POLARIS: Traci Wright Martin Solo Exhibit
Closing Reception October 27
Event Types: Visual Arts
Sep 22, 2023 5:00 PM — Oct 27, 2023 5:00 PM
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POLARIS: NEW WORKS BY TRACI WRIGHT MARTIN
Traci Wright Martin is an internationally award-winning charcoal and mixed media artist residing in Greenville, South Carolina. She shares "The Bank Building Studios," an arts hub in The Village of West Greenville, with Barbara Castańeda, Fotini Christophillis, and Jess Stone. The overall narrative in Martin's portrait and figurative work addresses the idea of representation, weaving contemporary realism with abstract design elements. Her pioneering approach to mixed media utilizes charcoal as the foundation and brings in endless combinations of paint, patterned paper collage and other experimental techniques to the finished design. The primary thematic focus in Martin's recent work is the legacy and evolving tradition of women in art history. After graduating with a BA in Art from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, she spent her early career showing extensively in the Oklahoma and Texas art scenes, with artist residencies in Oklahoma, Arizona and Alaska. Solo and group shows have included the Oklahoma State Capitol gallery, Oklahoma Contemporary, IAO Gallery, 33 Contemporary Gallery in Chicago, the Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art, Brookgreen Gardens Museum, and both the Equity Gallery and the Salmagundi Club in New York City. She has received numerous awards and top accolades in international, national and regional juried shows, claiming more than a dozen “Best in Show” titles. Martin’s work has been featured in a number of publications including Fine Art Connoisseur, Artist's Network: Best of Drawing, American Art Collector, International Artist, Pastel Journal, New Visionary Artist Magazine, and a selection of titles for PoetsArtists. Her work has found its way to both private and public collections in over 28 states and 5 countries.Martin's work has been curated into the Polaris Collection by Dr. Samuel Peralta as part of The Lunar Codex, a trio of permanent time capsules to reside on the moon, set to launch in 2023 and 2024. This comprehensive project is the first to send the artwork of women to the moon.
My artwork will permanently live on the moon. It still seems like such a wild and surreal statement, but one that brings immense pride. Being a part of the Lunar Codex is an incredible honor. When I found out the details of my involvement in the Codex, I was struck by the name of the collection in the capsule that would house all 19 of my pieces chosen to be a part of it. “Polaris.” The North Star. The point in the sky that has offered direction to humanity since the beginning. A symbol for guidance, constancy, stability. In many cultures throughout the world, it represents hope and purpose and freedom in one’s journey. In the very nature of these ideas, I found great inspiration to explore and document this specific time in my own life. An artists’ work is, by its very nature, autobiographical, but this project is a layered and special one for me. In the exhibition, you’ll see a body of work that has some overlap and a few ties to the 19 pieces chosen for the Codex. There are models that are chosen to appear again in this new series, providing a kind of visual quotation. There is a revisiting and a reinterpretation of some motifs and content while bringing in lunar and celestial themes. The overarching narrative in my “Polaris” solo show is a celebration of the journey my work will take and the journey it has already taken… both literally and figuratively. As an artist who works in a combination of realism and abstraction, I have included both in my conceptual design elements. I have produced visual studies in different levels of context and in the idea of one’s own “North Star.” I want to create a point of connection and an interesting visual story for my viewer. I hope that they find an energy and celebration for exploration, both inward to the individual journey of the self and outward in the collective mission to further understand our shared universe. -Traci Wright Martin