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Artist Amy Feigley-Lee

Amy Feigley-Lee is a contemporary artist from Detroit, Michigan. She earned her MFA in 2007 from Cranbrook Academy of Art with an emphasis on Sculpture. Her current studio practice has evolved to focus primarily on creating intricate and labor-intensive collage pieces composed of found vintage wallpapers. She is inspired by the colors, patterns, and textures found in wallpaper, as well as the formalist aesthetic sensibilities that come with being an art foundations educator. Amy's work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, in venues such as the Freud Museum in London, The Daimler Chrysler World Headquarters in Berlin, and The American University in Cairo. She was selected to participate in Andres Serrano Pick Detroit, at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. Her work is held in the private collections of renowned interior designer, Lois Wienthal, as well as Philanthropists Sue and Allan Jay Kaufman, and the Mercedes Benz Financial Services Headquarters in Farmington Hills, MI. Outside of her studio practice, Amy helps build community among artists/mothers in the Detroit metro area by facilitating studio visits and critiques. She also holds the title of Special Lecturer of Studio Art at Oakland University in Rochester Michigan where she has been teaching for nearly 15 years

"This work is slow. I am here and now, following the blade as it slices through color, pattern, and texture. The process of making is a comfort, a therapy, and a way to connect my past with my future. I delight in visual co-creation - the complexity that exists within the contrasting of hard edges with soft colors, and definitive shapes with convoluted patterns. The result is an unexpected manifestation of an ecstatic process. The joy that comes from this co-creative process of layering and juxtaposing the contradictory domestic design elements from across various times and places results in artworks that are akin to energetic vortices. The dimensional quality of these works is inspired by my background as a sculptor, in terms of the physical textures of the vinyl and flocked paper, the layering and weaving of materials, and the creation of the illusion of space in the rendering of geometric forms. Using found antique and vintage wallpaper as my preferred medium allows me the creative freedom to work intuitively. Composed of small, hand-cut strips of found wallpaper, and arranged in a variety of shapes and configurations, my process results in an exuberant display of maximalist geometric abstraction. The aesthetics of the work have been distilled from decades of interest in and exploration of domestic narratives and materiality. Wallpaper is nostalgic for me, as it had a large visual presence in my childhood. Using wallpaper in my collage work gives me the satisfaction of subverting order via abstraction, allowing me to reclaim such ridged floral repeats that symbolize femininity and domesticity and make them my own statements of beauty and dissent"

Tell us a little about yourself (where you are from) and your background in the arts.

I am an artist and educator, living in Detroit, Michigan with my husband and two small kids. Art has been central to my life since childhood, and I went on to receive my BFA and MFA both with an emphasis on sculpture. Teaching art has coexisted with my studio practice since the beginning of my career, and I have taught everyone from pre-k through college. Motherhood has really transformed my studio practice greatly, as I have had to adapt my work significantly to fit my life as a parent. It is through this transformation that I have found great community and empowerment!

What kind of work are you currently making?

For the last several years, I have been creating abstract collages out of found wallpaper. They are colorful and intricate, and historically 2-dimensional. In recent months, I have begun creating shaped and more dimensional collage surfaces.

What is a day like in the studio for you?

On a good week, I have two full concentrated studio days. I start as early as possible, as my best energy is in the morning hours. A proper studio day is long, as it takes me a while to shift out of mom mode and really get into the groove of my art practice. Some studio necessities include hot beverages and podcasts or audiobooks.

What are you looking at right now and/or reading?

I read and listen to a lot of podcasts, and audiobooks, many of them about psychology, and how we create our lives. I am really interested in how our brains get into flow states, and how we are related to the larger flow of energy in our universe. Some books that I have recently enjoyed include The Electricity of Every Living Thing by Katherine May and anything by Brene Brown. I am a big fan of Detroit art and see as many local shows as I can!

Where can we find more of your work?

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