Art Bets: Sophia Allison at Brevard College

Immediately appealing about Sophia Allison’s work is her clean-yet-imperfect handmade aesthetic, and upon further examination, her sculptures and 2D images reveal layers of hidden meaning. The Los Angeles-based artist returns to her native Western North Carolina to exhibit Friend Among Strangers, a mixed-media installation that pays homage to her Appalachian roots. For Friend, Allison has installed a cardboard re-creation of her childhood home, ornamented with paper foliage that casts shadows onto the walls of the gallery. Her two-dimensional collaged landscapes recall the Blue Ridge Mountains (or a heartbeat on a monitor, or an earthy candy land). Also intriguing are Allison’s ‘sewn pictorials,’ which are displayed so that both their front and backsides can be viewed. For those, printed paper images of Allison’s parents’ home in WNC are sewn into fabric with stitches that re-create the image while simultaneously destroying it.  On one side, the landscape is more clearly conveyed, while the paper image is obliterated, leaving loose threads and uneven textures on the backside. An artist reception will be held Friday, Aug. 31, from 5:30-8 p.m. at Sims Art Building Spiers Gallery on the Brevard College Campus. Exhibit runs through Sept. 28.

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