Artist Statement

Absence, loss, and memory are explored through the lens of the “home” and the domestic in my work: the fine line of distinction between trace and presence; the fragile strength of the remnant; the frustrated determination of re-creating the self.

As a concept-driven artist working in sculpture, printmaking, and lens-based media, I examine how the sense of security, comfort, and grounding that is embedded in the concept of “home” is altered and the ways in which nostalgia transforms into preservation when expectations are suddenly, and without personal control, changed. Loss reveals a desire for and questioning of place, both emotional and physical.

To examine this broad, yet personal concept, I take an interdisciplinary approach,  creating distinct photographs, sculptures, and projected image installations. I use process as an instinctive, integral part of my work, building layers of photographic images, projections, video, and process itself which simultaneously obscure or disintegrate the subject matter, much like memory.  In my moving images I create a distancing within the work by re-filming video projected onto sculptural screens or by filming a projected image from awkward or acute vantage points.  These approaches to reworking and layering create a distortion of image and perception that references the fugitive nature of memory- influenced by time and intention.

In creating my pieces I often work with wrapping as both a sculptural element and as a tactile action- my skin touching and manipulating a paper skin; the membrane absorbing and preserving while also concealing and distancing. The domestic objects I use, whether functional vessels or not, are vessels of nostalgia, becoming evocative artifacts by absorbing and holding memory, conversations, reactions, and emotions. I choose these readily identifiable materials and objects as both subject and symbol, using the familiar as a point of access into the work.

Short Bio

Allison Roberts recently completed her MFA at the University of Wisconsin- Madison where her lens-based work exploring themes of memory, place, and identity led to a prestigious award from the UW Arts Institute. Born and raised in Oklahoma, Roberts holds a BA in Fine Arts and Journalism from Indiana University- Bloomington. She has been awarded multiple artist grants including a Minnesota Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, and two Fiber Artist Project Grants through the Textile Center of Minnesota. Ms. Roberts is now affiliated with the UW- Madison as a Lecturer in the Art Department.



2017     Master of Fine Arts (MFA), University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

2016     Master of Arts (MA), University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

2013     Master of Arts (MA) in Visual Arts, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Mankato, MN

1988     Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Fine Arts and Journalism, Indiana University-Bloomington, IN

1992     Teaching Certification, Art K-12, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI


2017   Sanaiko Frank Graduate Fellowship, UW Arts Institute Award, UW- Madison, WI

2016   Technical Assistant Grant, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts

2014    Artist Initiative Grant, Minnesota State Arts Board

2014    Jerome Fiber Artists Project Grant, Textile Center of Minnesota

2013    Fellowship Grant, Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council/McKnight

2013   Professional Development Grant, Surface Design Association

2010    Emerging Artist Grant, Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council/McKnight

2009    Jerome Fiber Artists Project Grant, Textile Center of Minnesota

2008    Emerging Artist Grant, Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council/McKnight


2017   I-Park Foundation, East Haddam, Connecticut

2017   Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts, Rabun Gap, Georgia


2017   Vicissitude, MFA Thesis Exhibition, Art Lofts Gallery, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

2017   Anamnesis, The Ahrnsbrak Room, University of Wisconsin- Marathon County, Wausau, WI

2016    The Thing Not There, MA Exhibition, Gallery 7, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

2015    Gaze Even Here, MN Artist Initiative Grant Exhibition, Waseca Art Center, Waseca, MN

2014    Fractured Nostalgia, PLRAC/McKnight Fellowship, The 410 Project, Mankato, MN

2013    Mythology of Control, MA Thesis Exhibition, Conkling Gallery, Minnesota State Univ., Manakto, MN

2011    Material Marks, Emy Frentz Arts Guild, Mankato, MN

2010    Stitched Abstraction, Waseca Art Center, Waseca, MN

2009    A Varying Tale, School of Art Gallery, Mankato, MN


2015    Overlap, Commonwealth Gallery, Madison, WI

2015     Reimagining the Domestic, Art installation in association with the Mt. Horeb Historical Society,

              Gelsy Verna  Project Space, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI

2014     Truth Telling, Jerome Fiber Artist Project Grant Exhibition, Concordia Art Gallery, St. Paul, MN

2011     Healing Arts Program, Featured Artist, The Phipps Center for the Arts, Hudson, WI

2010     Mind at Hand, Jerome Fiber Artists Project Grant Exhibition, Joan Mondale Gallery,  Minneapolis, MN

2006    Eclectic Stitches, Bollington Arts Centre, Bollington, England


2016    Untitled 12: SooVAC’s Juried Exhibition, Soo Visual Arts Center, Minneapolis, MN

2016    Home as a Sacred Space, University of St Thomas, St. Paul, MN

2016    Beyond Function, Arts + Literature Laboratory, Madison, WI

2015    Materialities: Contemporary Textile Arts, International Juried Art Exhibition of the Surface

             Design Association,  Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, Gatlinburg,TN 

2015     Juried Exhibition 2015 (Award of Excellence), Carnegie Art Center, Mankato, MN

2014     It’s Between Us, Curated Show, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI                                

2014     Juried Exhibition 2014 (Award of Excellence), Carnegie Art Center, Mankato, MN

2014     Annual Juried Show (Best of Show Award), The 410 Project, Mankato, MN  

2013     2nd Student Intl. Small Print Show, El Minia University and Opera Art Gallery, Cairo, Egypt