What are the boundaries of what we consider contemporary art? As viewers of Suzie McMurtry’s work, we find ourselves questioning the preponderance of a line separating “art” from “craft”. Employing craft techniques to create her art, McMurtry is one of many contemporary artists who utilize the traditional methods in fiber art while simultaneously breaking the boundaries of what is expected in this medium.
“Void + Hanger", along with about a dozen other works, made up Suzie McMurtry’s Colorado College senior thesis exhibition, Shapeless. The work included in the GREAT EXPECTATIONS exhibition at GOCA draws from the two bodies of art created for her culminating undergraduate show: woven, tubular sculptures and dyed canvasses.
McMurtry’s woven sculptures began as experimentation with the double weave technique on a treadle loom and with a process of dying plant fiber material (linen, jute, manila rope, sisal, cotton, etc.) both before and after weaving. The canvas dying process includes direct application dye, screen printing, as well as shibori fold resist dye techniques.
Having grown up in the San Francisco Bay Area in a family of crafters and designers, McMurtry was able to explore an innate interest in the art of making and materials upon accessing the resources at Colorado College.
The artist works across a diverse repertoire of mediums which includes fiber and textiles, ink and charcoal on paper, 35 mm photography, prints (linoleum, silk screen, woodblock, copper plate intaglio, monotype, copper plate etching, and embossment), and embossed/casted paper. McMurtry also experiments with sculptural exploration of how we view natural light.
Suzie McMurtry graduated from Colorado College with a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art in May of 2017 and will continue to work for the college the following academic year. Her work demonstrates diverse interests including architecture, environmentalism in the arts, textiles, and furniture design.
About the Exhibition
Great Expectations @GOCA121, downtown
August 4 - November 11, 2017
Erica Day, Nathaniel Hodges, Stephanie Kantor, Suzie McMurtry, Diego Rodriguez-Warner, Elizabeth Selby, Frankie Toan, Streeter Wright, Ryan Wurst, Dustin Young
This biannual exhibition surveys emerging artists working along the Colorado Front Range corridor. Artists working in Colorado in 2017 are diverse and this exhibit at our downtown GOCA121 site aims to reflect that reality. The artists featured are working across a broad range of media - painting, drawing, sculptural installation, new media, and performance - and creating contemporary art in exciting and challenging ways. Great Expectations will introduce you to some of the brightest (art) stars from the Front Range of Colorado.