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Sara Garden Armstrong

Sara Garden Armstrong: Layered Scapes February 11 – March 11, 2023 Installation View with artist at Steffany Martz, ONWARD Series 49 East 78th Street, Suite 2B, New York, NY 10075 photo credit: George Kondogianis

Sara Garden Armstrong is a visual artist whose decades-long practice embraces a wide range of scales and techniques, from large site-specific sculpture to artist’s books. Lyrical, nature-based biomorphic abstraction characterizes the work, focusing on life processes and systems. It addresses organic change and transformation, while exploring properties of materials. Breathing is a major concern, as are mechanical support systems of the body. Other recurrent themes are water and time, with its elements of decay, chance, and shifts of reality.

Recent atrium commissions have focused on scientific phenomena and their interactions with the human condition such as the installation for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Alabama-Mississippi Chapter, at the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) Medical Center. A past recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation CALL (Creating a Living Legacy) grant through Space One Eleven, Armstrong has exhibited nationally and internationally for over 40 years. Her artist’s books can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, among others.

The monograph SARA GARDEN ARMSTRONG: Threads and Layers, published in 2020, reveals the influences and concepts that run through her diverse body of work. It coincides with a traveling exhibition of the same name, incorporating site-specific work. The exhibition made its final stop at the Gadsden Museum of Art, January 2023. The Museum published a catalog documenting the history of the exhibition.

Armstrong received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Alabama and a Master of Art Education from UAB. After living in New York City for 36 years, in 2017 she returned to Birmingham, where she currently lives and works. She has recently received the 2022 Artist of the Year Award from the Birmingham Museum of Art Collectors Circle. Find her on Instagram.

Layered Scape 9, 2021 Acrylic and pigmented fiber on canvas 48” x 60” photo credit: George Kondogianis
Sara Garden Armstrong: Layered Scapes Installation View photo credit: George Kondogianis
Sentient Matrix, installed 2014, Abaca and kozo paper fiber, acrylic, gel medium, programmable light-emitting diodes, microcontroller, aluminum, stainless steel, and PVC. Approx. 16’ x 20′ x 21′ Photo credit: Hugh Hunter
SARA GARDEN ARMSTRONG: Threads and Layers Gadsden Museum of Art November 4, 2022 – January 26, 2023 Artwork in Image: Abaca Wall Backs 1 – 4 Sprayed abaca forms, plastic hoses, incandescent lights 24” x 98” x 12” Photo credit: Savannah Lowery
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  1. […] Sara Garden Armstrong chatted with us about her show, Layered Scapes, which ran from February 11 to March 11 as the final exhibition of the ONWARD series presented by Steffany Martz. One thing to note about the works is that they are not exactly paintings. Armstrong uses banana fiber and acrylic, staining and pouring on the fibers, letting them dry – which yields different colors every time, peeling off some and putting fibers back in. She achieves what she refers to as “ghost layers” to create each work. To hear more, listen to the complete interview. […]


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