Art Gym Gallery is very excited to announce Diverging Paths, this year’s Create Award residency exhibition. Diverging Paths combines the work of Samantha Manion and Brigitte Thompson, demonstrating the ways in which their art practice has evolved through the Create Award. Both artists proposed projects about their identity, but through the residency, they each developed and discovered new directions of their artistic practice. Join us for an opening reception on January 23 from 5-8PM.
In Diverging Paths, UCD alumnus Samantha Manion combines painting and quilting to create set-like installations. Her work is focused on inherited family tradition, utilizing lessons taught to her by her mother to draw meaning in her practice. In her artist statement for the exhibition, Manion explains “My great Grandma Concha made abstract artwork decades before the Modernists. She sewed blankets and quilts exclusively from found materials (scraps). Her patterns varied from tight and controlled to organic shapes that she had pieced together. These quilts were the first abstracts I ever studied. My hands would smooth out over the quilt feeling the wrinkles in the lace, velvet, and sequined fabric. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized these were no longer just functional objects, but instead an entity with sensuous form and no fear of color…I was taught by my mother to quilt and she was taught by her mother.”
For the Create Award, Brigitte Thompson, an alumnus of MSU, developed her series Primary. With a plan to explore race and identity, Thompson continued to experiment with her artistic practice throughout the 6-month residency. Through this experimentation, she discovered the need to build on previously learned skills. She explains in her artist statement, “Having focused on identity to fuel many creative endeavors in the past, in Primary, the artist chose to make a body of work that diverted from her usual subject matter to tackle something that would assist her in better expressing herself in future artistic projects. What results is a series that is more about practice, and less about theory.” The work she is exhibiting in Diverging Paths is the evidence of this diversion; a series of paintings exploring the possibilities of magenta, cyan and yellow.
Join us on Thursday, January 30 at 6PM when Samantha Manion and Brigitte Thompson will give an artist talk discussing their work and their process.