Gallery Two

Coulter Fussell + Antonia Perez

Heirloom
November 1 – December 28

First Fridays, 6 – 10pm 
November 1 + December 6

Download exhibition brochure

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Coulter Fussell, Bullseye

This exhibition expands the idea of heirloom, from a precious object passed down through generations to investigate how artistic practices, specifically, traditional handwork can function in similar ways. How does making serve as a function of ancestry and create a familial or cultural legacy that transcends personal domestic space? Artists Antonia Perez and Coulter Fussell use fiber art skills from their heritage to tell stories that speak to their own intergenerational experiences as makers while producing bodies of work that speak to universal ideas such as home, art and consumerism.

Coulter Fussell learned quilting from her mother, a master quilt maker and educator. She became versed in the language of painting through experiences in museums, where her father was a curator. Repurposing donated quilts and hand sewing the pieces together, Fussell creates works that incorporate the skills she learned as a child resulting in quilts that function as paintings. The work celebrates tradition and heritage while deviating from the norms surrounding the seemingly disparate worlds of Art and Craft. In Bullseye for example Fussell incorporates sections of beautifully sewn vintage quilts with scraps of cheap colored cloth such as a bright blue RC Cola patch and strips of used wash cloths. These sections of fabric function together as swaths of paint on a canvas creating an engaging abstract painting.

Using discarded plastic bags as her medium, Antonia Perez crochets intricate and meaningful sculptures that encourage the viewer to think about their relationship to consumption and the value of objects. Her bright colors and exaggerated scale invite the viewer to consider and celebrate objects we encounter in our day to day lives. The idea of conserving materials and objects to be repurposed was a part of Perez’s upbringing. Her use of crochet is a nod to the Mexican and Hungarian-American women in her family who practiced needlework. In Estas En Tu Casa, Perez crochets a monumental scale welcome mat. Hanging on the wall the message shifts from a domestic greeting to one that transforms the sometimes intimidating space of a gallery into a welcoming and warm environment. Considering her material choices, the viewer is also encouraged to think about waste and consumption. What is it that we are doing to our collective home when we consume and discard thoughtlessly?

While Fussell and Perez incorporate their personal histories into their practice, both create bodies of work that transcend the personal and allow viewers to consider why and how objects, labor and materials matter. Much like art, history, even personal history, is a shared experience that brings people closer together.

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Antonia Perez, Estas En Tu Casa

Coulter Fussell was born and raised in Columbus, Georgia. Coulter now lives in Water Valley, a small town in the northern Hill Country of Mississippi. There she runs her store and studio, YaloRUN Textiles. Having been in the service industry for most of her life, Coulter is also a waitress in the neighboring town of Oxford, Mississippi. Coulter lives in Water Valley with her two young sons, Amos Henry and Booker, and their cat Janet. Fussell earned her BFA from the University of Mississippi in 2000. Fussell has been featured in the New York Times and Art Forum and Art Papers. She was the runner up for the 2018 South Prize through South Arts based in Atlanta, GA.

Antonia A. Perez is a mixed-media artist who was born and raised in New York City and in her youth lived with relatives off and on in Mexico City. She has exhibited her work nationally, including at the National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL; Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling, El Museo del Barrio, Cuchifritos Gallery, NY, NY; Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, No Longer Empty in Jamaica, Latimer House Museum and Queens Museum, Queens, NY. In addition to making and exhibiting objects she participates in socially engaged and performance activities centered on crocheting and the environment as in Art in Odd Places 2017, the 50th Anniversary of Art in Central Park, and a collaborative durational performance with Alicia Grullion at Cuchifritos Gallery in 2018. She received the 2011 Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program Award, the EFA Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop Studio Immersion Fellowship 2016 and was an Artist in Residence at the Joan Mitchell Center in 2017 and at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan in 2018. She holds a BA in visual art from Empire State College, SUNY, and an MFA from Queens College, CUNY.