I am Tracie Noles-Ross.
I am an interdisciplinary artist and storyteller. As a maker, I often work with discarded and forgotten objects. I braid themes of memory, place, identity, and environmental issues into my work. Historically, my mixed media process has disguised the original form of the found objects and I’ve combined and manipulated them to help me bring forward new narratives but recently, the shards I find are speaking to me in new ways. My approach to making has become less heavy handed. I have started to see beauty in the damaged bits and I am feeling less compelled to hide them. I have become interested in combining these objects in ways that coax memories and encourage the telling of stories. I find it so interesting how we humans are so quick to impose our narratives and emotions onto objects. We seem driven by some weird compulsion to interpolate, to fill in the gaps between even the most broken and unrecognizable objects to form some sort of story. When I make my collage or assemblage pieces, I hope there is a sort of poetry in the combinations of materials but I don’t always want to layer the work with heavy symbolism or direct the story in any obvious way. I hope each viewer can weave a little of their own life experience into the work. I hope that they can invite their own ghosts into the gaps to keep the work engaging and alive.
I have been committed for decades to exploring the complicated region of the United States that I call home. I’ve attempted to deconstruct aspects of Southern culture and landscape for decades looking for some understanding, some sort of truth about our history, our monsters – and myself but the older I get the less I believe in truths–at least not whole truths. I believe those truths I have been hunting are worn down, altered and twisted over time, broken into bits as we live them and scattered to the four winds. I believe what’s left of our truths after we live them, end up embedded in the shards and scraps of our lives. Fragments that have tumbled over creek beds in flash floods, survived fires, been tucked away in drawers and closets, left tucked into old books, dropped in the street and run over, distorted in the mouths of secret keepers and liars and passed down from the dead are all lost parts waiting to be found–waiting to be used in the construction of new stories. I am really fascinated by the mutability of objects when their context or the eye that beholds them shifts. I’m also curious about how this mutability changes us, the makers and the viewers.
I have been holding shards and scraps given to me by family and friends for years. I toss them into boxes and drawers with the gleanings of my woodland and creek bed explorations and the stories and truths get all tangled up. Over time, I forget the origin stories of the bits and bobs in the boxes and drawers, and eventually I can reach into that box and pull things out and put them together with other lost and broken objects and create new objects that are clean slates, or empty vessels ready to take in and hold a new generation of mutable and ephemeral truths–and ghosts. I sometimes call these objects counterspells because this process of creating new objects feels sort of like the conjuring of magic spells to reverse the effects of a spell cast previously . This process feels like a hopeful act, like the promise of change–the only constant truth.
2023 (forthcoming exhibitions)
Lost and Found, 2 person show with Miriam Omura and the Columbus Arts Council, Columbus Mississippi, February 2023
Begonia, Group exhibition at Ground Floor Contemporary, Birmingham, Alabama April 2023
Group exhibition for Alabama State Council on the Arts Fellowship recipients at Georgine Clarke Alabama Artist Gallery in Montgomery Alabama May 2023
Embodied: Contemporary Takes on the Dress, Gadsden Museum of Art, Gadsden, Alabama, June 2023
- Ordinary Things, group show with Tara Lee Stallworth and Elaine Kinnard at Ground Floor Contemporary, Birmingham, Alabama, October 6-22, 2022.
- Embodied: Contemporary Takes on the Dress, Union Grove Gallery University of Alabama in Huntsville, October 4-November 3, 2022
- Creating with the Land, a group exhibition at the Georgine Clark Alabama Artist Gallery in Montgomery, Alabama, August 1 and runs through October 28.
- Apparition in the Kitchen, solo exhibition, Lowe Mill Arts and Entertainment in Huntsville, Alabama, April 26-June 11, 2022.
- Painting at Night, Collarworks, Troy New York, May 7-July 31, 2022.
- Still, Stay Home Gallery, Paris, Tennessee, April -May 2022.
- Tide Pools, group exhibition at Ground Floor Gallery, Birmingham, Alabama, April 7-23, 2022.
- The Black Cherry Tree Project, Gallery Vox, Birmingham, Alabama, April 2022.
- Hierophantic Territories, Ground Floor Contemporary Gallery, Birmingham, Alabama with Liza Butts and Lauren Woods, October, 2021.
- More Tales from the Brambly Thicket, solo exhibition at Tennessee Valley Art Association, August 13-September 18, 2021.
- Rooted in HIstory: Interpreting Alabama’s Folk Art Traditions, a juried exhibition sponsored by the Historic Huntsville Foundation, June – September 2021. Awarded Best in Show.
- Emergence, a juried exhibition at Tennessee Valley Art Association, jurors Stacey Holloway, Darius Hill, and Wayne Sides. June 1- July 2, 2021.
- Intersections, gallery collective exhibition curated by Jason Tanner Young at Ground Floor Contemporary in Birmingham, Alabama, May 2021.
- Solo exhibition: Tales from the Brambly Thicket, Gadsden Museum of Art in Gadsden, Alabama. April/May 2021.
- Layers and Crucibles with Leah Karol and Chiharu Roach at Ground Floor Contemporary in Birmingham, Alabama, March 2021.
- Shelby County Arts Council Adult Juried Art Exhibition at Shelby County Arts Council, Columbiana, Alabama January-March 2021. Juror; Nelson Grice. Awarded Best in 3D.
- Alabama Sampler at the Aaron Sanders Head studio in Greensboro, Alabama. November 7, 2020-January 2, 2021.
- Hope/Revolution Stay at Home Gallery and Residency in Paris, Tennesee. Juror: Lauren Harris. October 2020-January 2021.
- 80/20 Juried exhibition at Lowe Mill Arts and Entertainment in Huntsville, Alabama. September 30 – November 14, 2020.
- Gaia Theory Query curated by Celeste Amparo Pfau, Haco NYC, Brooklyn, New York. March 2020 (postponed due to Covid-19 closures).
- ALWCA Member Showcase 2020, UAH Union Grove Gallery, Huntsville, Alabama. March 2020.
- Small Works Juried exhibition at A Smith Gallery Photographic Arts, Johnson City, Texas. Juror: Kevin Tully. January 10- March 8, 2020.
- The 19th Amendment at 100: Women’s Voices Then and Now Juried exhibition at Swords into Plowshares Peace Center & Gallery, Detroit, Michigan. January 24-February 29, 2020.
- Shelby County Arts Council Adult Juried Art Show at the Shelby County Arts Council, Columbiana, Alabama. Winner of Executive Directors Choice award. January – March 2020.
- 54th Annual National Drawing and Small Sculpture Show Del Mar College, Corpus Christi, TX. Juror: Katherine Liontas-Warren, Professor of Art at Cameron University. Winner of Honorable Mention award. February 21-May 8, 2020.
- Solo exhibition: Madwoman and the Woods at Paperworkers Local in Birmingham, Alabama.
- MINT Summer Invitational at the MET, Curator Jessica Helfrecht, MINT Gallery, Atlanta Georgia.
- A Sense of Place Juried Exhibition Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art in Augusta, Georgia. Juror: Anne Marchand. Winner of Honorable Mention award. September 2019.
- Unbound: A Juried Member Exhibition with Alabama Women’s Caucus for Art at Lowe Mill ARTS and Entertainment. Juror: Maria Spies, director of the ceramic arts program at the Eastern Shore Art Center in Fairhope, Alabama.
- Connections, gallery collective exhibition curated by Ty Smith of Department of Art & Art History at the University of Alabama at Birmingham at Ground Floor Contemporary Gallery, Birmingham, Alabama.
- Building Bridges: Mentors in the Arts 2010-Present, curated by Julie Watters at Gallery Vox, Pinson, Alabama.
- Exhibition 21, Ground Floor Contemporary Gallery, Birmingham, Alabama.
- Making Room: Stories about Ghosts, Ground Floor Contemporary Gallery, Birmingham, Alabama with Ashley Wingo and Emily Rice.
- Poustinia, a permanent site-specific art installation at The Red Mountain Community School in Birmingham, Alabama.
- Water of Alabama, PaperWorkers Local’s second annual juried exhibition, Birmingham, Alabama. Juror: Graham C. Boettcher, Ph.D., the R. Hugh Daniel Director of the Birmingham Museum of Art. First place winner.
- B18: Wiregrass Biennial, Wiregrass Museum of Art, Dothan, Alabama Jurors: Elizabet Elliott, Curator of Programs at the Mobile Museum of Art, and Jackie Clay, Director of the Coleman Center for the Arts in York, Alabama.
- Night Festival, Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve, Birmingham, Alabama.
- A Look at Us: a juried exhibition, Juror: Sara Garden Armstrong, Daisie Hoitsma and Miriam Omura, Ground Floor Contemporary Gallery in Birmingham, Alabama.
- Ink Only, Juror: Katie Baldwin, art professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, UAB Project Space hosted by Paperworkers Local, Birmingham, Alabama
- Night Festival: A Nocturnal Celebration of the Natural World, Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve. Curator Jon Wooley.
- Prelude Calavera Invitational, Naked Art Gallery, Birmingham, Alabama.
- Solo exhibition: Vespertine, Naked Art Gallery, Birmingham, Alabama.
- Prelude Calavera Invitational, Naked Art Gallery, Birmingham, Alabama.
- Solo installation: Haiku Islands, Naked Art Gallery, Birmingham, Alabama. Winner of Silvertron award.
- Solo exhibition: The Brambly Thicket, Bridgestreet Gallery, Birmingham, Alabama.
- From Black and White to a World of Color at the Alabama Power Archives Museum. Curator: Dan Bynum.
- Reflections of Food in Alabama Art, Art Folk Gallery, Birmingham, Alabama. Curator: John Lytle Wilson.
- Alabama Signatures: Contemporary Expressions, Alabama Artists Gallery at the Alabama State Council on the Arts in Montgomery. Curator: Georgine Clarke.
- Farewells and Introductions, New Orleans, Louisiana. Curator: John Fields. Prospect 1.5.
- The Milkweed Project, a collaborative installation. The Eclipse Gallery, Algoma, WI. Project Architect: Shan Bryan-Hanson.
- Traveling exhibition Heads Up Alabama, a public art project of the Alabama Psychological Association Foundation. “Back to Nature” sculpture permanently installed at Lister Hill Library at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
- Birmingham Biennial 3. Juror: Dan Cameron of Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans and creator of Project 1
- Dia de las Muertos, Bare Hands Gallery, Birmingham, Alabama
- Solo exhibition: Honey in My Eye, Bare Hands Gallery, Birmingham, Alabama.
- New Works by Tracie Noles-Ross and Wendi Flowers, Bare Hands Gallery, Birmingham, Alabama.
- Solo exhibition: Calliope’s Moon, Bare Hands Gallery, Birmingham, Alabama.
- Electra, Alabama Power Juried Exhibition, Birmingham, Alabama.
- Allegory of the Senses, Sensational New Works by Tracie Noles-Ross and Olsen Ross, Bare Hands Gallery, Birmingham.
- The Gift Project, Plattsburgh, New York, Plattsburgh State University. Curator: Diane Fine.
- Dwelling, invitational, Opelika Art Association, Opelika Alabama. Curator: Allyson Comstock.
- Solo exhibition: Milk to Mud: The Recrudescence of Self, The University of North Alabama, Florence, Alabama.
- Visual Conversations: Three Alabama Artists, Alabama State Council on the Arts Alabama Artists Gallery, Montgomery, Alabama. Curated by Georgine Clarke.
- Letters Home sculpture displayed in the Regiment of Columns in the Alabama Veterans Memorial. Honoring Alabama Veterans of the 20th Century.
- Breaking Up Winter, Bare Hands Gallery, Birmingham, Alabama.
- Women of Taste, Oakland Museum of Art, Oakland, California.
- Behind the Yellow Door curated by Derek Cracco, 21st Street Studios Birmingham, Alabama.
- Art’s Alive, Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts, Florence, Alabama.
- Recycled Art, Nonesuch Gallery, Huntsville, Alabama.
- Firsts: The Personal and The Historical, an invitational exhibit sponsored by the UAB Women’s Studies Department and hosted by Bare Hands Gallery, Birmingham, Alabama. Curator and exhibiting artist.
- Solo exhibition: Heroines in Troubled Fields, installation, Bare Hands Gallery, Birmingham, Alabama.
- Art’s Alive, Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts, Florence Alabama.
- Solo exhibition: The Rock Beneath the Sand, Bare Hands Gallery, Birmingham, Alabama.
- Solo exhibition: La Architectura del Nido, Bare Hands Gallery, Birmingham, Alabama.
- The Fourth Floor, A collaborative painting with Olsen Ross at The Ferguson Art Gallery at The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa.
- Shrines: The Sacred and Secular in Contemporary Southern Art, Lenox Square, Atlanta,Georgia
- Triumvirate, A Collaborative Installation with Joe Ross and Arthur Price at Bare Hands Gallery, Birmingham, Alabama.
- Solo exhibition: The Infamous and The Remarkable, Bare Hands Gallery, Birmingham.
- Arts Alive, The Kennedy Douglas Center for the Arts Juried Exhibition, Florence, Alabama. Juror: Georgine Clark.
- Ten Book Artists: One of a Kind Artists Books, Maralyn Wilson Gallery Birmingham.
- Traveler’s Feast, The Dr. Pepper Complex. Birmingham. February-March.
- The Distance Between Two Hearts, A Collaborative Installation with Marcia Bacon Connolly, The Birmingham Art Association.
- The Distance Between Two Hearts, A Collaborative Installation with Marcia Bacon Connolly, The Ferguson Art Gallery at The University of Alabama.
- Solo exhibition: Ardor and Faith, solo exhibition Artomotive, Birmingham.
- Solo exhibition: Babies on the Moon, Birmingham Art Association.
- To Be… The Kentler International Drawing Space, New York. Curated by Florence Neal.
- Somalia Benefit, A group exhibition of 7 Birmingham artists for International relief, Miyagi Ken, Japan.
- Favorable Bed: A Study in Paradoxical Personae, A collaborative installation with Olsen Ross at The Fifth Gate Arts Center
- We Live in a Political World, The Fifth Gate Arts Center. Birmingham. October.
- Solo exhibition: Superstition and Personal Ritual. The Fifth Gate Arts Center.Birmingham. February 7-28.
- Sanctuary as Canvas, An FMC Installation at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church Birmingham.
- Filling The Dream Organ, An FMC Installation, The Fifth Gate Arts Center.
- The Age Of Nimbus Monsters, An FMC Installation, Converted Birmingham storefront.
- The Second Annual Flood and Mystic Chamber Salon, 10.2.4 Gallery, Birmingham.
- The First Annual Flood and Mystic Chamber Salon, SoMo Gallery, Birmingham.
- The Other Side, A Collaborative Installation with Olsen Ross at Space One Eleven.
- The Eaten Ones, A group exhibition with Olsen Ross and Douglas Baulos at The University of Alabama at Birmingham Visual Arts Gallery.
- Cover art for the Summer 2020 “f-visions” feminist journal of Asia-Japan Women’s Resource Center based in Tokyo
- Cover art for “Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society”, the journal of women’s and gender studies published by The University of Chicago Press, Autumn 2021.
- Illustrator of “The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild” by award winning author and naturalist Lyanda Lynn Haupt (Little, Brown and Company).
- Reynolds, Michelle. “Making Art With Needle and Thread.” Two artists combine textiles and storytelling, HGTV, Jan. 2019. www.hgtv.com/design/make-and-celebrate/handmade/embroidering-stories–making-art-with-needle-and-thread-pictures.
- “I Create Birmingham: Tracie Noles-Ross.” Create Birmingham, 8 Nov. 2017,createbirmingham.org/i-create-birmingham-tracie-noles-ross/.
- Massouleh, Tara. “Moss Rock Festival Featured Artist Uses Nature and Women as Inspiration in Art.” AL.com, AL.com, 1 Nov. 2017,www.al.com/bhammag/2017/11/moss_rock_festival_featured_ar.html.
- Reed, Emily “Weaving The Everyday Into Art” Hoover’s Magazine, 24 Oct. 2017,www.hooversmagazine.com/why-tracie-noles-ross-was-chosen-as-2017s-featured-artist-of-moss-rock/.
- Walden, Rebecca. “Artist Tracie Noles-Ross and Her Family Are Living and Learning from the Land.” B-Metro Magazine., b-metro.com/into-the-woods/4809/.
- Reynolds, Michelle. “Her Wild Acres.” Alabama Gardener Magazine.
- Recipient of the Alabama State Council Visual Arts Fellowship 2022-2023
- Awarded Best in Show. Rooted in HIstory: Interpreting Alabama’s Folk Art Traditions, a juried exhibition sponsored by the Historic Huntsville Foundation.
- Awarded Best in 3D. Shelby County Arts Council Adult Juried Art Exhibition at Shelby County Arts Council, Columbiana, Alabama.
- Executive Director’s Choice Award, Shelby County Arts Council Adult Juried Art Show at the Shelby County Arts Council, Columbiana, Alabama.
- Awarded Honorable Mention at 54th Annual National Drawing and Small Sculpture Show Del Mar College, Corpus Christi, TX. Juror: Katherine Liontas-Warren, Professor of Art at Cameron University.
- First place winner for Water of Alabama, PaperWorkers Local second annual juried exhibition, Birmingham, Alabama. Juror: Graham C. Boettcher, PhD, the R. Hugh Daniel Director of the Birmingham Museum of Art.
- Moss Rock Festival, Featured Artist, Birmingham, Alabama.
- Award of Excellence awarded by The University of Alabama at Birmingham Women’s Studies Program for curating Firsts: The Personal and the Historical, an exhibition honoring Women’s History Month sponsored by the UAB Women’s Studies Program, hosted by Bare Hands Gallery, Birmingham, Alabama.
- Scholarship, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass, Colorado for Paint as Substance encaustic painting workshop with Sono Osato
- Winner of Regional Artists Project Grant, The Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans for the exhibition Favorable Bed: A study in Paradoxical Personae.