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July 6 - 23

Spotlight Series:

Anna Showers-Cruser

Tender Pairs

re-imagines materials integral to a few perceived binary qualities


In our second Spotlight Series, Alma's welcomes Anna Showers-Cruser to the space with a new series of experimental works. This presentation titled “Tender Pairs” re-imagines materials integral to a few perceived binary qualities: soft/hard, organic/synthetic, and decorative/useful. Objects and medicinal herbs embedded in the works correspond to those the artist has collected during a period of mending, minding, and tending. In the spirit of odd couples, tiling grout and window caulk are reimagined as delicate companions to ceramics and handmade paper. 

"Tender Pairs" focus on richly textured forms in both synthetic and regional earthenware clay bodies, with resin accents revealing image transfers of original drawings and photographs of medicinal plants in the area (rightfully Powhatan land) researched for neuro-emotional health. Offered alongside these vertically mounted and suspended works are selections from the ongoing series “Hardwares”, a series of accessible, intimate, and meditative objects. Humble in their materials, they imagine an object archive of unabashed non-binary neurodivergent southern hospitality, including cosmetic and pastry supplies. A limited-edition risograph print is available to exhibition visitors with donations to benefit Health Brigade.

Anna Showers-Cruser (they/them pronouns, b.1988 on rightfully 
Powhatan land) works across object-making traditions in order to propose hybrid and humble alternatives to hegemonic binaries: sick/well, body/object, and feminine/masculine. Recent works imagine a contemporary abstract lexicon while reflecting their roots in southern DIY craft. Queerness, humor, herbalism, hospitality, and materialities of “invisible” disability are intrinsic to their work. ASC is a 3Arts grant recipient and was a 2017-18 HATCH artist-in-residence at the Chicago Artists Coalition. They were featured in the South Bend Museum of Art’s Biennial 31 in 2021. Recent solo exhibitions include “Soft Hardwares” at Monaco Gallery in St. Louis, and the commissioned installation “Aerial Parts” for Buddy Chicago at the Chicago Cultural Center in 2021. With roots in the Blue Ridge Mountains, they hold an MFA from the University of Chicago, and a BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art.