Fine Artist. I am a multi-mediums artist working in painting, sculpture, and printmaking.
Under a concrete sky
“Under a concrete sky,” a solo exhibition by Treacy Ziegler, runs from October 2 through August 8, 2021, at the Erie Art Museum Erie PA. This exhibition which expands two floors of the museum is a collection of life-size animal sculptures created from thousands of prisoners’ letters. Ziegler discovered the vast fluidity of animal metaphor in teaching art to prisoners – animals have been telling our stories for thousands of years. Crucial to our experience with animals is our ability to suspend moral judgment. Animals exist neither good or bad. Suspending moral judgment clears space for wonderment and in wonderment, primary prejudicial defenses are put aside. It is Ziegler’s hope that the exhibition will be experienced as wonderment. The letters creating these paper-cast sculptures are from over 8500 prisoners across the United States participating in the Prisoner Express project (affiliated with Cornell University) of which Ziegler is volunteer art director. PE receives over 20,000 prisoner letters annually and although every letter received is read and responded to by a PE staff, historically, it has been impossible to save the letters. Ziegler hopes to give visual expression to the emotion she reads in the prisoners’ letters; hope, regret, loneliness, appreciation.
“A dream is where we’ll meet.” 12-foot giraffe dedicated to those individuals incarcerated because of mental illness, paper cast from letters of prisoners. (In background is “I’m reading them again, the ones you didn’t burn”, a 6-foot hawk; over the door and the beginning the installation, “When you wake you will have cake,” 42 lambs’ heads, paper cast from letters of prisoners)
“Without want or need, I turn inward and feed on my heart.” 6-foot camel dedicated to those individuals living in solitary confinement, paper cast from letters of prisoners.
“Why is the king thirsty, why is the donkey sad?” over-life size donkey (69x82x40″) paper cast from letters of prisoners.
“The horizon is a distant memory” installation 50-feet by 30-feet, paper cast from letters of prisoners. Presented as an aquarium, this installation comprises 12 trees topped with birds and 18 fish swimming among the trees. It is in memory of the lost horizon that cannot be found in prison.