Murky Mirror

Murky Mirror

Friends! We are proud to announce our first show of 2023, Murky Mirror! The show opens on March 4th, 2023, at the Galveston Arts Center, and will include works by Sarah Welch and James Beard across two gallery rooms. Here's our statement from the show:

Artist collaborative Sarah Welch and James Beard create work about the speculative future of the Texas Gulf Coast and the intersections between the built environment and nature. The work frequently highlights creatures, plants, and fungal life which are climate appropriate or endemic to their home on the coast.

Murky Mirror is a two-part installation which includes painted backdrops, sound works, ceramics, and found objects that draw from the narratives featured in the duo’s most recent book, Outpost. The near-future, climate-fiction narrative chronicles the efforts of a subsistence farmer who is struggling to grow food for her family due to increasingly hot and erratic weather. The story examines the limits of self-reliance and resilience while capturing glimpses of what life might look like on the Texas Gulf Coast 40 years into the future.

Murky Mirror looks into the internal or spiritual life of the protagonist. What stories might she create to protect morale and survive extreme change? Welch and Beard’s installations in GAC’s Vault and Brown Foundation Gallery serve as contrasting reflections of this question. One space sets the scene with a collection of backdrops that identifies landscapes as characters and works to foreground the background as its own entity. The second is an inner sanctum for regeneration and mythology building among the mycorrhizal growths of the old world.

Sarah Welch is a multidisciplinary artist with a background in print media and installation art. Welch has participated in artist residency and study programs at Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and MacDowell. She has exhibited throughout the US, including exhibitions at Lawndale Art Center in Houston, Antenna in New Orleans, and Museum of Fine Arts at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Welch is a recipient of grants and support from The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, The Arch and Anne Giles Kimbrough Fund Award (Dallas Museum of Art), The Houston Arts Alliance, and The Idea Fund (The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts). Her favorite conversation topics are cob houses, natural burial, and cycads.

James Beard
is an artist with a rich background in printmaking and collaborative art. He has completed residencies at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts and Wesleyan University. In his professional career, he has worked with numerous entities, including the Serie Project, Coronado Studio, Lawndale Art Center, Diverseworks, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and completed hundreds of limited edition prints in his work as a master printer. He is interested in the relationship between creativity and restraint, the democratization of print, and the role of humor in art. His work is guided by the idea that art and culture should be made accessible both in viewing and ownership.

We hope to see you there!

Brown Foundation Gallery & Vault

March 4 - May 28, 2023

ArtWalk Reception
Saturday, March 4, 2022
6 – 9 PM
Artist talk at 6:30 PM

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