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Craft Alliance Announces Frankie Toan: Strange Familiars

September 13, 2022

Craft Alliance is pleased to present Strange Familiars, a solo exhibition with Denver-based fiber artist Frankie Toan (they/them/theirs). The exhibition will run in the Staenberg Gallery September 16-October 29, 2022.

Strange Familiars represents the last six years of work by Frankie Toan. In their large-scale soft sculptures, Toan stitches together investigations of plants, bodies, queerness, ecosystems, and the interconnectedness of all things. The exhibition is installed as a “Queer Garden,” a space that is celebratory and playful, with bright colors, a fantastical sense of scale, and materials like fringe, sequins, and lively prints. In this garden, Toan imagines more equitable and collaborative associations between humans and their environment. Toan reconsiders what constitutes a “family,” and elevates the values of collective nourishment and reciprocal care.

The Craft Alliance Creative Commons will also feature a special exhibition organized in partnership with the Missouri Botanical Garden showing the many connections between gardens and creative making. 

“We are excited for the synergy between Frankie’s Garden and the fascinating Missouri Botanical Garden’s collections,” states Jennifer Scanlan, Deputy Director of Craft Alliance. “During the exhibition, Craft Alliance is offering classes in many garden-based crafts, as well as free workshops and children’s activity kits to explore both exhibitions through hands-on activities.”

About the Artist: 
Based in Denver, Frankie Toan is an artist working mostly with craft and DIY materials and techniques to create large plush sculptures, interactive works, immersive installations, and public art. Toan has participated in many group shows and collaborations nationwide. Recent projects include “Finger Dome,” a room in Meow Wolf Denver’s Convergence Station, and “Public Body”, an art installation for "Between Us Alleys," a public art intervention project in downtown Denver. They have had residencies at RedLine Contemporary Art Center and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, among other places. Toan holds a BFA in Craft Material Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University, with a minor in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies.

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