Mended and Fragile by Terry Schupbach-Gordon

Artist Bio
I was born in 1952 and grew up in Kentucky. My BFA and MFA are both from Indiana University. I taught Printmaking and Book Arts at Kenyon College from 1979- 1983, and at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design from 1983- 1988. In 1988 I opened Catbird (on the Yadkin) Press with Toby Gordon in NC where we live and work today. I have been a printmaker since about 1972. I should tell you that my visual arts career is only part of what I do, and part of how I define myself as an artist, and person. I work also as a storyteller, puppeteer, co-director of Catbird Press, and as an advocate for disability issues. I was drawn to printmaking because of the expressive nature of its history. As a lover of poetry and a storytelling, I am naturally drawn to works that use both words and images. As a printmaker and book artist I work with images and language seen through the lens of disability and difference.

Artist Statement
My work addresses my effort to live gracefully within a body increasingly defined by disability. The lens of disability requires me to reject traditional notions of beauty, strength, independence, and fragility. I make prints that are intentionally beautiful and affirmative in their craft, and odd or atypical in their concept of beauty. My prints and book works are an attempt to re-imagine fragility and re-embrace a kind of strength that includes that fragility. I find beauty not in what our bodies determine and display, but rather in what we are able to hear when our bodies speak to us about who they are. We are fragile and mended and still we have strength. During COVID, I began cutting and piecing older works. This “repurposed” work, is for me a very familiar way to describe my body, always changing, always unfinished, always fragile, and always beautiful.

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