Allison Roberts is a mixed media artist using a range of visual art techniques to convey her concept driven work. Roberts is an MFA candidate at the University of Wisconsin–Madison where her work has broadened to encompass sculpture, photography, and projection art. She holds a BA in art and journalism from Indiana University–Bloomington (1988) and an Art Education certificate from UW–Madison (1992). Roberts continued to develop her artwork while teaching and moving internationally, exhibiting her artwork in the U.S. and the U.K. She completed a MA in studio art at Minnesota State University, Mankato (2013). Roberts has successfully pursued grants and exhibition opportunities, including a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant (2014) and two Jerome Fiber Artists Project Grants (2014, 2009). Roberts was accepted into the MFA program at University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2014 where she continues to exhibit her work separate from her academic program. Roberts’s work was selected for two Awards of Excellence at the Carnegie Art Center Juried Exhibition, MN (2015, 2014) and for the 1st Juried International Surface Design Association exhibition held at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, TN (2015). She was awarded a competitive Teaching Assistant position for 2015-16, and 2016-17.
Absence, loss, and memory are explored through the lens of the “home” and the domestic in my work: the sudden shift in coherency; the fine line of distinction between trace and presence; the fragile strength of the remnant.
“Home,” whether a representational form or an identifiable concept, is laden with expectations and connotations, a sense of security, comfort, and grounding. My work explores how that sense is altered and the ways in which nostalgia transforms into preservation when the expectations are suddenly, and without personal control, changed. The loss revealing a desire for and questioning of place, both emotional and physical.
Nested within “home” are discrete objects that have their own distinct purpose and narrative. These objects become vessels, absorbing and holding memory, conversations, reactions, and emotions just as the actual structure of “home” does. They become evocative artifacts and impermanent remnants, maintaining value through nostalgia. The preservation of these fragile vessels takes on a new perceived importance: the embodiment of identity and a past, a link to a fading presence.