Sonya Clark                art news: Sept/Oct 2011 



This summer was full of opportunity and welcome surprises. As I was doing a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, I met members of the delegation from the world's newest nation, South Sudan. Later, at the McColl Center in Charlotte, NC I had the privilege of time and space to make work for an upcoming exhibit in 2012. In Charlotte, I connected with several folks including Carla Hanzal and Annie Carlano of the Mint Museum and Ruby Lerner of Creative Capital.  I also had a fabulous discussion about art and movies with a guy who has worked on several movies, most notably, Hair (1979) and Barbershop (2002).  I really got a kick out of that. Ce Scott, the staff at the McColl, and the other residents were fabulous.  


The academic year at VCUarts has started again, Richmond is bustling with art events, and my studio is in full swing. My biggest and most timely news is a solo exhibition that will travel to Philadelphia, PA and San Antonio, TX.  The exhibition opens at Snyderman-Works Gallery Saturday, October 1 from 4 to 6 pm.  If you are in Philly or traveling through, please stop by. I would love to see you.  I am also in a group exhibit, DUBH, that opens in NYC in October at the American Irish Society. And, the Material Girls group exhibit I am in was named the "Best Exhibition" in Baltimore Magazine's "Best of Baltimore" August 2011 issue! If you can catch any of these, I would love to hear what you think. More details below.


My best,


October 1 - November 19
Opening: Saturday, October 1, 4-6 pm
(I'll be at this one.)
Public reception: First Friday, October 7, 5:30-9 pm
Where: Snyderman-Works, 303 Cherry St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Paula Owen, President of the Southwest School of art and one of the organizers of the traveling exhibition wrote this in the catalog: "Trained in the fiber arts, Clark today weaves together not threads but ideas and symbols in order to produce elegant yet demanding works of art. The visceral but quotidian properties of her works, as well as their exquisite execution, force our attention, compelling the viewer to grapple with their sweeping implications. To explore the poignancy and potency of lineage and the biases of history through works of art requires unique cognitive and perceptive skills." The catalog also has essays by Ashley Kistler, Director of the Anderson Gallery at VCU, and Namita Gupta Wiggers, Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Oregon.  Catalog available.  

Exhibit: DUBH, dialogues in black
October 7 - November 13
Where: American Irish Historical Society, 991 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY

The color black has long held a fascination in art, craft and design. The exhibition  looks at black as both a physical and an emotional starting point for a group of Irish and American artist's, craftspeople and designers. Pairing people from across a range of disciplines ranging from architecture, ceramics, furniture, glass, jewelry, metal, painting, photography, textiles and wood this exhibition features work from the most interesting creative voices from Ireland in dialogue with their American peers. Under the creative direction of curator Brian Kennedy this exhibition will offer an insight into the studio practice of these artists and their common concerns, a simple starting point with a complex outcome." The exhibit will travel to Ireland in 2012. Catalog forthcoming.



through October 16
Where: Reginald Lewis Museum, 830 E Pratt St, Baltimore, Maryland

"Ordinary materials transformed into extraordinary pieces of art is the emphasis of Material Girls: Contemporary Black Women Artists, the newest exhibit at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, which features work by Maya Freelon Asante, Chakaia Booker, Sonya Clark, Torkwase Dyson, Maren Hassinger, Martha Jackson Jarvis, Joyce J. Scott and Renee Stout." 

Some background information

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. My work has been exhibited in over 250 venues in the United Kingdom, Brazil, South Africa, Canada, Taiwan, Austria, Australia, Ghana, France, Switzerland, and throughout the USA. 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 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Award, a Red Gate Residency in China, a Virginia Commission for the Arts Fellowship, and a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, and an Art Matters grant.