April Wright is a visual artist from Germantown, Tennessee. She uses humble, everyday materials to connect personal narratives about home, relationships, memory, and identity. She received her B.A. in Sculpture and Ceramics from Union University and her M.F.A. in Art Studio at the University of Kentucky, focusing on Ceramics and Fibers in 2020. She works interdisciplinary in sculpture and installation art. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in museums and galleries, such as the Wiregrass Museum of Art in Dothan, Alabama, and Patricia Sweetow Gallery in San Francisco, CA, Woman Made Gallery Chicago, Illinois, The Mint Museum in Charlotte, South Carolina, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, Nebraska, and Boom 48hr Student Neukolln Artist Festival, Berlin, Germany. She has been an artist in resident at the 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, South Carolina in 2020 and Mendocino Art Center in Mendocino, California from fall 2020-2021. Currently, she resides in Frostburg, Maryland where she teaches foundations in art as a Lecturer at Frostburg State University.
"I use humble everyday materials in my sculptures and installations to simulate fragile moments that live in between abandonment and renewal, connecting physical and personal landscapes of home. Themes of enduring interest are ideals of domesticity, fragile narratives, empathy, and loss. In my process there remains ever present, a cyclical act of accumulating, repurposing, and building. Gaston Bachelard stated that “homes are in us as much as we are in them.” My concept of a home represents an ambivalence, as a space that can be supportive and nurturing, and at the same time oppressive and disorienting. Working with traditional sculpture practices in an unconventional manner allows room for new intuitive ways of making to evolve. For instance, hollow paper cinder blocks stand in for emotional boundaries, while shredded clothing found from the inside of a punching bag is gathered and bound together to form a picket fence. As an archeologist investigates underground, I investigate the home to see what ordinary materials can bring out relevance and meaning to a history or a story that is now abandoned or discarded. As a maker, I am drawn to material first and then manipulation and associations creating metaphors with those materials, whether it be domestic, industrial, or simply discarded. Building from humble materials and abstracting them into metaphors of human experiences compels me to continuously search for redemptive moments in these fragile narratives"
Tell us a little about yourself (where you are from) and your background in the arts.
I grew up in Germantown, Tennessee and I have always been a maker. As a child, I was most interested in crafts, more so than drawing. Even then I appreciated the tactility of working with materials that have dimension or some sort of interesting texture to them. I didn’t know I wanted to be an artist and pursue it full-time until I went to college and discovered clay and then I was hooked.
What kind of work are you currently making?
Currently, I am creating large-scale mixed media sculpture works. These works are exploring interior and exterior physical and emotional spaces that surround the home more specifically from a woman’s perspective.
What is a day like in the studio for you?
If I have a whole day dedicated to the studio, I usually spend the mornings writing, reading, and reflecting. I might run out to a local thrift store in hopes of finding materials and/or objects I can use in my sculptures. Then in the afternoons and evenings, I’ll spend my time working on two to three different projects. I’ve found that my creative energy works best when I can work on several works and processes at one time. They do feed into each other, and I really enjoy seeing my work evolve in that kind of environment.
What are you looking at right now and/or reading?
I’ve been looking at a lot of Julie Schenkelberg and Portia Munson's mixed media work and reading Ferren Gipson’s book “Women’s Work, for feminine arts to feminist artist”
Where can we find more of your work?