Travis Townsend

Artist Statement

Fresh from Travis's garage, new wooden (useless) vessel forms, some of which have been evolving for over a decade.

Sketched, built, carved, drawn-on, dis-assembled, rebuilt, painted, tethered, clamped, and tinkered-upon (memory-inducing?) studio-space-craft-vessel forms……………….sort of. Perhaps they are ruminations on the idea of an ark. Maybe they are beautiful. Made primarily from reclaimed materials, these process-oriented works take a winding path to completion, evolving from continuously redrawn sketches and traveling through many transformations before being cut apart, reassembled, and reworked. Parts are often transplanted, left behind, or recycled.

These sculptures play off the forms of tools, toys, and boats and have layers of mark-making and painting that contribute to the building of a vague "history". Curious inspection and patient observation reveal previously unseen drawings and room-like interiors, many with small chairs and ladders “left over” from previous inhabitants.

-- Travis Townsend


Travis Townsend studied at Kutztown University and Virginia Commonwealth University (MFA, 2000) and has presented solo exhibitions at The Parachute Factory, Washington State University, Manifest Gallery (Cincinnati), Bloomsburg University (PA), Doppler PDX (Portland), the Southwest School of Art (San Antonio), Weston Gallery (Cincinnati), and the New Arts Program (PA). His work has been included in over 100 group exhibitions and appeared in the publications New American Paintings, The Manifest International Drawing Annual, and The Penland Book of Woodworking.

Travis has been a resident artist at Oregon College of Art and Craft, Penland School of Crafts, The Vermont Studio Center, and Peters Valley School of Craft, and his awards include an Emerging Artist Grant from the American Craft Council, a fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council, three sculpture grants from the Virginia A. Groot Foundation, and recent professional development travel grants from the Great Meadows Foundation.

He lives in Lexington, KY and teaches drawing, concepts, and criticism at Eastern Kentucky University. Ongoing projects include collaborative sculptures, drawings, and installations with the SmithTownsendCollaborative.