Visual Arts | What's New

Laura Sharp Wilson is Looking Back and Looking Forward in 2021

Wilson, surrounded by objects from cultures other than her own that she has collected, in a photoshoot with Cat Palmer

If you’ve been to the Eccles Theatre in Salt Lake City, you’ve experienced Laura Sharp Wilson’s work: she created the terrazzo floor design beneath your feet.

Wilson is an East Coast girl. After earning a BFA at Carnegie Mellon, she spent time as an intern at the Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia, developing surface designs for fabric. As she tells us in our 2017 profile of the artist, this is when she became “’really hard core as an artist.’” She earned an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before coming to Utah in 2009.

She continues to exhibit in the east (her most recent solo exhibition, Conversation with the Ground, was at McKenzie Fine Art in New York in 2020) but there are plenty of opportunities to see her in Utah as well. She was in Right Here, Right Now at Modern West Fine Art in Salt Lake City and the Southern Utah Museum of Art in Cedar City and she’s working towards an exhibition at Salt Lake Community College this spring. Running Mar. 11 – Apr. 9, it will be a retrospective of sorts, including paintings and sculpture.

She says the past year pushed her to “dive deep into art-making, including learning more about creativity and wellness with the Creative Center in New York. I have made lots and lots of cards for friends, family and acquaintances during a time of struggle.” Her imagery has returned to the botanical and she imbues floral forms with observations about human psychology. And she has been pushed into new creative avenues. “I have harnessed performance and installation ideas resulting in Appropriation Accumulation in collaboration with the photographer Cat Palmer, as well as ‘Sssshhh Listen,’ a ‘yard’ painting installation,” she says. Currently, she is working on a transgender memorial performance piece she will stage in February.

“Sssshhh Listen,” a yard sign installation

You can check out more on the s work on Instagram: @laurasharpwilson

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  1. If there’s an artist with a stronger or more vivid three-dimensional imagination than Laura Sharp Wilson, I don’t know who that is. Eight years since her show at the House Gallery, I can still feel the excitement of her elaborate visual creations, whether organic, industrial, or textile in their references. I can’t imagine ever losing the desire to explore one of her fantastic places, with their mysterious presences and events, or their ever ceasing to generously reward the time spent in such exploration.
    What more can anyone ask of a work of art than that it makes us want to return to it again, and again, and again?

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