Red Lodge Clay Center Long-Term Residents 2012-13
Alexis Gregg and Tanner Coleman collaborate on sculpture with cultural and societal implications. In 2012 they created their business: AnT Sculpture and Design LLC.
Each having their own background in sculptural methods with clay, brick, and other materials; the two found a common interest in public art and permanent installation techniques. Conceptually, their work is a result of research on specific locations, which are then filtered through their contemporary artistic lens. When creating public works, the improvement of community spaces through socially relevant sculpture is at the forefront of their initiative. Functionality is integrated into their sculptures by incorporating bench seating, tunnels, bridges, slides, ramps, and climbing ropes.
AnT has worked in 6 different countries and completed 12 large scale permanent works at four international museums, two schools, and two public parks. They look forward to expanding their public art through collaborations with architects, playground designers, and other artists.
The studio work of Tanner and Alexis revolves around the same research and ideas but begins to ask questions of specific cultures and how icons, patterns, and beliefs have changed in the current contemporary setting. The whimsical aesthetic of their work remains, but a subversive undertone is undoubtedly present.
As artists and outsiders we view cultures through a curious and critical lens. We question iconography, beliefs, art, architecture, and history to understand how ideas surrounding these concepts have changed in our current time period. We travel often and widely. Our work is in constant flux, depending on our location.
Being immersed in Montana this past year, we have soaked up the history and culture of where we are, and, frankly, there is an element of disappointment. The feeling comes not from what we have learned and discovered, but rather understanding further the lack of education we received growing up in the United States about Native American culture, art, and history. Our work reflects iconography related to architecture and art of Native American cultures as well as how it has been exploited and misunderstood. The childhood game of Cowboy and Indian holds a real tension against what actually happened between these two peoples. Our work reflects this feeling; whimsical forms upon first glance, but a deeper and darker historical context when studied. Now that our focus has shifted to researching the history of North America we want to emphasize the cultural amnesia that has swept over the country, assimilating into the “western art” genre, we expose that idea.