I believe our relationship to art and design connects us with humanity by providing a means of cultural expression and a voice for imagination. I use pattern, color, and form to create imaginative print, sculpture and installation. Working with a variety of media such as fabric, cardboard, paper, and found packaging materials, I use elements of drawing, printing, and photography to create a translation of experiences in the world. The materials I use are related to concepts of function, material culture, and sustainable design practice. For example, I reuse the the textile art from my printed installations, find fabric that had a previous use (such as hotel sheets) and recycle back the cardboard or printed paper. I find that working across these areas in my art addresses questions about what we consume, how we shape cultural identity or how it shapes us and the delicate relationship to sustaining nature amidst growing economies of material consumption. I hope that my work may stimulate connections to all things and the need to celebrate and protect the diversity of life.
Artist and designer, Ashley Rodriguez Reed was raised in a colorful home in the city of Omaha. Her mother, a young beautician, adorned her childhood home with Patrick Nagel’s iconic works from the 80’s and innovative sponge-painted walls. These works sparked a fascination with art and design, as well as a curiosity about the way we choose to decorate our lives and fashion our physical bodies.
Reed spent her youth on the pursuit of adventure. Never much of a T.V. watcher, she was outside building forts and climbing trees or inside altering her Barbies with scissors and markers. As a frequent dumpster diver, she knew she was destined to be an artist from her fondness of turning trash into treasure. During the school day, she gained the hearts of her classmates by shaving the yellow paint off of their pencils and enhancing their appeal with her original designs using permanent marker. She eventually learned how to balance her creative efforts with academic studies.
In 2009, she graduated from the University of Nebraska, Omaha with a BFA in Printmaking and Art Education. Following graduation, she devoted a summer in Copenhagen, Denmark to learn pattern design and printed yardage for textiles. In 2012, she continued graduate studies at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA, and received her MFA in Fiber and Material Studies. Here, she continued to print on fabric and other found materials to create imaginative, temporary environments through installation.
Currently, Reed lives in Oakland, where she recently moved. She creates art and pattern design from her home studio and teaches art and design at St. Paul's Episcopal School in Oakland.