Patty earned an MSED from the University of Southern California and a degree in graphic design while in Texas. She trains at the American Academy of Bookbinding with Monique Lallier specializing in French binding and studies other archival structures from Jan Sabota in the Czech Republic. Her experiences now include printmaking, letterpress and sculptural binding allowing a fuller realization of the completed book. Bruce received a Master’s of Object/Sculptural Binding diploma from Society of Bookbinding of the Czech Republic. She works full time binding books in her studio.
Guylaine Couture lives in Montreal, speaks French, teaches graphic design and shares her discoveries on her blog. She participated in exhibitions in Canada, the United States, in England and Australia.
Guylaine started making artist books after a short bindery workshop some years ago. She has this obsession with creativity and paper for a long time. As a graphic designer, Guylaine is upset by the enormous quantities of paper and words used and abused to push a commercial message. The re-use of printed documents, pieces of photos, and chosen words is a perpetual game for her. Using collage, drawing and manual printing, she tries to give a new direction, a second life to this material. Each book attempts to create a fusion between the contents and the container while questioning the manipulation of the object by the reader. Browse slowly one of its artists' books is an experience, a conversation, a relationship with her and her concerns.
I think of myself as a reconstructive caretaker with my practice focusing on re-imagining the neglected and the forgotten. Most of my material comes from investigating and recycling people’s discarded images and objects. I manipulate these materials and weave them into new imaginary stories.
Often the transformative process incorporates hand building, hand stitching, beading, and folding. The work materializes from these methodical, repetitive techniques, which naturally are meditative and contemplative. Many of my ancestors spent their lifetime working with their hands doing piece work, brick laying, quilting and baking.
Traveling in a number of Asian countries I marvel at the offerings being prepared daily. The creation and short life of the offering is such an act of devotion. I think of my practice as having a sense of reverence. I honor the discarded - book, diary, photograph, letter.
I feel a sense of responsibility and respect, as I re-work the ephemeral, for what it was, the use it served, the people to whom it was useful and the short time we are here on earth surrounding ourselves with these things
I work in three separate but related areas: fibre art/painting, artists’ books, and printmaking (mainly etching). These three areas are connected to each other in a number of ways, firstly through recycling of materials. The fibre art comprises recycled fabric using printing. The artists’ books utilise old carte de visite albums and photographs with drawing, etching, and sometimes fabric.
My work in the medium of artists’ books is not illustration or visualization of a narrative but more an emotional response to the writing or type of book. My books include responses to Georges Perec’s novel ‘Les Choses’ as well as works based on the Biblical books of Jonah, Ruth, Esther and Ecclesiastes; more recent books comprise old carte de visite albums and collections of etchings representing motion and change using photographs with drawing, etching, and sometimes fabric.
My works tend towards abstraction but are influenced by natural processes including growth, flowering, withering and fading. I emphasize the contrasts between dark and light, flowing and stagnant, active and passive, transparent and opaque. Often the work is divided into a geometrical pattern and represents the process of change from one state or situation to another, which is often achieved through a series of images.
James Halvorson was raised on the High Plains of the Western Dakotas, he received his BFA in Painting from the University of South Dakota in 1998. He alternates between studio and social practice projects, sourcing through studies in history, economics, ecology, and philosophy. James enjoys bringing a research based approach to these disciplines. in 1997 Halvorson co-founded the independent student art show that runs concurrently with the Wilbur Stillwell Juried Student Exhibition, the following year he received the Art Department's Senior Scholarship. After earning a masters of accountancy he pooled resources with young creative leaders to incorporate zootown Arts Community Center in Missoula, MT. His studio practice is located in Montavilla, Portland, OR.
These mixed media collages on found paper and encyclopedia pages can be viewed as a technology intended to involve us and then go beyond. They meld abstraction, text, and figures to demonstrate philosophies as personifications of the human condition where various cultural heritages are interwoven, and real objects are represented in unfamiliar settings. These objects serve to make new arrangements by chance and necessity. They create narratives by loosening meaning.
I am interested in how an image can have numerous connotations and the way identities transfer. My work is intended to get at the idea of how our collective agreement on truth is formed and how that is reconciled on individual terms. The themes take a historical view on the development of academia, and the history of our media. I want the instantaneous sensibilities of contemporary experience embedded in primitive object technology. Our web of knowledge, being the certainties formed by our personal histories, is received by these works. I source through studies in history, economics, emerging media, ecology, philosophy and enjoy integrating these disciplines through a researched based approach to art.
I find flashes of inspiration while reading and moving about my places in the world. My mediums are a combination of original photography, drawings inspired by scholarship, and painted images. My process allows subjects to converge, to bring about moment specific meaning, to generate stories that remain open ended for the beholder to complete. I locate narrative by integrating elements from one piece to the next.
I studied on scholarship at Loughborough College of Art and Design in England and received a bachelor of fine arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, graduating magna cum laude. I have been working as a professional artist based in San Francisco ever since, with exhibitions at art spaces including the Luggage Store Gallery, Root Division, Pro Arts Gallery, the Richmond Art Center, the Merced Multicultural Arts Center, and the Oakland Museum of California’s CirCA Now series, as well as Field Projects Gallery in New York and Woman Made Gallery in Chicago. My paintings and prints are carried by the SFMOMA Artists Gallery and are in private collections across the United States and Europe. I have also created numerous public art projects and interactive murals that have involved hundreds of participants from around the world in more than 15 languages.
We all live in stories. Whether from our families, our cultures, or even ourselves, the stories we are told are constantly framing our experiences, as well as how we view the people, the animals, even the earth around us. My work stems from my fascination with the ways we internalize these stories and how they continue to shape us.
My approach has ranged from drawing, painting, and printing evocative archetypal images, reminiscent of children’s stories and fables, to working with narrative more literally, altering books or creating prints that incorporate interwoven text from nursery rhymes and contemporary news articles. I have also produced work in public spaces, starting with guerilla-style, serial stories of my own on the sidewalks of San Francisco, and graduating to community-based murals and multimedia projects that invited participants from around the globe to share their own stories and experiences with each other.
Though I have ventured into this broad range of media over the years, my goal is always the same: to create work that inspires viewers to bring their own continuous, and sometimes previously undiscovered, internal narratives to light. I believe when we become more aware of these stories, we can also take a greater part in consciously choosing and shaping them, affecting both ourselves and the world around us.
Peggy Johnston graduated from the University of Wyoming with degrees in art and education. Since then she has continued her studies in painting, printing and the book arts. She has taught locally in the public schools and at the Des Moines Art Center. She has also conducted workshops across the country. Her award winning work is in public and private collections nationally and internationally, including the National Museum for Women in the Arts.
My love of paper and fascination with containers made it almost inevitable that I would discover the book arts.
Since crafting my first book, I have explored bookmaking as an art as well as a craft. I focus on the book as an art object. The style of binding, cover material, shape, closure--these are all elements of what I consider a functional piece of art.
I think of myself as a sculptor using bookbinding techniques. The mechanics and engineering involved in book structures fascinate me. Often, I will exaggerate elements of book design in creating these sculptural pieces.
I lean toward distinctive materials (old leather, metal, wood, old books) when designing my one-of-a-kind works. The materials I choose add a tactile aspect to the work. I search for just the right materials for some projects, but other times materials at hand suggest a project or design to me.
I often say that I am not in control of my art. It controls me.
Ryan Lewis is an artist, animator, graphic designer, and educator based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA. His work has been shown nationally and internationally at venues such as Target Gallery (Alexandria, Virginia) Manifest Gallery (Cincinnati, Ohio), the South Bend Museum of Art (South Bend, Indiana), CICA Museum (South Korea), and Videomedeja (Novi Sad, Serbia). Ryan is an assistant professor of Graphic Design at Western Michigan University’s Gwen Frostic School of Art. Ryan has designed professionally for the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs and Henry Schein, Inc. Ryan earned an MFA at Ohio University School of Art + Design and BFA at Utah State University.
Eversion refers to an organism’s ability to turn itself inside out. For example, a sea cucumber can eject its internal organs to distract predators, sacrificing vital functions for survival. Similarly, introverts temporarily evert their personalities to function in extroverted contexts. This performance is simultaneously action and reaction, assertion and retreat. This transformation can be physically, emotionally, and mentally taxing. Cultural, educational, and professional environments do not often provide introverts the sanctuary necessary to revitalize themselves.
Everted Sanctuaries VI communicates about the complex needs of introverts. A transformed book functions as a metaphor for the often uncomfortable process of becoming temporarily extroverted. Ubiquitous exteriors part to reveal internal intricacies—beautiful, but unintended consequences of the contortions necessary to fit in. Everted Sanctuaries VI explores the boundaries between speaking out and blending in. For introverts, speaking out is both necessity and liability. Introverts are required to transcend their own self-silencing in cultures preoccupied with speaking. Words may be methodically processed, slowly contemplated, carefully considered, or explosively released. The act of expressing oneself can be exhilarating, empowering and freeing but also isolating, frightening, exhausting, and damaging. Whether cloistered in the distance of writing or birthed through the raw immediacy of speaking, the velocity, volume, and frequency of words shape our individual and collective identities.
Vicki Milewski is an Abstract Expressionist, American Artist working in oils, photography, film, words, music and other mediums. Vicki’s art is internationally collected and exhibited by museums, organizations and private owners. Vicki composes music for choirs and solo piano that is nationally performed. Vicki is also a published writer of articles, essays and poems; her book A White River Valley is just completed. Vicki ‘s main artistic focus is the healing potentials found in life, love and nature. The artist has studios in Chicago and on her family’s ancestral farm in central Wisconsin.
The Place Between Two Rocks (PB2R) is a series of art pieces that is a part of my larger White River Valley Collection: there is an Altered Book and an Artist Book, a piano piece, several folk songs, 5 drawings and a music video about the hike to get to PB2R, a video explanation of the altered book and an audio book excerpt from the book PB2R is featured in called Tell: the World About Us. PB2R is an actual place in the White River Badlands that has two rocks with a space between them. When I sit in that space I look south toward the white river and the prairie beyond it. I can sit all day with those rocks; having dreamt of them since childhood they helped me understand that dreams are real. Seeing them on the trail many years ago I thought the rocks a mirage, but once I sat between them I knew they are as real as me. They glow during dawn and dusk.
Irmari Nacht's art is in several corporate and public collections: AT&T, PSE&G, ADP, Newark Museum, International Museum of Collage, Bowdoin College, Jimmy Carter Museum, Cleveland Institute of Art, Rutgers University, Yuko Nii Foundation, Lafayette College, and Yale Art Museum. She exhibits internationally, as well as nationally, and received two NJ State Council on the Arts Fellowships in Sculpture. She received a second Puffin Foundation Grant for Who Am I? an interactive project where the viewer becomes part of the artwork. She recently received an award as a Visual Arts Winner of the 2018 World Citizen Artists Compete for Peace - Not War Competition.
Her work has been exhibited in every major museum in New Jersey, including the Newark Museum, NJ State Museum, Morris Museum, Montclair Art Museum, Noyes Museum and has been featured in solo shows at the AtriumGallery, Bard College at Simon's Rock, MA; Intermezzo Gallery, BergenPAC, NJ; Brooklyn Library, NY; Fifth Floor Gallery, Bergen County Building, NJ; and Carter Burden Gallery, NYC.
Irmari Nacht’s artwork, using the book as a metaphor, addresses environmental and social concerns, change and transformation, information received and denied, altered reality, as well as the concept of multiple imagery, which highlights the strength and energy of repeated elements.
Her recycled books, a series entitled “SAVED”, uses books that otherwise might be discarded and transforms them into artworks. The books are cut, sometimes into slivers which curl and undulate, and return to the tree-like shape from which the paper was made. Sometimes painted, wetted, and re-formed, the books have changed from utilitarian objects to sculptural objects capable of many interpretations.
Some of the books have exploded from their spines: a 4” book has grown to 24” through a series of cuts and spirals reaching out to the viewer with subliminal messages. Others have been exposed to the elements for more than a year; as they dried the pages were manipulated to form a more pleasing configuration
...then the sun took over and dried them into their present shape.
“I have always been interested in recycling; taking something that retains its past, but lives again in a totally new form. We are all affected by changes in the environment and are beginning to realize the need to recycle to protect our future. I hope my work will increase awareness of these changes and will get people thinking about recycling, reusing, and repurposing.”
Website: irmari.com (books, collages and who am i?)
irmarinacht.shutterfly.com (books 2007 to 2014)
https://youtu.be/KKPraaeZWXU (World Citizen Artists Compete for Peace)
http://youtu.be/o4ZxqWulJMM (NBCnews4NY Brooklyn Library exhibition)
Working with and combining unusual materials and textures is integral to my work. Recycling and reusing objects is important too. I like to combine traditional materials with a past, add current technology as well as transforming the shapes of the books.
“TJ’s Seed; a history of a president” addresses the extensive study of seeds and plants by Thomas Jefferson. But it is also a metaphor for his interactions with his slaves; particularly Sally Hemmings. I read Fawn M. Brodie’s book while living in Charlottesville, VA and frequently visiting Monticello during the restoration of his gardens.
In honor of the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s classic book “Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus”, I wanted to reconstruct her physical book correspondingly to the construction of the monster. Remake the book as Frankenstein wanted to remake a human. The 3d printed quote addresses the secret knowledge found in the science in their time; 200 years ago. I’m using our present-day technology to include a visual vocabulary to the work.
The concept of a vessel, it’s history and the creative process inspire me to take materials out of context and redefine objects like a book and turn it into a different receptacle. The metaphor of the vessel can represent knowledge, the feminine, and a journey, whether it’s full or empty is magical!
“Nest Book” is intimate and close, it can be touched and held. Not a nest that’s unattainable, far away high in a tree. It is a small symbol of paths we take in life. We can hold and remember our nesting pasts again.
My work has been published in 500 Handmade Books, Hand Papermaking, American Artist, and various websites. My artwork is in public and private collections such a college and university libraries as well as companies and individuals.
I live on a Georgia barrier island and I am a professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design where I teach drawing, and the design elements and principles. I am a member of the College Book Arts Association and Friends of Dard Hunter.
Thank you for reading my statement!
Gina Pisello has a background in biology and secondary science education. She has been a part of San Diego Book Arts for 12 years and has grown as an artist thanks to the support and opportunities made possible by this organization. Her work has been seen in art publications, San Diego area public libraries and juried art shows around San Diego County and the country. Her work is in several private collections.
I have been playing with paper my whole life and making sculptural books for more than a decade. I find myself asking “What if…?” and artists’ books always seem to hold the answers.
Chris Revelle is an interdisciplinary artist with a socially-engaged and researchbased studio practice. Through the examination of history, language, and visual culture, Revelle’s work confronts the failures and abuses of social, political, and economic systems. The goal of his practice is to challenge public memory and inspire discourse and empathy. Revelle has exhibited in the United States, Hong Kong, London, South Korea, and India. He was the recipient of the 2018 Idea Capital Grant and a finalist for the 2017 Hong Kong Human Rights Art Prize. Revelle has created work for United Nations organizations, and was formerly the Chair of Fine Arts at Savannah College of Art and Design, Hong Kong. He earned his Master of Fine Arts from the School of Art at CalArts (California Institute of the Arts) in Valencia, CA.
On a hot New York Monday in 1955, Wilsonia Driver had missed her train stop. She was a recent alumna from Hunter College and had woken up that morning with excitement and pride. Ms. Driver had been offered a writing position at the New York Times, but when she arrived at the office on West 43rd St. the Times staff were not expecting a young black women. Despite her protests, Ms. Driver was quickly told that the position had been taken.
She left in a daze of anger, making her way to the train station. When Ms. Driver realized she had missed the 96th St. stop, she was already at 135th St. As she made her way across the street to catch the train back downtown, she saw a sign that read, Schomburg, as she recounts, “I was hot. I was mad, and I was everything. And I said to the guy who was standing outside, ‘What kind of library is this? I just got out of Hunter. I never saw this library.’”
When she learned that the Schomburg library’s collection was dedicated to books by and about black people, Ms. Driver responded with, “There must not be a lot of books in here.” The librarian sat her down at a long table with three books from the collection, Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington, The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois, and Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. After reading a third of Their Eyes Were Watching God, Ms. Driver asked the librarian, “How could I have been an educated woman and not have read this?” and then began to cry. That young alumna would become the poet, playwright, activist and educator, Sonia Sanchez, who is best known as one of the architects of the Black Arts Movement.
A Letter for Sonia Sanchez is a collection of books built from a list of 50 literary works from black Americans, dating from 1773 to 1965. The works builds from Sanchez’s emotional story of frustration and discovery, while examining the access to these authors and books, then and now. The books in A Letter for Sonia Sanchez must be checked out from the local libraries while still providing the original list to the audience. The work uses the available library books and ratchet ties to create a monument of literature that is bound by the yellow industrial straps. The use of the ratchet ties as a book strap or belt, references the other work in the Look Away series, as part of the removal of monuments and the yellow as a cautious warning.
For much of the country’s life, it has taught a version of history that excluded black Americans. In the mid-1960s, the most popular textbook for eighth-grade U.S. history classes only mentioned two black Americans in the century since the Civil War. The suppression of black history and art is intertwined with the repression of black rights and equality. A Letter for Sonia Sanchez is an examination of the suppression and distortion of black history, culture, and education, while providing light to the depth and diversity of American literature.
Lynn lives and works on an island in the middle of a lake surrounded by a big city, in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. After retiring from the practice of law eight years ago, she began making artist’s books and small works on paper. Old-style cut & past collage has been and remains a favorite medium, and she frequently also incorporates sewing techniques, thread, fabric, metal, wood and other materials into her pieces. The goal is always to tell a story that might startle, amuse or provoke. Lynnn’s work has appeared in collage and book arts exhibitions across the country, most recently:
Sheffield Int’l Artist’s Book Prize, 2015, SIAB, Sheffield, UK (artist’s book)
Contemporary Women Artists XVII-Reimagining Femmage, 2015, Foundry Art Centre, St. Charles, MO
(fabric artist’s book & embroidered wall piece)
The Crow Show, 2015, The Studio Door Gallery, San Diego, CA (artist’s book & collage piece)
Sacred | Profane, 2014, 23 Sandy Gallery, Portland, OR (altered book)
Outside the Margin, 2014, Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, Silver Spring, MD (altered book)
Greater than the Sum, 2014, National Collage Society, Denver, CO (collage piece)
Lynn is a frequent contributor to Kollage Kit.blogspot.com, a collaborative website featuring themed cut & paste paper collage. Some of her personal collage work is published on-line at regularpaper.blogspot.com, and she maintains a general portfolio of book arts projects, collage and mixed media works (“Some Paperwork”) at lynnskordal.paspartout.com.
Sue Sommers was born in 1959 and grew up in New Jersey, South Korea, and England. She earned an MFA from the University of Wyoming in 1992, and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1982. Sommers lives on a cattle ranch in the Upper Green River Valley near Pinedale, Wyoming. She pursues painting, book art, printmaking, and collaborations with other artists.
Liberty Walking is a set of repurposed coin collecting albums for the Liberty Walking half dollar, issued 1916-1947. These years were formative for today’s United States, spanning World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, and the beginning of the Cold War. On the coin, Lady Liberty strides toward a rising sun.
Since 1903, the poem “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus has been displayed inside the Statue of Liberty at Ellis Island. The poem is about America’s unique strength as a nation of immigrants.
In about 1903, my father’s people came to this country, fleeing poverty and terror.
Putting one foot in front of the other is a basic and precious act of self-determination.
Coin album windows protect things of value. I drew a different pair of walking feet for each window. The feet are seen from above, so you can imagine them as your own feet.
“Tweet” version in case you need something short & sweet
Liberty Walking: coin albums full of drawn feet. Honoring the Statue of Liberty, Emma Lazarus, immigrants, and walking women everywhere.
Laura Tabbut is based in central Ohio and works in installation, new media, and textiles. Her work considers current ecological issues and questions the rituals and routines of the American landscape. She holds undergraduate degrees in Fashion Design and Sculpture, an MA in English from The Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College, and an MFA in Visual Art from Azusa Pacific University. She currently teaches at Mount Vernon Nazarene University and serves as the Gallery Administrator for the Schnormeier Gallery.
Website : www.lauratabbut.com
In the last three years I have become interested in the book as “object.” Since the late ‘50s, early ‘60s artists, like Lucas Samaras, Joseph Cornell, Robert Morris, Lenore Tawney and Dan Graham, have explored and transcended the traditional format of the book; Duchamp’s “Unhappy Readymade”, Cornell’s book Incessions, and Lucas Samaras’ obsession with the “altered book”, as an object of fear.
My interest with the altered book is to take the pages of the book, How to Make French Pastry Cakes, and thus create 3-D objects which physically show the viewer the contents of the book.
Each cake is constructed from the French pastry book, which is completely deconstructed; pages are cut, folded, and restructured into individual cake layers. These layers are then placed on top of one another and secured by using PVA glue. Each cake (altered book) is then completed with finishing touches and labeled according to each individual type of cake: “Gold Leaf Cake”, “Red Velvet Cake”, and “Garden Cake.”
RHONDA URDANG is an independent studio artist working across multiple disciplines. Since founding Flagstaff Feminist Art Project, she has worked primarily in femmage, assemblage, book art, digital manipulation, painting and satire. Her thought-provoking artworks have been shown extensively in regional, national and international shows in 38 states since Sep. 2014. Rhonda received her BFA in painting from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and later worked as a journeyman color separation artist on high-fashion catalogs in the graphic arts industry. Listening to the collective unconscious continues to be her greatest source of artistic inspiration. Her artwork responds to historical and world events. She gains visual pleasure from unraveling the feminine mystique while peeling away layers of buried memory in her innovative art practice.
“Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West/ Travel Log, Vol. 1” is a visual biography of an actual event in the life of English modernist 20th-century author Adeline Virginia Woolf and her close ally British novelist, poet, and garden designer of Sissinghurst Castle (Kent, England), Victoria Mary ‘Vita’ Sackville-West, Lady Nicolson. In the summer of 1927, they embarked on an enthralling journey from London to Yorkshire, United Kingdom, to view the Total Solar Eclipse on June 29th (Wednesday: the day of the week when the influence of the planet MERCURY is most keenly felt – books, communication, correspondence, diplomacy, gossip, healing, herbalism, history, libraries, mass media, mathematics, mental prowess/ intellect, reading, school/ education, the sciences, students, teachers, travel, visiting, vocal music, wisdom, writing). Virginia Woolf had chronicled this once-in-a-lifetime “23 second” occurrence in her diary. This re-imagined artistic narrative is loosely based on “The Mysterious Universe” by Sir James Jeans, 1st Edition published 1930 (Cambridge University Press); a gripping book that she had avidly read.
I’ve uncovered historical elements that were in the public domain (with no known copyright restrictions) which I’ve re-mixed and re-used, as colorized digital manipulations onto decorative papers, as archival pigments prints. I’ve hand-cut each fragment into collaged puzzle-pieces – and have fashioned an accordion-fold picture book. There was no real rhyme or reason to the composition of the pages – much like the hap-hazard arrangement of the constellations in the enigmatic night sky. Leslie Stephen, Virginia Woolf’s father, was a distinguished man of letters who engaged in the Victorian passion of natural history, including astronomy. Young Virginia, who didn’t receive a formal tutelage, spent much of her early formative years, among his vast archive of knowledge. She would later write, “I owe all the education I ever had to my father’s library.” Virginia Woolf owed a greater self-confidence of her many personal assets to her friend and colleague Vita. The two women bonded over their restrained childhoods and emotionally inattentive parents. Vita convinced Virginia that her ailments had been misdiagnosed and that she should focus on her own diverse pursuits. Stargazing became a crucial aspect of their world.
Twitter : Rhonda Urdang (@rasMschieFLG)
Having grown up as a closeted gay man, Aaron Wilder was raised in a very conservative evangelical Christian environment surrounded by misguided family members trying to educate him on how to avoid those who are marginalized in society. This experience has made him familiar with overcoming not only homophobia but also racism, sexism, and prejudice against other religions. This perspective has enabled Wilder with a great capacity for empathy and deep respect for working with others from backgrounds different than his own.
Originally from Arizona, Aaron Wilder has also lived in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and France and currently resides in San Francisco. He has been creating art since 2002, exhibiting art since 2005, and curating the work of other artists since 2009. With the foundational experience of being a self-taught artist, Wilder received his MFA in Studio Art from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2017. His work has been featured in 24 solo exhibitions and 77 group exhibitions in Arizona, California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, DC as well as Italy.
Aaron Wilder is a curator and interdisciplinary artist who blurs boundaries between the analog and the digital, the public and the private, and the unassuming and the instigative. He uses his own experiences and sense of identity as a lens through which he explores the introspective and social processes of contemporary culture. Through an analytical deconstruction of these processes, his artistic approach is akin to that of an anthropologist, sociologist, and psychologist combined. Wilder’s concept-driven projects all incorporate his core belief that art can and should be used as a tool for generating critical thinking, dialogue, knowledge sharing, and understanding between individuals with divergent world perspectives.
Wilder defines his beliefs about the meaning of art through the term Conditionalism. The conditional tense (or mood) in languages is used to refer to a hypothetical state of affairs or to discuss what would happen under certain circumstances. Thus, a Conditionalist is one who is concerned with understanding a range of perspectives through dialogue with others who may perceive events and the world around them in different ways. Before it was appreciated for its aesthetic qualities, art (in its diverse array of expressions) was used as a way to facilitate the communication of ideas. Therefore, as a Conditionalist, Wilder seeks to employ his work in creating a forum to celebrate art as dialogue where individuals can share their perspectives on issues in the community and across the world.