Wade into an unfathomable world, a realm of ineffable shapes and kaleidoscopic colors. Stroll by a shore where pools collect animals that defy their own origins, or hike along a forest path crisscrossed by fallen tress that make up their own universes. Amy’s new work is a wonder of organic shapes and a fantasy of dazzling color. Born in 1992, Amy Reader taught herself to sew at the age of 6 by watching VHS tapes, creating fashion lines for her beloved stuffed animals. As she matured, so did her artistic ambitions. First she took up drawing, then painting, learning first from library books, then eventually taking art classes in school. “My first passion was capturing the delicate beauty of flowers in every media I could get my hands on.” Yet through it all her passion for sewing persisted. Finally her passions merged, in college at the University of Richmond (2011-2015) studying Studio Art. “I adopted a method wherein fibers and threads assumed the qualities and characteristics of paint.” This harmonious fusion gave birth to a singular artistic focus. Her new work, Beneath the Surface, is the most complete synthesis of the two poles of her passion. Using materials such as embroidery floss, yarn, felt, beads, and sequins, Amy meticulously assembles each piece by hand, employing traditional techniques, such as couch stitching, standing wool rug making, needle felting, and beadwork, to create unique textures, patterns and designs. Stitches are a language in themselves, each one recording the moment spent working on a piece, much like tree rings document a tree's growth. Stitches, intentionally left visible, report a record of the work's creation, tantalizing the viewer to delve into the hidden world that exists beneath the surface. Most prominent in this new work is the felting that creates some of the most dramatic shapes. Columns of needle felted bells rise up from the backdrop seemingly straining for connection. Like bizarrely-colored tide pool sponges, they lift their gaping oscula toward a distant surface, grasping for light, for air, for understanding of the unknowable. Perniciously pigmented fungi devour a detritus of woodland rubble in a fantastic forest of the imagination. Wet felted blobs, like stone cacti, bubble up from a dazzling desert strewn with shiny pebbles and sands of embroidery. Her creative vision invites you to draw closer and embark on a sensory voyage of exploration. Traverse the meticulously constructed intricate landscapes. Allow yourself to be enveloped in a serenity that emanates from the surface and penetrates deep within. Uncover the hidden beauty that lies beneath the veil of ordinary perception, and may you find solace, wonder, and tranquility in the delicate tapestry of her artistry. The natural world is her inspiration. “The moments of joy and delight that I experience during hikes and visits to the beach are a recurring theme in my art, imbuing it with the surprise, awe, and wonder nature delivers to us, inviting us to come closer.” “My ultimate artistic goal is to convey a sense of calm and stillness, inviting the viewer to immerse themselves in my creations and transport themselves to a place of tranquility and serenity.” So come closer, embark on this journey of exploration, and uncover the hidden beauty that lies beneath the surface. Amy Reader is an accomplished fiber and installation artist. Over the past 8 years, her work has received international acclaim, including a collaborative crochet installation that she facilitated in 2015 and a permanent sculpture she built in the Amazon Rainforest during an artist residency in 2016. From 2016 to 2018, she worked as a Display Artist at Anthropologie, creating the famed large-scale installations and window displays that draw much attention and admiration. Her art has been featured in numerous media outlets, including local news segments like Wilson's World on WCCB and the art blog Brown Paper Bag.