SPACES Gallery Closed May 11 - June 14 New Exhibitions Open June 14.

CAN Blog  |  March 21, 2023


Magic Mountains, Magic Cities by Tia-Simone Gardner is on view through April 28th at SPACES. The body of work came from conversations that Gardner had with her mother about Fairfield, Alabama, where they both grew up. Fairfield is located at the Western border of Birmingham and was an experiment in spatial-racial-class separation and segregation. According to Gardner’s artist statement, “these divides were not obvious. The planners used nature—including soil, earthen berms, tree lines, and dead-end streets to scar the landscape.”

Gardner resides in Saint Paul, Minnesota and is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and Black feminist scholar. She works primarily in drawing, and recontextualizes still and moving images from archives, by bringing together fragments of events and places. According to her biography, “ritual, disobedience, geography, and geology are the specters and recurring themes that cross her work.” Gardner has her B.A. in Art and Art History from the University of Alabama in Birmingham and her M.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Practices and Time-Based Media from the University of Pennsylvania.

Many of the works in the exhibition are deliberately unframed. Leaving the work unframed removes a barrier between the art and the viewer. It also allows the paper to move and breathe within the space. As a result, the work feels more organic and untethered.

By Grace Carter, CAN Blog.

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