GARFO—the gallery housed in the old Garfield Elementary School building used by the Visual Art Institute’s after-school art programs for children—has not only been one of the most unlikely sites to see fine art; it’s been one of the most ambitious new galleries in town, attracting artists from all over the world. The gallery continues in its affection for alternative materials with Press Plush, a visual anthology of contemporary soft sculpture, textile and fiber art.
Miami artist Frances Trombly uses trompe l’oeil effects to create artifacts of a domestic narrative. The “Mom of Pop Art,” British-born Jann Haworth—known for the Grammy-winning Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper” album art as well as our own “SLC Pepper” mural—creates quilted figures with a cartoonish presence (pictured) that wouldn’t be out of place on the Yellow Submarine. The show traces soft sculpture’s roots in 1960s Pop art and how it has expanded to include installation, sculpture, video, crochet, fiber, inflatable and found object/repurposed material work.
Perhaps most unusual, Agustina Woodgate creates sculptures from human hair. The title of the show emphasizes the fact that you might be tempted to give some of these artworks a little squeeze.
In tandem with the exhibit, local artist Naomi Marine will conduct a workshop with VAI students to construct a collaborative installation, and visiting artist Eliza Fernand will give a free lecture.
Press Plush @ GARFO, Visual Art Institute, 1838 S. 1500 East, 801-474-3796, April 9-June 3, Monday-Thursday noon-6:30 p.m. or by appointment, free. Opening reception April 9, 6–10 p.m. VisualArtInstitute.org.