Nashville, TN | Sculpture
Ariel Lavery graduated Magna Cum Laude with her BFA from the University of Colorado Boulder (2007) and received her MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. (2013). She has exhibited extensively nationally including solo exhibitions at Zephyr Gallery in Louisville, KY, the River Campus Gallery at Southeast Missouri State University, Blue Star Contemporary Art Complex in San Antonio, TX, and The Packing Plant in Nashville, TN. Her work is in private collections in Maine, Vermont, Kentucky, Colorado, and Connecticut. She has organized, curated, and juried several exhibitions in Maine, Massachusetts, and Tennessee, and is member of COOP gallery, a Nashville based collective that curates artists into the Nashville arts scene. She is a 2013 recipient of the Artist Enrichment Grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, which helped her develop a project based on the culture of rural Murray, KY. Ariel currently serves as the Assistant Professor of Sculpture at Watkins College of Art Design and Film in Nashville, TN.
I repurpose found objects whose very materiality is steeped in associations with a shared American past. In my work, I sift through the detritus of mainstream culture and reassemble motifs and iconography, disrupting the familiar association to home and domesticity that the materials carry with them. I am interested in playing with the psychology behind the production of the middle-American home by juxtaposing functional intent and idiosyncratic responsiveness.
As my investigation has proceeded, it has become more evident that nostalgia is harnessed by industry in promoting product consumption. In modern American domestic life, product consumption is a requirement for an all-American lifestyle. The image of the American dream is a nostalgic image which requires commercial upgrades in order to remain dreamlike. When reality begins to seep into our homes, it can be chased out with new products or motifs that borrow from images of the past. It is through nostalgic imagery that we feel a connection to the places we live, regardless of our involvement with our local and national communities. Thus, we project an image of the home onto our dwellings: organizing, collecting, and discarding appropriately.