Locust Projects is pleased to present New Havens, an immersive installation series about artist-centered placemaking by Miami-based artist Laura Marsh. The exhibition is comprised of three mini-installations situated within the Project Room, providing a village of interactive experiences connected together by Marsh’s passion to create spaces that artists can exist within. The installation will act as an incubator for happenings and dialogues hosted by the artist and privileging the voices of the local creative community.
Marsh is a textile artist with a social practice. While Marsh received fine arts degrees from Yale and the Cleveland Institute of Art, much of her practice is informed by growing up in Montrose, Pennsylvania, a poor, rural town in a deep red part of the state. Raised in a working class family, Marsh was instilled with a do-it-yourself ethos and taught to salvage and reclaim materials whenever possible (she comes from two generations of sewers and her mother made the clothes she wore in her youth). Without much to do in her sleepy hometown, she often turned to the community of craft-making that surrounded her for creative stimulation.
After experiencing the loss of a live-work studio space in New Haven, Connecticut that she shared with her partner, the artist began reflecting on how to build new communities by reclaiming strife through placemaking. This line of thinking led to the creation of hand-sewn fabric installations currently presented in the Project Room. Some of the fabrics come from Argentina, Connecticut, Florida, India, and Italy, places where the artist has lived, completed residencies or taught. The artist also incorporates donated material at clothing exchanges between artists and from local businesses, including donated fabric from the Jewish Community Center (which recently went out of business) and Boca Bargoons. In their totality, the texture that emerges from the collage of fabrics is a document of the artist’s lived experience and a visual map of the places her artistic and curatorial practices have taken her.
Marsh hopes to democratize her art through the use of accessible language, providing a tactile experience for viewers without traditional arts educations can feel welcome within. While all are welcome within the spaces, Marsh hopes that the installations will act as a space for local artists and creatives and act as an incubator for dialogues on issues facing artists today.
While the three installations included in the space have been presented together in her studio space at Art Center / South Florida and have individually been presented throughout the region, this is the first time the works have been presented together through immersive elements. The plurality of installations is intended to lead the viewer through a path of immersive experiences that arrive at deeper issues via decompression. Much like Locust Projects itself, the exhibition is exemplary of how artists find and reclaim spaces for themselves and for the communities they live within.
Laura Marsh: New Havens exhibition notes were authored by Locust Projects Exhibition Manager Ricardo
Laura Marsh, born 1982 in Montrose Pennsylvania, lives and works in Miami. She holds a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art and an MFA from Yale University. She is a current resident at ArtCenter / South Florida and upcoming resident at the Siena Arts Institute. Marsh received her MFA from Yale University School of Art and a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art. Marsh has exhibited nationally at venues including Dimensions Variable, Miami, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Printed Matter, Field Projects, Newman Popiashvili Gallery, and Tilton Gallery in NY. She is a current artist in residence at ArtCenter / South Florida in Miami Beach and the Curator of Exhibitions at the Art and Culture Center in Hollywood, FL.
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