THE CHURCH TO HOST A CONVERSATION
WITH ARTIST SHEILA PEPE
Friday, June 24th, 6 PM
Sag Harbor, NY — The Church is thrilled to host a conversation with renowned artist, educator, and artist-in-residence Sheila Pepe. Sheila will be joined by The Church’s Chief Curator Sara Cochran, who will interview Sheila on her work featured in our Threading the Needle exhibition. Known for crocheting large-scale, ephemeral installations and sculptures, Sheila will be spending her residency installing a sight specific piece that will hang from The Church’s wooden rafters, the first time an artist has worked specifically with the historic architecture of the building. The discussion will cover the process and planning involved in creating the work within The Church – presenting the sculpture that is sometimes intersecting and sometimes so deeply seated within the structure as to not be apparent. Sheila’s vision is cumulated by optics, haptic gesture, and word/image association.
Sheila is best known for crocheting her large-scale, ephemeral installations and sculpture made from domestic and industrial materials. However, the exhibition “Sheila Pepe: Hot Mess Formalism,” curated by Gilbert Vicario for the Phoenix Museum of Art, and the catalogue published with it, showed us that Pepe has built a more expansive and complex way of working since her start in the mid-1980s.
For more than 30 years she has accumulated a family resemblance (see Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations ) of works in sculpture—installation—drawing and other singular and hybrid forms. Some are drawings that are sculpture—or sculpture that is furniture, fiber works that appear as paintings, and tabletop objects that look like models for monuments, and stand as votives for a secular religion. The cultural sources and the meanings twisted together are from canonical arts of the 20th century, home crafts, lesbian, queer and feminist aesthetics, 2nd Vatican Council American design, an array of Roman Catholic sources as well as their ancient precedents.
The constant conceptual pursuit of Pepe’s research, making, teaching, and writing has been to contest received knowledge, opinions, and taste.
The mission of The Church is to foster creativity among the diverse communities on the East End and honor the living history of Sag Harbor as a maker village. It functions as a creativity center, exhibition space and residency. Housed in a deconsecrated 19th Century Methodist church, The Church aspires to be a place where local and national artists and creatives can work, meet, and inspire each other. Founded by artists Eric Fischl and April Gornik, The Church began operation in 2021. Championing new and traditional technologies through collaboration, education, and outreach, we strive to be an asset for the community in all its richness and heterogeneity.
Photo by Rachel Stern
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