Meet Aldrich alumni artist Sharon Louden and join her for a discussion about her second publication, The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life, a collection of essays that describe how artists extend their practices outside of their studios. Louden will moderate a lively and thought-provoking conversation between Aldrich exhibitions director Richard Klein, and artists and book contributors Austin Thomas, Steven Dufala and Billy Dufala. A book signing and reception will follow.
“This manual is a testimony to the belief that art can, does and must have an existence that goes beyond the reach of the art market. These intimate essays have a disarming frankness, disclosing the lives of artists from the inside out rather than the outside in. They reveal how social action derives from self-reflection, and such artists turn personal hardships and financial difficulties into new practical models.” - Adam D. Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director, Whitney Museum of American Art
Sharon M. Louden is an artist, educator, advocate for artists, and editor of the Living and Sustaining a Creative Life series of books. Louden graduated with a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from Yale University School of Art. Her work has been exhibited in numerous venues including The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, the Drawing Center, Carnegie Mellon University, Weisman Art Museum, National Gallery of Art, Birmingham Museum of Art, Weatherspoon Art Museum and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.
Louden’s work is held in major public and private collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, National Gallery of Art, Neuberger Museum of Art, Arkansas Arts Center, Yale University Art Gallery, Weatherspoon Art Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, among others. Her work has also been written about in the New York Times, Art in America, Washington Post, Sculpture Magazine, ARTnews and the Philadelphia Inquirer, as well as other publications. She has participated in residencies at Tamarind Institute, Urban Glass, Franconia Sculpture Park, Society of the Four Arts, and Art Omi.
Sharon Louden has taught for more than 25 years since graduating from Yale in 1991. Her teaching experience includes studio and professional practice classes to students of all levels in many institutions throughout the United States. Colleges and universities at which she has lectured and taught include: Kansas City Art Institute, College of Saint Rose, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Vanderbilt University and Maryland Institute College of Art. Louden is a Senior Critic at the New York Academy of Art in New York City where she organizes a popular Lecture Series, interviewing luminaries and exceptional individuals in the art world and from afar. For more information on this lecture series and for the current schedule, please click here and here.
She is also the editor of Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists published by Intellect Books and distributed by the University of Chicago Press. Published in October, 2013, the book is now in its sixth printing. The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life, Louden’s second book, has been published and launched at the Strand Book Store in New York City on March 2, 2017 as a part of an extensive book tour. The last book in the trilogy of Living and Sustaining a Creative Life books, Last Artist Standing, will be published in 2020. Louden is a full-time practicing, professional artist who lives in Minneapolis, MN and works in New York, NY.
Austin Thomas is an artist living in New York City where she has been has been involved in nonprofit art spaces, galleries, assisting other artists and working at museums for over 20 years. Her work is influenced by Joseph Bueys, Donald Judd, Sol Lewitt and Agnes Martin. She has a BFA in Psychology and Women Studies and an MA in Studio Arts from NYU. Thomas ran a community-oriented art space called Pocket Utopia and now operates an art salon, with a focus on political action and community-building out of her apartment, aptly called “Apartment 38.” She teaches “The Artist as Entreprenuer,” at the New School.
In 2016 Thomas’s permanent public sculpture, commissioned by NYC’s Percent for Art Program was unveiled for a new park in Brooklyn and become vibrant outdoor plaza for classes, concerts and a new community garden. Thomas has also done public commissions for the Public Art Fund and Grinnell College and has exhibited nationally and internationally. Thomas’s work is featured in the books “Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists” and that book’s sequel “The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life,” both edited by Sharon Louden.
Billy and Steven Dufala
Brothers Billy and Steven Dufala are multidisciplinary artists whose primary concern is the collaborative creation of new work in a variety of media. Moving freely between disciplines, they create drawings, prints, sculpture, performance, music and design. Billy is a co-founder of RAIR, an artist residency located at Revolution Recovery, a construction and demolition waste recycling facility in northeast Philadelphia, now in it’s fourth year of programming. Steven is an award winning scenic designer for theater and performance, most recently creating the scenic installation for ‘The Object Lesson’, the solo performance created by Geoff Sobelle. Steven and Billy co-teach in the sculpture department at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and are represented by Fleisher/Ollman Gallery in Philadelphia. Their work is in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the West Collection, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and many private collections. They live and work in Philadelphia.