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Sculpture by Trish Tillman in Group Exhibition: The Planter Show at Fort Makers, NYC

Fort Makers presents The Planter Show

The Artist-Run Design Studio Transforms Its New York Gallery  into a Greenhouse Featuring 40+ Sculptures by 40 Artists and Designers

On View September 25–November 19, 2020

Opening Hours by Appointment: 2-8pm

(NEW YORK, NY — MARCH 30, 2020) — Fort Makers is pleased to present The Planter Show, a group exhibition of sculptural planters, flower pots, and abstract containers in which plant life can grow, created by 40 contemporary artists and designers. Featuring over 40 works, the exhibition stems from humanity’s enduring effort to establish meaningful, nondestructive relationships with the natural world, and examines the power of the vessel as a sacred container and conceptual metaphor.

For The Planter Show, Fort Makers invited artists to mine various traditions and anomalies—from pre-Columbian Mesoamerican pottery to the more contemporary Chia Pet—and create sculptures that hold and sustain plant life. Each sculpture is approached holistically so that the planters and their corresponding plants compliment and complete each other—one part finite, the other living, wild and ever-changing. “As many artists have historically toyed with chance in their art-making, artists here add life as an unpredictable element in their work.” says Fort Makers Co-Founder and Creative Director Nana Spears.

All sculptures will hold plants sourced in partnership with neighboring nursery and gardening store, Dahing Plants. The plants will be cared for by local plant doctor and consultant Maryah Greene, who will additionally host a virtual “Planting 101” workshop at Fort Makers.

“The exhibition is grounded in the personification of the vessel and the life form it houses as a single entity. Each planter is an idolized expression of our love for nature, and becomes a unique face with a tidy haircut or a wild beast with an unruly mane,” Spears continues. “Earlier this year, as we retreated into the privacy of our homes, many found themselves alienated from nature and newly tethered to domestic space. In our moment of seclusion, our plant collections become landscapes—each fern, palm, and succulent a sacred intermediary to the outside world.”

“A symbiotic relationship forms,” says Fort Makers Co-Founder Noah Spencer. “The plants purify the air, alleviate stress, and provide a mental escape, while we care for them, water them, and prune them. We may even sing to our plants, animate them, and consider them companions or friends.”

Participating artists include Simone Bodmer-Turner, BNAG (Oliver-Selim Boualam & Lukas Marstaller), Body Language Shop (Jackie Zdrojeski), Emilia Brintnall, Myagmarsuren Brown, Laura Chautin, Nicole Cherubini, Naomi Clark, Lauren Elder, Future Retrieval (Katie Parker & Guy Michael Davis), Joanne Greenbaum, Paula Greif, Samuel Harvey, Cody Hoyt, Elisabeth Kley, Janie Korn, Jessi Li, Rebecca Morgan, Harry Nuriev, William J. O'Brien, Diego Olivero, Scott Reeder, Tamika Rivera, Didi Rojas, Bruce Sherman, Keith Simpson, Farrah Sit & Joel Seigle, Noah Spencer, Joe Sturm, Shino Takeda, Astrid Terrazas, Trish Tillman, Kukuli Velarde & Doug Herron, Hana Ward, Ivy Weinglass, and Arnie Zimmerman.

In seeking to diminish widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in New York City, Fort Makers and The Planter Show will be open to the public by appointment-only, and will necessarily modify its viewing standards in accordance with the social distancing regulations in place during the exhibition’s public dates. Allowing for multiple viewing perspectives and methods of engagement, Fort Makers will capitalize on its storefront windows in the exhibition’s design, and further augment The Planter Show with an online viewing room and web shop. Plan your visit today!

KEITH SIMPSON is an eclectic artist and maker of ceramics. He holds a BFA in ceramics from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from Ohio State University. Simpson currently lives in Alfred, New York, where he serves as an Adjunct Professor and Raw Materials Technical Specialist for the Department of Ceramic Art at Alfred University. He has been an Artist-in-Residence at the Archie Bray Foundation and the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and has exhibited with Fort Makers since 2015.

FORT MAKERS is a New York-based design studio with a multidisciplinary approach. They offer exclusive, original collections of furniture, lighting, and objects, as well as artist collaborations, partnerships, interiors, and stage design. Founded in 2008 by Nana Spears, Noah Spencer, and Naomi Clark, Fort Makers also includes artisans Jane D'Arensbourg, Jason Bauer, Romina Gonzales, Tamika Rivera, Keith Simpson, and Shino Takeda. By connecting artists across disciplines and identifying commonality in their practices, Fort Makers grows its community to create the unexpected. In September 2019, Fort Makers opened its first exhibition space and concept store at 38 Orchard Street in Manhattan. The gallery will transform every six to eight weeks with an immersive installation curated by Founder and Creative Director Nana Spears.

Fort Makers
38 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002


Left to Right: Untitled work by Kukuli Velarde & Doug Herron. Didi Rojas, Had to do it to them, 2020. Simone Bodmer-Turner, Planter I, 2020. Trish Tillman, Companions (Orange, Green), 2019. Untitled work by Jessi Li. Photo: Joe Kramm. Courtesy of the artists and Fort Makers.