Artistic Discipline: Fibers, Social Practice

“The work I do reflects attention to my own handwork, but my studio practice is also infused with a social practice that orchestrates handwork of disadvantaged individuals, or of participating community members through public interventions that seek to socially engage the hands of many to create a larger whole.”

Ann Morton is a member of the 2016 AZ Creative Aging Teaching Artist Institute cohort.

annmortonAfter a professional career as a graphic/environmental graphic designer spanning nearly 35 years, Ann Morton returned to Arizona State University to receive her Master of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Fibers in 2012. Currently, Morton practices as an artist and teacher at ASU and Paradise Valley Community College. Her work has shown nationally and internationally. Her long-term work, The Collective Cover Project, was selected in the juror’s top five in the 3D category at ArtPrize 2012 and awarded the OxBow Residency. Most recently, the Collective Cover Project was exhibited from September of 2015 through January of 2016 along with new work in a solo exhibition at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft titled “What Happened Today?” In 2012, the social enterprise called Street Gems was initiated, engaging individuals who have experienced chronic homelessness to make jewelry and flowers from discarded plastic. Street Gems was featured in a full length article in the Arizona Republic in March of 2013 and a finalist for the Arizona Commission on the Arts Art Tank Award in 2015.

In December of 2013, Morton instigated the public art project Ground Cover, commissioned by the City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. An estimated 600 volunteer makers from 22 US states and Canada made 300 blankets that, when installed, created a colossal image of desert flowers. The blankets were then distributed to the homeless community in Arizona. Ground Cover was selected as one of 37 national winners by the Americans for the Arts, Public Arts in Review for 2014, received the Arizona Forward Crescordia award in 2014, and was awarded Best of Show in the international Surface Design Association exhibition in October of 2015, juried and curated by Namita Gupta Wiggers.

Morton was recently awarded a public art residency by the City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture at the 27th Avenue Waste Treatment Facility where she will be exploring the waste cycle process and using discarded materials from the site to make a new body of work in 2016.



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