Emily Fussner: Even a Parking Lot is Beautiful at Dawn

On View: June 19 - August 28, 2021

Wyatt Resident Artists Gallery

Final Day and Extended Gallery Hours: Saturday, August 28, 12pm – 8pm

Even a Parking Lot is Beautiful at Dawn includes new work made by AAC resident artist Emily Fussner over the last year. Fussner casts cracks in parking lots, filling them with wet paper pulp and letting it dry before removing the form. During this time, the work becomes part of the environment. Cars drive over it, condensing and strengthening it. Passersby may notice the unexpected gesture in an otherwise unassuming landscape, highlighting a fracture they wouldn’t have otherwise noticed.   

Fussner has an intimate relationship with fracture and healing, born from her experience living with the rare brittle bone condition Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI). Her work reflects an embodied affinity with Kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending broken ceramics with gold. She uses handmade paper because it is fragile and yet surprisingly resilient – not unlike the human body.

In this exhibition, Fussner presents several iterations of work made through this casting process. The cast paper forms that she removes from the cracks act as a relic of a specific fracture. Suspended to accentuate their dimensionality, the forms evoke a skeleton, an aerial map, or, as the artist explains “a scar that can cast a shadow.” More recently, Fussner has begun tracing the shadows of these forms in gold onto abaca paper she made. The abaca paper is translucent, like skin, and the lines shift from vibrant gold to dark shadow, depending on the viewer’s perspective. 

About the Artist

Emily Fussner is a multidisciplinary artist whose work highlights peripheral patterns in everyday spaces and explores questions of transience and presence, fragility and strength, perception and care. Fussner grew up in Indonesia, Indiana, and New Zealand before settling in the Washington, DC area.  She earned an MFA from George Mason University, during which she was awarded a 2018-2019 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Graduate Fellowship and participated in American University’s MFA Studio Berlin summer residency at GlogauAIR. She has exhibited in group shows regionally and abroad, and had her first solo exhibition in Washington, DC in 2019 at IA&A at Hillyer. She works in arts administration, occasionally teaches, and is a resident artist at Arlington Arts Center.


Artist Talk with Emily Fussner: Saturday / July 10 / 2pm

Artist Talk with Emily Fussner: Saturday / August 14 / 2pm

The talks will be held in person at Arlington Arts Center in the Wyatt Resident Artists Gallery. The talks are free but capacity will be limited and registration is required. Visitors are required to wear masks in AAC’s galleries, including during the talk. Click on the event links above to register.

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