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Jo Stealey and Lissa Hunter

Exhibition Details

Tool Stories: Lissa Hunter and Jo Stealey March 6 – July 12, 2020

Opening reception: Friday, March 6, 6:00-8:00pm

Artist talk: Saturday, March 7, 11:00am In the gallery

Tools are storytellers. An old tool if full of tales of what task they performed, what culture they are from and who might have used them. . For instance, the wear of a shovel or a washboard reflects the history and memory of their years of use. Tools also define the role technological advances have played in our individual lives and collective cultures.

Hunter and Stealey are artists interested in exploring their cultural past, and have turned to well-designed functional objects as source and inspiration Through a closed set of simple tools—spoons, brooms, brushes, oil cans—they consider the histories of these objects, their relationship to them and their inspiration relating to the current world.

For these artists, everyday objects make connections to how we exist in our world. Tools are about human experiences and memories.

Lissa Hunter is a studio artist working in textiles, basketry, clay and drawing, as well as a teacher, writer and curator, living in Portland, Maine. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum of Art + Design in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, among others. She is a Maine Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellow, a Maine Crafts Association Master Craft Artist and a Life Trustee of Haystack Mountain School of Crafts.

Jo Stealey is a nationally artist, author and curator, professor emerita and founding director of the School of Visual Studies at the University of Missouri. Her work is inspired by the natural world, where she harvests many of the materials she uses. Focused on sculptural vessels using basketry techniques and handmade paper, she explores the celebration of personal experiences relating to mundane aspects of life. Her work is found in private and public collections such as the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and the Kahn collection. Recent exhibitions include: Domestic Matters (2019) at the Peters Valley Center for Craft, A Forest of Signs (2019) at the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts in Mount Vernon, Illinois, and Fiber Focus at Maryville College in St. Louis, Missouri. She co-curated and edited the traveling exhibition and scholarly catalogue for Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: Basketry in America.