Sonya Clark
art news: July - August 2010


Over the past few weeks I have been on a Smithsonian Artists Research Fellowship. The Smithsonian curators and staff at the African Art and Natural History Museums have been incredibly generous. The space and access they provided for me to delve into their collections as inspiration for my work has been (and I say this in the true sense of the word) awesome. I even got to be part pf a historic Smithsonian photograph (see below.)

In exhibition news, many of the shows I am in continue through this summer. So as you are out and about, I hope you get the chance to catch one or two of them before the fall begins.

My best,
Check out my work:


Exhibit: TRUE SELF: The Search for Identity in Modern and Contemporary Art
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Madison, Wisconsin
August 18, 2010 - July 10, 2011

"True Self explores the ways artists have understood and conveyed the essence of the self--through facial expression, body language, dress, and the particulars of setting--in a selection of paintings, sculpture, prints, and photographs. Drawn from MMoCA's permanent collection, the exhibition lists a broad range of artists, including Thomas Hart Benton, Sonya Clark, Chuck Close, John Coplans, K�the Kollwitz, Alfred Leslie, Diego Rivera, Cindy Sherman, Hollis Sigler, Raphael Soyer, and Ida Wyman."


Exhibit: HAND + MADE
Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Texas
through July 25

"Hand+Made: The Performative Impulse in Art and Craft is an exhibition curated by Valerie Cassel Oliver that explores the innovative means by which artists continue to expand the traditional boundaries of art and craft. Through the integration of performance, the artists featured in this exhibition have broadened the context of craft in contemporary art." Artist in the exhibit include VCU Craft/Material Studies alumni Ryan Gothrup and Gabriel Craig, the collaborative group B Team, Conrad Bakker, Nick Cave, Cat Chow, Sonya Clark, Theaster Gates, Cynthia Giachetti, Sabrina Gschwandtner, Lauren Kalman, Christy Matson, James Melchert, Yuka Otani, Sheila Pepe, Michael Rea, Anne Wilson, Saya Woolfalk, and Bohyun Yoon.

Anderson Gallery, Richmond, Virginia
through August 1

Social Skin is the third in a biennial series of exhibitions undertaken by students in the Museum Studies graduate program, VCU Department of Art History. As the press release states: "Social Skin explores the intricacies of both the body's physicality and the ways in which the social self uses the physical body to craft individuality.Wide-ranging in terms of culture, time period, and subject matter, artworks and artifacts on loan from private and public collections make up the exhibition. It features work by such well-known contemporary artists as Kara Walker, Hank Willis Thomas, Gillian Wearing, Nan Goldin, Douglas Gordon, Raymond Pettibon, and Wendy Ewald, and by VCU faculty Sonya Clark, Susie Ganch, Sonali Gulati, and Elizabeth King.The exhibition also includes historic and ethnographic objects from VCU Special Collections, the Valentine Richmond History Center, the Wilton House, and James Madison University, as well as selections from the Anderson Gallery's permanent collection."

1708 Gallery Satellite exhibition at the Linden Row Inn, Richmond, VA
through August 15

Reflecting and Collecting isopening in conjunction with the May 1 re-opening of the galleries of the Virginia Museum of Fine Art. Each participating artist was asked to select a piece from the VMFA collection and to create a new work inspired by it. I made a piece in response to "A Ride for Liberty- The Fugitive Slaves", 1862, Eastman Johnson (American, 1824-1906) in The Paul Mellon Collection. Artists included in the exhibit are David Choi, Aimee Joyaux, Michael Lease, Amie Oliver (curator), Sally Bowring, Heidi Trepanier, Andrew Kozilowski, Jeff Majer, Sonya Clark, and Kendra Wadsworth.

Exhibit: NEW MATERIALITY - Digital Dialogues at the Boundaries of Craft
Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, Massachusetts
through February 6, 2011

The artists in this exhibit curated by Fo Wilson "use new technologies in tandem with traditional craft materials - clay, glass, wood, fiber and metal - to forge new artist directions." The exhibiting artists are Brian Boldon, Shaun Bullens, Lia Cook, Susan Working and E.G. Crichton, Donald Fortescue and Lawrence LaBianca, Wendy Maruyama, Christy Matson, Cat Mazza, Nathalie Miebach, Mike Simonian and Maaike Evers (Mike and Maaike), Sonya Clark, Tim Tate, and Mark Zirpel

I was thrilled to be part of this first ever Smithsonian sunburst made up of of thousands of staff, fellows, and the like at the annual picnic during the Folklife Festival in DC. If you look really closely you can see me waving just above the red center.
A little more about me...
I'm chair of the Department of Craft/Material Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Richmond, Virginia. Prior to this I was a Baldwin Bascom Professor of Creative Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I went to Cranbrook Academy of Art for my MFA, the Art Institute of Chicago for my BFA, and before that, Amherst College for a BA in psychology. I have been able to pursue my studio practice because of generous honors and opportunities such as a Pollock-Krasner Award, a Rockefeller Foundation Residency in Italy, a Red Gate Residency in China, and a Virginia Commission for the Arts Fellowship. My work has been exhibited in over 200 venues in the United Kingdom, Brazil, South Africa, Canada, Taiwan, Austria, Australia, Ghana, France, Switzerland, and throughout the USA.