Ash Garner – THECOLORG (b. 1991, Central PA) is a millennial feminine queer interdisciplinary artist based in Philadelphia, PA. She holds an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and a BFA from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.
“Stuffed animals and soft objects are intertwined with my family history and childhood home. Teddy bears and stuffed decorative objects made by my memaw and great aunt line the shelves of my mom’s hutches, and throughout my childhood stuffed animals were my source of inspiration and play. My connection with soft objects has become a way for me to express my concerns and ideas through visual and tactile symbology.
I create soft sculpture, plush, site-specific installations, photographs, and video that bridge my childhood and adulthood experiences to challenge binaries, bias, and societal expectations of bodies, labor, and consumption. My work reckons with my upbringing within a religious rural Americana and deconstructs learned perceptions creating space for conversations about autonomy, accessibility, expression, resistance, and acknowledges the rural as a place of contemporary art and culture. My intent is to create pieces that interrupt expectations of a place, thing, or idea and consider ways to be more aware of actions and their impact."
THECOLORG has been exhibited at museums, galleries, and institutions that include Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center - In Association with the Smithsonian Institution, Solomons, MD; Payne Gallery - Moravian University, Bethlehem, PA; Lycoming College Gallery, Williamsport, PA; Atelier FAS Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA; Cherry Street Pier, Philadelphia, PA; Point Park University, Pittsburgh, PA; Westin Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA; Framehouse and Jask Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA; The Brewhouse Association, Pittsburgh, PA; Fusion Atelier, Brookville, PA; Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Edinboro, PA; and the Erie Art Museum, Erie, PA. In 2021, THECOLORG attended Chautauqua Visual Arts Residency and a residency at the Studios at MASS MoCA funded by a PAFA Fellowship. She is a member of Philadelphia Sculptors in Philadelphia, PA where she creates and supports platforms to amplify voices of local and visiting artists. Her current project "MOO-D" has been generously funded by The Puffin Foundation through their 2022 artist grant cycle.