MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Memphis College of Art is eager to welcome artist Io Palmer as part of its ongoing Visiting Artist Lecture Series. Palmer’s presentation, which is sponsored by an AutoZone ArtsZone grant administered by ArtsMemphis, will take place on Thursday, Jan. 24, at 7:30 p.m. in the Callicott Auditorium (Rust Hall, Overton Park). The event is free and open to the public.
Palmer’s work also is featured in MCA’s concurrent exhibition, Singular Masses: An Examination of Racial Identity, which is part of the Black History Month series of events sponsored by an AutoZone ArtsZone grant administered by ArtsMemphis. The exhibition is on view Jan. 23 – March 9 at the Hyde Gallery, Nesin Graduate School, 477 S. Main.
Through depictions of cleaning products, laborers’ garments, and various other industrial and domestic forms, Palmer’s artworks explore complex issues of class, race and identity, in particular the impact society has on the individual. Trained originally as a ceramicist, Palmer uses a variety of processes and materials including metal, linen and drawing.
“I use drawing, photography, ceramics and fabric to produce conceptual objects and mixed-media installations that explore social culture,” explained Palmer in a statement. “Headdress, hair and uniform are tropes created to depict the tensions between the domains of the imagination and the public performances of identity. Most recently, in my practice, I have become interested in the tools and instruments related to labor and its relationship to public media influence and personal identity constructs.”
Palmer’s work has been featured in several national and international exhibitions, including shows at Reed College, Concordia University and Marylhurst University. Additionally, she has participated in several artist residencies including the Santa Fe Art Institute, Art Channel in Beijing and the Sanskriti Foundation in New Delhi. The artist holds a BFA from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and an MFA from the University of Arizona in Tucson. Palmer is currently assistant professor at Washington State University, Pullman.