Human beings are not placed, they bring place into being - Jonathan Z. Smith
Wylie Garcia investigates themes of identity and place through process and material-oriented projects. Using cross disciplinary mediums such as textiles, painting, drawing, sound, and performance, Garcia explores issues related to gender, devotion, and emotional spaces. Through the use of repetitive mark making, as well as using symbolic imagery referencing flowers and embellished surface design, Garcia makes use of multi layered work as an on going metaphor attending to ideas related to connection and belonging.
Garcia has a BA from the University of Chicago and an MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. In 2019, she received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant. She is also the winner of the 2016 Barbara Smail Fellowship and Award from Burlington City Arts and the winner of a 2012, 2016, 2019 Creation Grant from the Vermont Arts Council. She received a St. Botolph Foundation Fellowship in 2013. Her work has been shown in solo and group shows across the U.S. and she has held residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts and the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, among others.
For over a decade, my work has responded to the question of belonging and how to find comfort existing in between places. I explore vulnerability and I am interested in the emotional embellishments we use to fortify our own resilience in this world. Feelings such as trust, worthiness, love, joy, fear, doubt, loneliness, and grief and other coping mechanisms are emotions that inspire my process. They show up when addressing ideas related to my own exploration of gender and identity and belonging, which is deeply connected to my own story as a Queer Mexican-Swedish-American who grew up in Texas in the 80's and 90's. The concept of devotion is an on going investigation that connects intention and attention mostly in my early work. The idea of devotion plays out as obsessive and pre-occupied mark making. More recently I am substituting these marks for floral-like symbols to represent overriding thought patterns and trusting in one's instinct. Hash-marks or stitch-marks become overlapping visual conversations that demarcate the time it takes to work through or let go of a thought, but the flowers represent giving into intuition and becoming intimate with awkwardness. Much of my work is about leaning into discomfort and cultivating universal awareness of our own humanity through the process. Regardless of medium, my goal is to create something visually compelling on the surface that then draws a viewer in closer to connect with the work and concept on a gut level. I want people to walk away with a feeling of knowingness and familiarity.
For more information please download the Selected Catalogue and CV above.
b. 1980, Houston, TX
B.A. University of Chicago, 2002
M.F.A. Massachusetts College of Art and Design, 2008