Amy Stevens grew up in Arizona and New Mexico. She earned a BFA in Photography and a certificate in Women’s Studies from Arizona State University and a MFA in Photography from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia.
Stevens has participated in both group and solo shows in Seattle, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Montreal, Toronto, Ireland and China. Stevens has notably shown in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Delaware Art Museum, Photo LA, Photographic Center Northwest, Philadelphia International Airport, Maryland Art Place, The Center for Photography at Woodstock and Jen Bekman Gallery in New York. Amy’s work is part of the permanent photography collection at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
In the summer of 2010, Stevens completed an artist residency program in Roscommon, Ireland where she worked in a bakery, resulting in a new series of work, a group show and a publication. In Fall of 2010, Amy had a solo show in Philadelphia at Fleisher Art Memorial as part of the Fleisher Wind Challenge 2010 and was announced a winner of the Hey, Hot Shot! Photography competition. In November 2011, Amy traveled to China as an honored guest to exhibit in the Lishui International Photography Festival. Amy recently co-curated an international exchange show with a fellow artist in Ireland for an exhibition in Philadelphia of Irish work at the Center for Emerging Visual Artists in the Spring of 2012 and in Dublin this past summer for seven American artists to be shown in conjunction with PhotoIreland Festival.
The Confections Series began as a response to turning 30. It was a celebration of birthdays, color, pattern and obsessive absurdity. My original idea was to bake 30 birthday cakes for myself and photograph them. I didn't quite make it to 30 cakes in time for my first show, but I sure got a lot of ideas from those first cakes. I ordered a kit from Martha Stewart.com and watched an instructional video on decorating cakes. When I quickly discovered my cakes were never going to look like the ones in the video and the pamphlet, I decided they were better off in their exuberantly imperfect states.
Cakes are the centerpieces of celebrations and symbolic trophies evoking nostalgia and awe. Historically, cake has played a significant role in women's lives. Women have used cake as both an outlet of creativity and a symbol of female power politics. The woman who made the best cake held a certain power over the other women in the community, according to Sherrie Inness in Cooking Lessons: The Politics of Gender and Food.
In the ever-evolving constructions of these images over the past six years, I am commenting on cake as a rich cultural symbol as well as the domestic fantasy world of contemporary home decorating magazines and television shows. It's a fantasy world where entertaining, cooking and decorating unite. It's a place where one needs to have a beautiful home, decorated seasonally, in order to entertain friends with gourmet meals and elaborately concocted desserts.
My email subscription to Martha Stewart Craft of the Day has inspired much of the background props in the newer Confections (adorned) series. Most everything in these backgrounds are also handmade, with the exception of found antiques and fabric.
Flash Forward 2009, a Magenta Foundation publication showcasing 30 emerging photographers from each of Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Center for Emerging Visual Artists, Philadelphia, PA
Mew Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Inliquid, The Hall, Crane Arts Building, Philadelphia, PA
Terminal F, Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia, PA
Touch Museum, Philadelphia, PA
Temple University Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
The New Space Gallery, Portland, OR
BFA in Photography, Arizona State University
MFA in Photography, Tyler School of Art, Temple University.
Mand Marblestone Group LLC, Philadelphia, PA
Morris James, Hitchens & Williams, LLP, Wilmington, DE
Scott + Scott LLP, San Diego, CA.
Urban Outfitters blog, October 24, 2011
Luks, Joel. “Gift of Gift of 2011: Artists reflect on their recognition.” Culture Map Houston, September 11, 2011
Wasserman, Nadine. “The Commonwealth of Photography.” Pittsburgh City Paper, July 28, 2011
Shaw, Kurt. “Keystone. I Showcases Straightforward, Abstract of PennsylvaniaPhotographers.” Pittsburgh Tribune- Review June 29, 2011
Weil, Harry. “Conversations, 10 Questions: Amy Stevens.” On-Verge (online alternative art criticism) May 24, 2011
Please note: this is an abbreviated C.V. Please visit the artist's website for further information.