2019 DISTINGUISHED ARTIST – Amy Pleasant
Amy Pleasant is the 10th recipient of Magic City Art Connection’s Distinguished Artist Award. This award was established as a festival initiative to support and present Birmingham artists of great artistic talent and integrity to MCAC collectors and patrons. We look forward to spotlighting Amy at the 36th annual contemporary art festival April 26-28, where she will be featuring an exhibition of her ceramic work.
My work includes painting, drawing, and ceramic sculpture, all exploring the body and language through repetition. Adopting the structure of a diagram or list, I explore the fragmented figure as sign or symbol. With a limited palette and an economy of line, I draw images like writing a letter, documenting essential, universal motions and human behaviors.
Amy Pleasant received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1994) and an MFA from the Tyler School of Art, Temple University (1999).
She was recently awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2018). Other awards include the South Arts Prize for the State of Alabama (2018), Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Award (2015), Mary Hambidge Distinguished Artist Award (2015), Cultural Alliance of Birmingham Individual Artist Fellowship (2008), and Alabama State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship (2003).
She has held solo exhibitions at Jeff Bailey Gallery, (Hudson/NYC), whitespace gallery (Atlanta, GA), Augusta University (Columbus, GA), Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (IN), Birmingham Museum of Art (AL), Atlanta Contemporary (GA), Auburn University’s School of Liberal Arts (AL), Rhodes College (Memphis, TN), Candyland (Stockholm, Sweden), and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (AL).
Group shows include the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts (AL), Adams and Ollman (OR), Cuevas Tilleard Projects (NY), Zuckerman Museum of Art (GA), Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art (GA), Knoxville Museum of Art (TN), Weatherspoon Museum of Art (NC), Hunter Museum of American Art (TN), Columbus Museum of Art (GA), National Museum of Women in the Arts (D.C.), Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (NC), The Mobile Museum of Art (AL), and the U.S. Embassy, Prague, Czech Republic.
Her work has been reviewed in publications such as World Sculpture News, Sculpture, The Brooklyn Rail, Art in America, artforum.com, Art Papers, Bad at Sports and BURNAWAY.
Pleasant also co-founded the curatorial initiative The Fuel And Lumber Company with artist Pete Schulte in 2013.
Past Magic City Art Connection Distinguished Artist Honorees:
Edith Frohock, 1992
Leah Jones, 1993
Merton Brown, 1994
Al Sella, 1995
Lonnie Holley, 1996
Ellen De Mello Weiland, 1997
John Dillon, 1998
Arthur Stewart 1999
Anne Arrasmith 2000