Kathleen Studebaker is a multi-media sculptor working in wood, metal, cast plastic and a variety of other materials. She holds an MFA in sculpture from Southern Illinois University and currently resides in Philadelphia. Studebaker is a fabricator and all-around tinkerer, and has developed a broad knowledge-base of material processes through her work in many different shops (from all-glass furniture and elaborate corporate trophies, to traditional woodworking and academia). She has a great love of detailed fabrication and problem-solving, and makes every element of each of her works by hand.
Her work often references the far-flung future, or perhaps alternate realities, and is inspired by astronomy, narrative fantasy, and the intersection of digital technology with mechanical function. This show stretches across two bodies of work, though both relate to the idea that the universe offers infinite stories to be told. The three vine-like sculptures are a part of a larger installation entitled “The WasteLand,” which locates the viewer inside a museum of the ancient-future. Vines and machines are connected by an internal narrative that dictates much of the work’s content. The “AstroObjects” are her newest work. They are machines of unknown purpose, aesthetically inspired by antique celestial navigation tools or laboratory equipment. They are fantastical objects aimed at sparking the viewer’s imagination, and are also an exploration of the interplay between fine art and craft.