Abigail Anne Newbold: Crafting Settlement

March 30, 2013 — July 14, 2013

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Abigail Anne Newbold melds a mastery of traditional craft techniques with a modern design aesthetic to create thought-provoking installations centered on themes of domesticity, self-sufficiency, and artisanal production. The Currier will host Newbold’s first solo museum exhibition, Crafting Settlement, which will transform the museum’s Scheier Gallery into a showroom of unique and finely made products for living on the fringes of organized society. Newbold’s survival line of handmade and modified found objects will feature modular timber-frame dwelling structures, textile garments, elegantly crafted tools of wood and metal, and a covered wagon pulled by a bicycle. Evocative of high-end retail display and traditional museum period room tableaus, Newbold’s installation will complicate the romantic vision of a self-sufficient lifestyle by including impractical and at times humorously absurd objects, such as a fashionable cropped fur jacket and a hand pump-powered fire hose. Synthetic materials will be prominent among the customized and handcrafted objects on display, overturning the notion of craft production as independent from industrialized society. Newbold’s installation stages one visionary possibility for living within our complex socioeconomic environment and invites visitors to imagine their own.

Currently based in Massachusetts, Newbold has recently exhibited at the Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston; the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. Newbold received a 2012 Artist Award from the Boston Society of Arts and Crafts and a 2009 Kresge Artist Fellowship, among other distinctions. Newbold earned a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston and an MFA in Fiber from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan.

The Contemporary Connections series features new work by early- and mid-career artists from New England made in dialogue with the Currier’s collection, architecture, and regional histories and location. These projects offer museum visitors expanded perspectives on contemporary art making and invite them to consider the dynamic linkages between past and present art practices and cultural histories.

This exhibition is supported by the Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation and organized by the Currier Museum of Art.

Images: © CarolynBates.com