Paintings and collages from the 2019-2020 series Grounded / Ungrounded. Installed in the three-person exhibition Borrowed Time at the University Gallery at Western Illinois University in 2020.
b. 1978, Augusta, GA
Amy Sacksteder is an artist and curator whose work explores personal and collective relationships to Landscape and artifact. She works across media, most commonly in painting, collage, drawing, cut paper, and installation. She has participated in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally. Recent solo and three person exhibitions include University of South Carolina Upstate (Spartanburg, SC), Western Illinois University (Macomb, IL), The Detroit Center for Design and Technology (Detroit, MI) and Alma College (Alma, MI). Recent group exhibitions include Dutoit Gallery (Dayton, OH), Buckham Gallery (Flint, MI), Lump (Raleigh, NC), Art Metropole (Toronto, ON), and The Front (New Orleans, LA). She has a forthcoming solo exhibition at Divisible (Dayton, OH) scheduled for November 2020.
Sacksteder has completed artist residencies at SÍM (Reykjavík, Iceland), Takt (Berlin, Germany), The Hungarian Multicultural Center (Budapest, Hungry) and the Ragdale Foundation (Lake Forest, IL), among others. In 2012 she was awarded a Gallery-as-Studio Residency and solo exhibition at the University of Nevada, Reno. In 2016 she completed a Residency in Motherhood via Lenka Clayton. Her work has been featured and reviewed in journals such as New American Paintings and the Chicago Tribune and is included in the curated online registries of The Drawing Center and White Columns. Amy Sacksteder has curated and co-curated the national and international exhibitions Island: 22 Artists on Iceland in 2011 (co- hosted at 'CAVE Gallery, Detroit, MI); Atmosphere: Artists' Responses to Space(s) in 2015; and Vitrine in 2018, all at Eastern Michigan University.
In 2019, Sacksteder returned to oil painting after a hiatus while pregnant and for general health reasons. She has since adopted safe oil painting practices and implements them when teaching painting. Sacksteder and her family live in Ypsilanti, Michigan, outside of Detroit. Sacksteder works from her studio in Ypsilanti, and is a professor in the School of Art + Design at Eastern Michigan University.
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My paintings, drawings, collages, and installations explore artifacts as vehicles of human connection to specific places and occurrences. Compelled by human interactions with the land and landscape, I investigate the personal, environmental, and political significances of place. In the wake of the 2016 election, I had a one-year-old son. I navigated fears associated with parenting in a seemingly new and divided country through painting and paper cut installations. I explored fences as interrupters of vantages and direct movement and as signals of imposed safety. I silver leaf hand-cut paper fences, allowing the entropy of tarnish to continue acting upon the pieces after they leave the studio.
I turned to photo collage after each of my sons was born (2015 and 2018) for its immediacy, approachability, and flexibility. The collages collapse moments of my immediate existence into diaristic dioramas re-contextualizing time, place, artifacts, and experiences. They take the form of top-hinged, enmeshed booklets, fanning out from the top such that—in addition to shadows depicted in the collaged imagery, shadows are also cast by the layers of paper onto and against each other. Some depict the front walkway of my home, a threshold I cross often, spliced with other photographed elements from my studio or daily life, all shot on my phone. The collages inspire my recent paintings. I see them all as one extended conversation about movement among modes of being. For me, they reframe the concept of the Landscape, and my place within it.