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 means of 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.
I believe our relationship to art and design connects us with humanity by providing a means of expression and a voice for imagination. I am influenced by pattern, color, and form. I work with textiles because I can manipulate elements of drawing, printing, and sculpture to create a translation of my experience in the world. I create imaginative patterns on a surface or in a space with a variety of media. I tend to recycle imagery and materials within my process. When working with installation, I find materials that can be temporary and often have a previous use, such as cardboard or found fabric.