Frances Trombly won a Creator Award, which is an Ellie to create large-scale works for two upcoming exhibitions that examine woven textiles and their relationship to painting. This year Oolite Arts awarded 44 artists recognition and funding for Projects (Creator Awards), Artistic Development (Teacher awards) and lifetime achievement in visual arts (The Michael Richards Award). The jury consisted of nationally recognized curators and art leaders: Deana Haggag, Maria Elena Ortiz, Ian Berry, Debbie Margol, and Larry Ossei-Mensah.
Frances Trombly sculpts with fabric, and she hand-weaves and hand-embroiders sculpture. Her work has, since 2010, explored the potential of her fabric sculpture to shift form between paintings or sculptures. In other cases they accentuate architecture or the fabric itself. She does not use paint. In her 2010 show at Girls Club Collection, she stretched, leaned, floored and upholstered bare handwoven canvas. In Over and Under, her 2013 piece at Locust Projects, a bolt of hand-dyed vivid yellow fabric draped, zig-zag fashion, through the rungs of an aluminum scaffold. She sought to recall the forms of industrial looms, their usual purpose, and their history too. Textiles were one of the earliest innovations in the industrial revolution to take women from their cottage industries into a far more alienating workforce. She also refers to her own history (in the making) since the scaffold was purchased with funds in the budget for the show to support her alternative art space, which in turn supported her studio space. More key actions reveal themselves in this piece – work, time, drape and interconnectivity.
In Blue Folds (2015) Trombly wove blue thread into her fabric as if to highlight her favorite detail – the peaks in the fabric’s graceful drape.
In a review for the Los Angeles Times, Leah Ollman wrote, “What confident trespassers, the works of Frances Trombly. Sculptures, weavings, installations — they meander into all sorts of territory, straddling genre lines and tunneling through hierarchical divides. They make a quietly defiant case for the complex richness of multiplicity, simultaneity.”
An early work by Frances Trombly is on view now at the NSU Art Museum in the exhibition Happy.
About the artist
Frances Trombly (b. 1976 Miami, FL, USA) is based in Miami, FL, United States. She received a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, including a solo project at Locust Projects, Miami; and curated group shows Americana: Formalizing Craft at the Perez Art Museum Miami and united states at the The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT.
Her work has been featured in various publications including The New York Times, Art Papers, Sculpture Magazine, Surface Design Journal, and The Los Angeles Times. Trombly’s work is in the permanent collection of the Perez Art Museum, Miami and NSU Art Museum, Ft. Lauderdale, among others.
Trombly is an artist in residence at Oolite Arts through 2019. She co-directs Dimensions Variable, an exhibition space in Miami, Florida.