#59: Ashley Frazier
Ashley Frazier is all RedLine, all the time, continuing in her role as the art venue’s events manager while, as an artist, embarking on a two-year residency there this fall. In her own work, she evokes the ephemeral passage of time, using such unusual mediums as human hair. Learn how Frazier travels between these two worlds — one fast-paced and the other deliberately slow — in her answers to the 100CC questionnaire.
Ashley Frazier, "Untitled," human and artificial hair, 2016
Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be and why?
Ashley Frazier: Ken Feingold has been one of my favorite artists for a while now. I think time is still trying to catch up to his work. He often creates animatronic heads which communicate using text to speak software. The implications of A.I. have an interesting relationship to the human condition, especially in context with emerging technology. I find his work to be alluring, melancholy and a bit disturbing, but overall just brilliant. Given the opportunity to collaborate, I know I would learn a lot, and then some.
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
My soon-to-be-five-year-old niece is one of the first who comes to mind. She has so much creative energy and is so excited about everything. She has developed this unique style for drawing figures, and at times I can tell she sees the world around us as a totally different place.
Ashley Frazier, "Emerald City," Concrete and glass, 2016
What's one art trend you want to see die this year?
I’m not sure if this would be considered a trend, but I feel that art often comes with some notion of competition, especially in schools. I think it would be more beneficial for artists to consider every other artist to be a support system and an ally. Competition differs from motivation and inspiration. I think drive comes from within.
What's your day job?
I am very lucky to be working at my favorite place in Denver surrounded by so many creatives. I am the events manager at RedLine Contemporary Art Center. It’s more of a day/night job.
A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?
First, I would help out my family and move into a house with a yard, so I could have a garden (and a puppy!). Opening an eco-friendly, self-sustainable artist residency would be at the top of the list – probably somewhere in the mountains, surrounded by nature. Additionally, I would offer endowments to all of the current institutions supporting artists.
Ashley Frazier, "01.03.2014," human hair and acrylic, 2014.
Denver (or Colorado), love it or leave it? What keeps you here — or makes you want to leave?
I love Colorado! I am a Colorado native and really enjoy all the sunshine. The only time I think about leaving is in the winter. I grew up in Littleton with a lot of support and exposure to the arts. It’s great to travel and visit other places, but I always enjoy coming back; it really is my home.
What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?
It has been tough witnessing galleries slowly close their doors around Denver. Being a collaborative member of Ice Cube Gallery, we experienced this firsthand when our space on Walnut closed this past June. Luckily, Concept, a new artist compound, will be opening early next year in Commerce City, which will house Ice Cube’s new space. I would love to see more affordable opportunities for artists to continue to work and exhibit in Denver. Spaces such as RedLine and the Temple are so valuable and provide such great opportunities. It would be great to see more.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative? (This can be anyone working in Colorado.)
I had the most fortunate opportunity to study painting at Metro State University with Carlos Fresquez — probably the most influential person in shaping my path as an artist. He really brought to the forefront, in his teaching, that artists should be socially responsive and involved with their communities, and that art really has the power to create positive change, internally as well as externally. Louise Martorano, executive director of RedLine, is another creative I can’t go without mentioning. She hired me on at RedLine and has been a large influence on my professional and creative development. I really admire her endless efforts to support local artists.
Ashley Frazier, "Evap 1," walnut ink, 2016.
What's on your agenda in the coming year?
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I am really excited to be coordinating this year’s BYOB (Bring Your Own Beamer) event taking place October 28 at RedLine’s annual One Square Foot. BYOB, originally created by Rafaël Rozendaal, is a one-night group exhibition hosting artists and their projectors. Also, I have just started my first year as a resident at RedLine. I will be focusing on having as much studio time as possible to create new works while participating in community-outreach programs.
Who do you think will get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?
Michael Sperandeo has a process and aesthetic that is so unique. His focus is on storytelling, which is often portrayed through the use of symbolism and mythology. He has been working with 3-D programming software and will be making some interesting strides in the next year with virtual reality.
Learn more about Ashley Frazier online.