits different fibers that she acquires from all over the world. Working closely with shepherds and small farms to obtain different fibers, the artist uses a large range of available wools, mohair and other fibers from different animals including angora goat, Cotswold, Blueface Leicester, Border Leicester, Merino, Lincoln Longwool, and other exotic fibers when they are available. She states: "It is important to me that my fiber come from animals that are loved and well cared for. I also use silk waste that would otherwise be thrown away. My mission and goal is to use sustainable supplies and to nurture and support other small businesses. I work with my handspun fibers and I minimally process them. I enjoy creating handmade yarn for other artists to use as well."
JODI STEVENS received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Textiles from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina in 2006 and completed her MFA in Fibers in 2010, at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. She currently resides in New Bedford, MA and has shown work in Canada, various locations in the U.S., and more extensively throughout Massachusetts.
Stevens has been a visiting artist in residence for programs in Colorado and Massachusetts. She has directed workshops and participated in textile-based educational outreach programs through museum partnerships and commissions, including the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA and the Albany Institute of History and Art in Albany, New York. She most recently served as Lead Curator at Dedee Shattuck Gallery located in Westport, Massachusetts.