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Nevada Arts Council OS X Gallery

Andreana Donahue

November 20-January 12, 2018

Wintering Over
Andreana Donahue, Mixed Media

November 20, 2017 — January 12, 2018

Reception & Artist Talk: Thursday, January 11, 5-7:30 pm (Artist talk at 6:15 pm)













To “winter over” means to spend, endure, or survive a winter. The artwork in Andreana Donahue’s series Wintering Over relates to time she spent in a residency in Iceland. Donahue is making work that responds to extreme environments including Antarctica and Alaska–where she spent a year making work–and how individuals adapt to these conditions.

Donahue has an ongoing interest in site-specific narratives and culture, as well as the history of abstraction and textile art–specifically quilt-making. The textiles, patterns, natural dyes, and other materials she uses are locally sourced, often reflecting season and landscape, as well as possible romantic and/or utilitarian uses of each quilt. Her recent work re-imagines traditional Amish abstract quilts and the improvisational patterns typified by the African-American quilters of Gees Bend.

The Lone Star (Remembrance Quilt) was installed during a residency in Corsicana, Texas. The quilt is composed of denim and used mechanics’ rags sourced in the town. It references the history of the studio she worked in, a building constructed in 1890 where seamstresses once worked.

For her previous project, completed during a year-long residency in Alaska, she drew inspiration from the extreme Arctic season and used the landscape as a resource for materials. The centerpiece of that installation was Sunshine and Shadow (Winter Quilt), hand-dyed using Alaskan wildflowers and berries she had gathered during the summer months. The quilt is illuminated by using a Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) light as a surrogate for sunlight, referencing the tradition of “sunning” quilts. The materials and pattern (Sunshine and Shadow) directly highlight the tenacious desire for sunlight and flowers during the long, dark Alaskan winter.

All of Donahue’s work emphasizes the hand-craftsmanship. Every object is constructed, sanded, dyed, pieced, or quilted entirely by hand. The sculptures are made using a process she invented, constructing realistic-looking tools by layering paper and glue to mimic their usual materials (bone, wood, etc.). These hand-made tools are then used to make other objects or collect raw materials, providing documentation of this part of the process.

Andreana Donahue is a visual artist, independent curator, and art handler from Chicago who is currently based in Las Vegas. She has organized and exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in Alaska, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, South Carolina, New York, and Nevada. Her project-based practice engages a wide range of methods and concepts, such as transforming everyday materials through labor-intensive processes. Her site-attentive installations highlight connections between outwardly unrelated narratives and disciplines while transmitting a sense of loss, longing, and superstition. Heavily informed by locality, her objects often reference vanishing regional traditions and the history of the spaces they inhabited. Artist’s residencies include the Wagon Station Encampment at A-Z West in Joshua Tree, 100 West Corsicana in Texas, the Vermont Studio Center, Textilsetur Islands (The Icelandic Textile Center) in Blonduos, and SIM in Reykjavik. Donahue has been the recipient of grants from the Vermont Studio Center, Puffin Foundation, and a 2018 Artist Fellowship from the Nevada Arts Council.

In addition to her studio practice, Donahue has maintained the interdisciplinary advocacy project Disparate Minds with collaborator Tim Ortiz since 2014. The scope of this ongoing endeavor includes curatorial projects, exhibition reviews, essays, and research dedicated to discussing the work of marginalized artists with disabilities in the context of contemporary art. Recent curatorial projects include group exhibitions at LAND in Brooklyn and The Good Luck Gallery in Los Angeles.