Sarah Atlee

After 20 years as a professional painter, Sarah Atlee pivoted to focus on quilting as her primary art form. Atlee is known for her colorful and geometric compositions, rich with energy and free-form texture. Using improvisational patchwork and reclaimed textiles, Atlee creates mindful, joyful quilts that are at home on both art gallery walls and your cozy couch. Visitors are always welcome at sarahatlee.com.

I am at a critical juncture in my art practice. For many years I have built a career on painting, exploring a variety of abstract and realist techniques. After getting stuck in a painting rut, I have shifted my focus to fiber art, quilting in particular. I now dedicate my full-time studio practice to exploring quilting as an art form.

Working with found, reclaimed, and donated fabrics is crucial to my practice. I source materials from what is around me – discarded clothing or other textiles, local thrift store finds, even antique market bargains. My experience using donated fabrics has taught me that even the unlikeliest materials can work together, if you’re willing to be surprised. In this way I can keep fabric out of the landfill while breaking down barriers around traditional expectations of quilting and fine art. By practicing an ancient art born of necessity, I connect with our shared past while reflecting on self-sufficiency in consumer culture.


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Memory is like paper – every recollection creates a new fold that changes its structure forever. We fold our memories over and over, each time moving further from the original experience. I use the acts of drawing and painting to encode memory and emotion using the visual language of color, shape, and texture.


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Sarah Atlee is a paint-slinging, steak-chewing, kombucha-sipping, sushi-chomping, yoga-pantsing, sketchbook-doodling visual artist in Austin, Texas. Her pictures have been exhibited across the United States, including New York City, Santa Fe, Phoenix, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, and Dallas. She does not use an alarm clock.


Solo Exhibitions

Just Around the Corner [Artspace] at Untitled, Oklahoma City, 2017

Still Life Magnolias Sous le Pont, Dallas, 2016

Wyld Flowerz STASH, Norman, Oklahoma, 2015

The Jennifer Rooms aka gallery, Oklahoma City, 2014

Delish! Paintings of Food and Drink  Broadway Wine Merchants, Oklahoma City, 2013

Figure & Ground aka gallery, Oklahoma City, 2011

Heavens to Betsy aka gallery, Oklahoma City, 2010

Back to Normal: Normal, OK Revisited  Oklahoma Heritage Association’s Gaylord-Pickens Museum, 
Oklahoma City, 2009

Idiolect: Personal Visual Vocabulary  aka gallery, Oklahoma City, 2008

Innovandi (adoratonis parati nupri ut eos adametis)  aka gallery, Oklahoma City, 2007

Surprise!  Riney Fine Arts Center, Friends University, Wichita, Kansas, 2007

Pictures Tell Stories Midwest City Library, Oklahoma City, 2006

Sweet II MFA Thesis Exhibition, Bevier Gallery, Rochester, New York, 2005  
Wallace Memorial Library Purchase Prize

Game Room A\V Space, Rochester, New York, 2005

Sweet  Deano’s Vino, Indianapolis, Indiana, 2003

Since Then Artist’s Row Gallery, Bloomington, Indiana, 2002

Actual Size BFA Honors Thesis Exhibition, University of New Mexico, 2001

_____ day of my life ASA Gallery, University of New Mexico, 2000

 

2 & 3 Person Exhibitions

Embrace  Residency and exhibition in collaboration with randall barnes, Current Studio, Oklahoma City, 2017

For Real With James Zamora, Ro2 Art and Ro2 Art: The Gallery at Visit Addison, Dallas and Addison, Texas, 2015

You’re Pretty With Holly Wilson and Micheal Jones, Leslie Powell Foundation Gallery, Lawton, Oklahoma, 2011

Gruff & the P.I.P. List  With Cassie Stover, 611 Creative, Oklahoma City, 2008

Triple Deco With Paul Mays and Natalie Moore, Individual Artists of Oklahoma Project Room, Oklahoma City, 2007

I knew I should’ve taken that left turn at Albuquerque III  With Paho Mann and Leigh Merrill, Studio C, 
Phoenix, 2006 (Part II: 2005, Part I: 2002)

 

Selected Group Exhibitions

Common Threads  Cerulean Gallery, Amarillo, Texas, 2018

Once Old Is New: Traditional Blocks, Modern Quilts  [Artspace] at Untitled, Oklahoma City, 2018

QuiltCon Annual juried exhibition, Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena, California, 2018

FiberWorks Annual exhibition, juried by Cameron Taylor-Brown, Hardesty Arts Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 2017

Art Now  Annual invitational, curated by Kelsey Karper and Jennifer Scanlan, Oklahoma Contemporary, 
Oklahoma City, 2017

On Edge Part I Cerulean Gallery, Amarillo, Texas, 2016

CHAOS Small Works Invitational  Ro2 Art, Dallas, Texas, 2016 (2015)

A Hiding Place Curated by Ben Meyers and Jane Vincent Taylor, [Artspace] at Untitled, Oklahoma City, 2016

bARTer  Current Studio, Oklahoma City, 2016

The Scenic Route Cerulean Gallery, Amarillo, Texas, 2015

Dallas Art Fair Ro2 Art at the Dallas Art Fair, Dallas, Texas, 2015

Women’s Works Northwest Area Arts Council, Woodstock, Illinois, 2014

Art Now Annual invitational, curated by Louise Siddons, City Arts Center, Oklahoma City, 2013

Horizontal Grandeur Stevens County Historical Museum, Morris, Minnesota, 2013

12x12  Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, various venues, Oklahoma City 2013 (2012, 2011, 2010, 2009)  12x12okc.org

Art Now  Annual invitational, curated by romy owens, City Arts Center, Oklahoma City, 2012

Straight From the Street Invitational, Istvan Gallery, Oklahoma City, 2012

Concept/OK: Art in OklahomaCurated by Liza Statton & Alison Hearst, Hardesty Arts Center, Tulsa, 
Oklahoma, 2012  concept-ok.org

Small Works Invitational JRB Art Gallery at the Elms, Oklahoma City, 2012 (2011, 2010)

24 Works on Paper Curated by Louise Siddons, IAO Gallery, Oklahoma City, 2011

Heart and Soul of the Great Plains  Group Invitational, Leslie Powell Foundation Gallery, Lawton, Oklahoma, 2010

Seeing Other People: Contemporary Portraiture  Invited Artists Gallery in the Underground, Oklahoma City, 2009

Society of Illustrators 51st Annual Book & Editorial Exhibition  Society of Illustrators, New York City, 2009

24 Works On Paper Curated by Adrienne Day, IAO Gallery, Oklahoma City, 2009  24works.org

60 Artists : 60 Minutes Curated by romy owens, Invited Artists Gallery in the Underground, Oklahoma City, 2009

Art365  Curated by Diane Barber, [Artspace] at Untitled, Oklahoma City, 2008  art365.org

Autobiovisual Riney Fine Arts Center, Friends University, Wichita, Kansas, 2008

Know Thyself: Self Portraits by Oklahoma Artists  Invitational, Individual Artists of Oklahoma Gallery, 
Oklahoma City, 2008

Pop Surrealism  Invitational, City Arts Center, Oklahoma City, 2007

Women’s Invitational Sponsored by the National Women’s Hall of Fame, Genesee Community College, Batavia, New York, 2005

Society of Illustrators Annual Scholarship Competition  Society of Illustrators, New York City, 2005

Made in New York Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, Auburn, New York, 2005

Inside [83] Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, 2003

 

Fellowships, Awards, Residencies

Artist in Residence Ox-Bow School of Art, Sepember-October 2018

Artist in Residence Jentel Artist Residency Program, October-November 2017

Grant Recipient Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition Education Grant, 2017

Artist in Residence Current Studio, Oklahoma City, April 2017 (In collaboration with randall barnes) 

Artist in Residence [Artspace] at Untitled, Oklahoma City, January-March 2017

Fellow  Oklahoma Art Writing and Curatorial Fellowship, 2012

Grant Recipient Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition Creative Projects Grant, 2009

Grant Recipient Art365, Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, Honorarium and traveling exhibition, 2007-08  art365.org

 

Notable Collections

Abraham Art Foundation, New York City and Canadian, Texas

BURN by Rocky Patel, Oklahoma City

Capital One Bank, Dallas, Texas

George Kaiser Family Foundation, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Wallace Memorial Library, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York

 

Education

Master of Fine Arts, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York, 2006

Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of New Mexico, 2001 Summa cum laude