Missoula-born, Brooklyn-based Browder is a fabric artist who is challenging, reviving and redefining ‘soft’ sculpture, which at times delves into the realm of large-scale public sculpture. Her work is about materials and craft, work ethic, community and created spaces. Recent projects include Hello Niagara!, a monumental, quilted waterfall draped over the Tobacco Warehouse in Brooklyn.
Browder is a former professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and while in Chicago she co-founded the contemporary art podcast Bad at Sports. Browder has exhibited internationally at the Nakaochiai Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Lothringer 14, Munich, Germany; White Columns, New York; Gallery 400-UIC, and The Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago. Last year, Amanda covered a building in her local neighborhood and received a grant from Brooklyn Arts Council and the NPArt.
This exhibition features a new body of work by Pittsburgh-based sculptor, poet and activist Vanessa German. German’s response to her materials references folk art and slavery. In her multi-disciplinary work, she references the legacy of the transatlantic slave trade, or as she describes it, “the western coast of Africa, the east coast of the Carolinas, the east end of Pittsburgh.” German’s Homewood neighborhood has been called “One of America’s Most Violent Neighborhoods.” Her work is a response to gun violence and prostitution that stands in contrast with the community-building and healing words of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
German fell in love with Montana listening to a book on tape of author James Lee Burke’s novel Bitterroot. She says, “I've been listening to this book on tape for about 5 years. I listen to it over and over again, because it makes me feel like I am in Montana. I love hearing about the landscape…Whenever I need to, I listening to this book [and] I travel to Montana…to a wide place that is almost exactly the opposite from where I am…and it helps me to feel good.”
An accomplished performing artist, German received performance training at the Los Angeles Conservatory of the Performing Arts, Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies, South West College, University of Cincinnati, and the Los Angeles Theater Academy and received a an Onyx award for her performance in the Pittsburgh premiere of Cassandra Medley’s “Relativity.” In 2007, German was recognized with a Duquesne Light Leadership Award for contributions to Art and Culture. She is also the founding artist of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s, “She Said: words by women” poetry performance series, which brings nationally recognized writers and speakers such as Nikki Giovanni, Erica Jong, and Sonia Sanchez to Pittsburgh. She is the winner of the 2008 Hip Hop Award for best spoken word poet and was selected as a 2012 TEDx Cambridge spoken word performer. She is the 2010 AAP Mendelson Exhibition Award Winner, was included in the 2012 and 2013 Art Basel Miami Beach fairs and recently had a solo exhibition at Pavel Zoubok Gallery in New York City.