Inheritance. Makers. Memory. Myth.
On view May 4 through Aug. 26
February 09, 2018
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – Feb. 9, 2018 – Artist Amy Meissner has been called an alterations girl, a seamstress, a feminist, a shop girl, a writer, an illustrator and Mama. She says she has been any combination of these things. She currently sees herself as a woman with a specific skill set and things to say about domesticity and motherhood, a woman with questions to ask about birth and sex, misunderstanding and fear. Ultimately, she says she is a memoirist whose preferred medium is textiles and preferred language is the stitch.
Meissner's textile art combines traditional handwork and contemporary imagery to explore memory, fragility and the literal, physical and emotional work of women. Her materials are vintage, discarded or found and manipulate unknown histories to shape a narrative or myth for each artwork. The works in this exhibition include contemporary mixed media work created from donated/abandoned/rescued/crowdsourced domestic linens.
Inheritance is an exploration of literal and conceptual inheritance and the artist’s relationship to materials and makers. The work values the valueless, honors the hand and reveres the fragility of memory through an interpretation of inherited cloth's narrative.
Meissner uses traditional handwork that she was taught as a girl, then later as a professional seamstress. Within the work are themes she finds painful, uncomfortable or frightening. The result is thoughtful and arresting, reliant upon layers of narrative within the works themselves and within the personal history each viewer brings to the experience.
Her solo exhibition – Inheritance: Makers. Memory. Myth. – opens at the Anchorage Museum May 4 and remains on view through Aug. 26, 2018. This exhibition travels next to the Alaska State Museum in Juneau where it will be on view Dec. 7, 2018 through Feb. 9, 2019.
Inheritance: Makers. Memory. Myth. is made possible with support from the Sustainable Arts Foundation and the Rasmuson Foundation. It is presented as part of the Patricia B. Wolf Solo Exhibition Series with support from the Alaska State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, and the Anchorage Museum Foundation’s Alaska Airlines Silver Anniversary Fund.
About the Artist
Amy Meissner has shown her work internationally, most recently in Karachi, Pakistan, and her work is in the permanent collection at the Anchorage Museum, and in commissioned public art installations at three Alaska libraries. Her background is in clothing design, children's book illustration and creative writing. Her blog, Spontaneous Combustion, is a writerly and visual collision of memory, family and current textile art projects.
About the Anchorage Museum
The Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center is the largest museum in Alaska, and one of the top 10 most visited attractions in the state. The museum’s mission is to connect people, expand perspectives and encourage global dialogue about the North and its distinct environment. Learn more at www.anchoragemuseum.org.