Each year, Art Gym Denver offers the Create Award, a six-month residency to two recent art graduates. The residency culminates with an exhibition in the Art Gym Gallery. We are thrilled to announce Undoing Structure, by Autumn Thomas and Allie Sutterer, 2018’s Create Award recipients. Undoing Structure uses wooden sculpture, photography and embroidery to examine the ways we evolve and change throughout our lives.
Autumn Thomas’ series Prevails Unpoetic is a self-fulfilling prophecy; a collection of sculptures, developed through mindful dedication and a willingness to modify her original plan of action. In her artist statement she writes “These sculptures offer a dynamic view of the seemingly impossible: the bending and balancing of an assumed rigid structure. This unexpected placement and balance are the essence of survival – the impetus on which survival thrives.” In her six-month residency, Thomas’ sculptures changed from a means to house prints, into singular objects which stand as the works themselves. She uses kerf-cuts to manipulate the wood, giving her the control over a normally inflexible material. The results are beautiful evidences of transformation and change.
Autumn Thomas received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Visual Communications. She then went on to earn an MFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She also attended the Peters Valley School of Craft where she learned the kerf-cut technique she uses in her sculptures today.
In her project proposal – Everything I Know – for the Create Award, recipient Allie Sutterer explains: “Sewing is a skill passed down to me through generations of family members. In this exhibition, I use an inherited skill to not only mark and change images of childhood, but also cherish and reflect on the ideas my family lovingly passed down to me as fact.” Her childhood photography, thread, embroidery and framing come together to assist Sutterer in her exploration of how we restructure what we were taught as children into what we have come to know as adults. By veiling portions of her original childhood photographs with carefully composed embroidery and matting, she forces the viewer reflect on how their own childhoods and the evolution of their beliefs.
Allie Sutterer received her BA in Studio Art with an emphasis in Photography from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Since graduation, her art practice has focused on the use of fibers, founder images and original photography to explore our constant need to question learned practices and belief systems.
Join us for the opening reception of Undoing Structure on Thursday, January 3 from 5 – 8PM. We will also have an artist talk by Allie Sutterer on January 7 from 6 – 8PM, and an artist talk by Autumn Thomas on January 24 from 6 – 8PM.