Enriching lives through art and craft

Spring Wildflower Pilgramage

April 1 – May 24, 2024 | Geoffrey A. Wolpert Gallery

Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage | Wolpert GalleryArtist Statement

Anchored in the dynamics of human-plant relationships, Becs makes research-based ceramics, performance, painting, and installation. She creates imagery that is assertive and dreamlike by combining ceramics and digital technology. Her performance uses her history to tell stories of non-human entanglements. She creates rules and contexts that use science and emotion in equal measure. Becs oscillates between anthropocentrism and ecocentrism at a time of human-created climate crisis.

In A Year of Apologies, she said sorry to a different plant every single day. The three hundred sixty-five apologies are collected into six artist books. Through apology, we recognize wrongs and the need for change. Each apology is in itself insufficient — an expected failure that carries the hope of an eventual win and the possibility of mutual transformation.  Failure is not the ability to reach a certain goal but an opportunity to look at utopia from the other side.

The ceramic wall-hanging pieces are reflections, future-looking, and part of the apologies. Using a technique she pioneered, Becs laser-engraved through layers of underglaze to subtractively paint imagery. While some of these pieces may initially appear two-dimensional, the addition of embossing the greenware beneath the underglaze in select works adds an extra layer of dimensionality, inviting viewers to explore the depths of those particular compositions.

YearofApologies_March22-March23

From left to right: Becs Epstein. A Year of Apologies: March to May 2022, 2022. Coptic bound artist book, Mohawk birch paper: A Year of Apologies: May to June 2022, 2022.Perfect bound book; A Year of Apologies: July to August 2022, 2023. Artist-made book, machine embroidery, thread, 3D printed stand; A Year of Apologies: September to October 2022, 2022. Perfect bound book; A Year of Apologies: November to December 2022, 2023. Rizagraph cover, Coptic bound artist book ; A Year of Apologies: January to March 2023, 2023. Artist book

Personifying Flowers | Becs Epstein

The ceramic wall-hanging pieces are reflections, future-looking, and part of the apologies. Using a technique she pioneered, Becs laser-engraved through layers of underglaze to subtractively paint imagery. While some of these pieces may initially appear two-dimensional, the addition of embossing the greenware beneath the underglaze in select works adds an extra layer of dimensionality, inviting viewers to explore the depths of those particular compositions.

Gather Around 2023 | Becs Epstein

Becs Epstein. Gather Around, 2023. Laser-engraved white clay; Tipsy Apologies, 2023. Laser-engraved white clay

Artist bio

Becs Epstein is a transdisciplinary artist whose work explores human-plant relationships through sculpture, ceramics, and performance. Her work has been exhibited internationally and across the United States, including venues such as Links Hall (Chicago), August Wilson Center (Pittsburgh), Legend Galleries (Philadelphia), Elbow Room Gallery (New York City), and Manifestos of Systematic Change (New Zealand). Becs has undertaken residencies at Barim in South Korea, Stomping Ground in New York, and NARS Governors Island Satellite Residency in New York City. She received an Arts, Science + Culture Initiative Graduate Collaboration Grant from the University of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for the publication of a book. Becs holds a BFA in Contextual Practice and Sculptural Installation from Carnegie Mellon University and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She squiggles into tight spots of toxicity and feeling with the non-human.

ART WORKSTENNESSEE ARTS COMMISIONTENNESSEE FOR THE ARTSTennessee Specialty License PlatesEAST TENNESSEE FOUNDATIONWindgate Foundation Arrowmont is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLFRP5534 awarded to the State of Tennessee by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

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