IN CONVERSATION: Leigh Suggs + Asa Jackson
Opening Reception with the Artists
Friday, September 16
6 to 8 PM
This series of exhibitions is about starting a conversation – between two artists, and with the viewer. We invited an artist partner to ask another artist that inspires them to exhibit their work together. In Conversation captures the exchange between two practicing artists that illuminates the parallels they recognize in their work and beyond. As artists working with paper and fiber, respectively, Leigh Suggs and Asa Jackson share a kinship in process and labor, as well as endurance and commitment. Their deliberate use of the line and distortion of the grid creates tactile works that feel grounded and familiar.
Leigh and Asa created work for this show that focuses on the cycle of loss and birth. While each artist is on the opposite side of this cycle in their personal lives, they find common ground in discussing and exploring spirituality and all the ways one finds balance in this life.
Akin to their interlaced approach to material and composition, all stories are connected; new ones woven from the threads of old.
Detail of LEIGH SUGGS, Stepping into the Same River Twice, 2022, handcut, acrylic on Yupo paper, 11 x 14.5 inches. (Above)
Detail of ASA JACKSON, Hydrogen Dioxide, 2022, mud cloth, cotton t-shirt, ink, 11 x 13 inches. (Below)
Lives and works in Richmond, VA
(b. 1981, American)
Leigh Suggs channels her fascination with the mystery and psychology of sight through cut paper works and large-scale installations. She obscures normal perception, manipulating her materials as if optical illusions. Born in Boone, North Carolina, she received her BFA from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2003 and her MFA from the Virginia Commonwealth University in 2015. She has exhibited her work extensively, including exhibitions at The Visual Arts Center in Richmond, VA, Penland Gallery, Minnesota State University, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Racine Art Museum, Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh, NC, and the Weatherspoon Museum in Greensboro, NC. Suggs has been awarded several grants and honors, including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship Award, the North Carolina Fellowship Award and two City of Richmond CultureWorks Grants. Her work is a part of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and Weatherspoon Museum collections and corporate collections, including the Federal Reserve Bank, Capital One, Markel Corporation, Suntrust Bank and Fidelity Investments.
Lives and works in Hampton Roads, VA
(b. 1988, American)
Asa Jackson is a visual artist, curator, and director. As a multidisciplinary artist, Jackson’s work explores the cross section of textile from various countries, peoples, time periods, and personal histories. His works are often anthropological studies, representing the lives of myriad people, their collective and individual stories. By cutting and sewing fabrics together, Jackson metaphorically mixes cultures, time periods, people and places into unified works of art. After graduating from Hampton Roads Academy, where he developed a passion for painting and art making, Jackson studied sociology at Boston University. He then moved to New York in 2010, where he was featured in several exhibitions, including a career-defining solo exhibition at the Samuel Owen Gallery in Greenwich, CT. Jackson then opened 670 Gallery in Virginia, leading the gallery as its director from 2014-2017. He has since been featured in numerous exhibitions, including more recently at 1708 Gallery in Richmond, VA and The Arlington Arts Center in Arlington, VA. His work is a part of various prominent collections including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts,the Capital One Corporate Collection, and the Hascoe Family Collection. Jackson is the founder and director of The Contemporary Arts Network LLC and CAN Foundation, a not-for-profit arts organization in Newport News, VA, with a focus on artist development, arts education, and public projects. He currently serves on the boards of the Virginia Commission for the Arts and Mid-Atlantic Arts.
The Virginia-based artists opened their studio doors for a quick preview of their practice. Video footage of Asa Jackson by Termaine Etheridge. Video footage of Leigh Suggs by Page Ryland. Editing by Page Ryland.