Bear in Mind | THECOLORG
January 26 – April 7, 2024
Bear in Mind | THECOLORG
Venue: Crayola Gallery
Over the past year, like many millennials finding it increasingly difficult to pay the rent and afford daily essentials, I began making and selling stuffed animals to help make ends meet. Bringing together my “fine art” studio practice and traditional “craft” plushie-making hustle – Bear in Mind exhibits 30+ handmade and sentimental memory bears situated on swings to symbolize a back-and-forth playfulness present in creative labor and recalling memories (the past) through materials to understand the present. With the Banana Factory's history of production and labor and its current identity as an arts center, Bear In Mind considers the past, present, and future of the space through its reference to labor, material production, and playful presence in the gallery.
Bear In Mind challenges the western notion that art exists separately from everyday life; that "craft" is separate from "fine art," and who or what "belongs" in a particular space. Polarized perspectives on art and labor perpetuate harmful exploitative frameworks related to success, production, consumption, labor, and social class. As millennials are projected to make up 75% of the US workforce by 2025, we face the reality of being the first generation in American history to generate less wealth than our parents. Who gets to decide what our labor is worth and who it serves? Bear In Mind is a reminder that Bethlehem's history in the production of steel and distribution of goods helped to build a middle-class economy, and that our personal histories are a map toward how we can work together to build a more equitable future.
THECOLORG (b. 1991, Central PA) is a millennial feminine queer interdisciplinary artist and professional arts administrator based in Philadelphia, PA. She holds an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and a BFA from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She has attended artist residencies at the Studios at MASS MoCA, Chautauqua Visual Arts, and the Walkaway House in North Adams, MA. Her work has been exhibited at many museums, galleries, and institutions across the country, including Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center (Smithsonian Institution), Moravian University, Lycoming College Gallery, Atelier FAS Gallery, PAFA, Cherry Street Pier, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, the Erie Art Museum, and many more. In her spare time, Ash has built a handmade plush brand/entity – THECOLORG - focused on creating unique and custom plush for people of all ages. Her current project "MOO-D" has been generously funded by The Puffin Foundation through their 2022 artist grant cycle. Ash serves as the Program Coordinator of Continuing Education at Moore College of Art & Design where she supports arts programming for youth and adults – centering inclusivity and accessibility in her approach to all parts of the role.
Venue InformationCrayola Gallery
25 W Third Street
Bethlehem, PA 18015
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