Award-winning Vermont artist Wylie Garcia
explores identity and emotional spaces
through painting, drawing and textiles.

Wylie Garcia: Radical Softness


Charles Danforth Gallery • Jewett Hall •  University of Maine at Augusta

Exhibition Dates: November 20 – December 19, 2019

Artist Talk and Opening Reception in the Danforth Gallery
Wednesday, November 20, 12 – 1 pm
– Refreshments will be served –

AUGUSTA – The sculptures and paintings of Wylie Garcia explore identity, gender, and emotional spaces through a visual language of curvilinear forms and bold colors that link her works across media. Garcia’s work has appeared in both solo and group exhibitions across the U.S. and she has held art residencies as far away as the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. She previously showed her work in a group exhibition in Maine in 2014, but Radical Softness is Garcia’s first solo exhibition in Maine. Garcia’s exhibition in UMA’s Danforth Gallery spans a decade of work, featuring her sculptural dresses of rich satins and gauze, subtle drawings in graphite and gouache, and recent monumental paintings resembling textiles and tapestries. This focused look at a decade of artistic practice demonstrates Garcia’s encompassing vision across media and her engagement with the personal as political.

The show gets its name from the quote by poet Lora Mathis, “Radical Softness as a Weapon.” Garcia purchased a shirt with the quote on it, and it has since become a part of her artmaking uniform. Mathis describes radical softness as “the idea that unapologetically sharing your emotions is…a way to combat the societal idea that feelings are a sign of weakness.” In relation to this exhibition and to her artmaking process, Garcia refers to the Mathis quote as “a reminder for me that I am strongest when I tap into my softness…when I give a voice to my vulnerability…[when I] connect to something beyond myself.” The nearly twenty works on view in the Danforth Gallery allow viewers to wander among what she calls “emotional landscapes […] of people and places and ideas that are dear to me and this moment in my life.”

Born and raised in Texas, Garcia now lives in Burlington, Vermont. She earned her BA at the University of Chicago and her MFA at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and in 2016 she won the yearly Barbara Smail Fellowship and Award from the Burlington City Arts. The same year, she won a Creation Grant from the Vermont Arts Council. She was recently awarded a prestigious Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant.

Photos courtesy of Wylie Garcia and ©Wylie Garcia
  1. Wylie Garcia, Flowers = Trust Your Instincts, 2019, acrylic on bleached cotton, 74″ x 56″

  2. Wylie Garcia, Chameleon, 2009, mixed media, 66″h x 18″w x 18″d

  3. Wylie Garcia, Her Body Bends Like A Tent on Fire, 2015, ink, graphite, and gouache on paper, 22″ x 30″

Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. 
Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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