top of page

Artist Carlie Trosclair

Growing up in New Orleans as the daughter of an electrician, Carlie Trosclair spent her formative years in historic residential properties at varying stages of construction and renovation. Reflectively her work explores the genealogy of home by using latex as an architectural skin to create sculptural installations that highlight the structural and decorative shifts evolving over a building’s lifespan.

Trosclair earned an M.F.A from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, and a B.F.A from Loyola University New Orleans. She is an alumni of the Community Arts Training Institute in St. Louis, and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). Select artist residencies include: the Tides Institute & Museum of Art (ME), Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (NE), Joan Mitchell Center (LA), Loghaven Artist Residency (TN), Ox-Bow School of Art & Artists' Residency (MI), Vermont Studio Center (VT), and The Luminary Center for the Arts (MO).

Trosclair’s work has been featured in Art in America, The New York Times, ArtFile Magazine, and Temporary Art Review, among others. She is the recipient of the Riverfront Time‘s Mastermind Award, Regional Arts Commission Artist Fellowship and the Great Rivers Biennial Award. In 2023 Trosclair was named the Ellis-Beauregard Fellow for the Visual Arts and the South Arts Louisiana State Fellow for Visual Arts.

Upcoming appointments include artist residencies at the McColl Center in North Carolina, the Santa Fe Art Institute in New Mexico, and Sculpture Space in Utica, NY. This fall, she will have her first solo exhibition in New York at the NARS Foundation in Brooklyn.

"Approached through a lens of reordering and discovery, my work explores the liminal space between development and deconstruction; contemplating the living and transitional components of home. Growing up in New Orleans as the daughter of an electrician, I spent my formative years in historic residential properties at varying stages of construction and renovation. I found that even when abandoned, the presence of the body still lingers. Architectural components carry with them the layered histories of previous residents. These become the shells we leave behind; Relics of habitation and home-making. Using latex as an architectural skin, I both record and reimagine the genealogy of home and its relationship to the natural world. From the palimpsest of paint, disintegration of wood, or footprint of rust, these surfaces are connected in the ways they mark time. Echoes of the familiar are absorbed into the membrane of each latex body, crystallizing textures and detritus of place. Paper-thin casts reshape the narrative of home as a sturdy secure space into one that is vulnerable and ephemeral. These ghostlike imprints mark an in-between space that is transient and ever changing: both structurally and in our memory."

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

I grew up in New Orleans which was very influential artistically, even though my early understanding of art was commercial because the city relies heavily on tourism. In high school and college I took private oil painting lessons in addition to selling pen and ink house portraits at art markets. My earliest and most influential exposure to contemporary art was through an after school arts program for high school students at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). I then took a traditional academic route, majoring in painting at Loyola University in New Orleans and then graduate school at Washington University in St. Louis. My grad program was interdisciplinary which was the best choice for me because my undergraduate paintings became more sculptural and then completely off of the wall and hanging in space. I entered graduate school very interested in creating work that placed the viewer “in” the art and subsequently made installations focused on a symbiotic experience between the body and architecture.

During and a few years after grad school I made installations using fabric to reconfigure the interior of architectural spaces to be more bodily and nest-like. This led to the idea of architectural skin, which has taken on many forms throughout the years including: site specific lace-like carvings of concrete and wallpaper in abandoned buildings, public sculptures made using discarded building materials from demolitions sites, to now latex molds of building facades and household items.

What kind of work are you currently making?

I’m exploring the duality of structure and fluidity within my latex casts and how it relates to notions of stability and security in the context of home. Most recently focusing on the theme of breath as it relates to the collapse and expanse of a structure.

What is a day like in the studio for you?

It fluctuates depending on the season and what I have going on. Also whether I’m at home base or at a residency. Because of the scale and site-specific nature of my work my making is very project/opportunity driven. So if I’m preparing for a show or making work in a new location at a residency I’m researching the place and the history of its surroundings and architecture. Exploring and scouting out potential sites for installations. Once a building subject matter is decided on I get to casting, then demolding, mending, and building out armatures to give structure to the architectural skins. During “off” months I’m in hibernation/research mode. I read and write a lot, frequent estate sales, drive around looking at old buildings, hit the admin role really hard with applications and grant writing, organize my storage unit of artworks. It also means play time on a smaller scale which has included experimenting with new material compatibility, sewing and embroidering into the latex, creating small assemblage object based wall hangings, etc.

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

Oh so much! I always have multiple books on rotation so I can stay reading and not be deterred if I’m not in the “mood” for a particular subject or style. Of late this has included brief but deep dives into snails, cyprus knees, and the southern gothic. For about a year I’ve been oscillating between: “The Ruins Lesson” by Susan Stewart and “The Lure of the Local” by Lucy R. Lippard. Always a heavy rotation of poetry: Andrea Gibson, Ada Limon, Ocean Vuong, Mary Oliver, Joanna Penn Cooper, Chanda Feldman, and Elizabeth Gross.

I also recently scored some really wonderful 1970’s “How To” home repair book set from an estate sale. Books include masonry, paint and wallpaper, furniture, and one dedicated to renovating old houses in general. The illustrations are really incredible and often include cutaway diagrams of a home, piece of furniture, or brick fireplaces sliced open like a birthday cake. The revealing of whats hidden or concealed is both a material and conceptual theme in my work so these visuals are really potent for me. There is a lot to learn in the undoing of things.

Where can we find more of your work?

196 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page