Exhibition Runs: August 7 – September 11, 2020

Virtual Artist Talk: Thursday, August 27 @ 5:30pm


Altars of Imperfection // Quarantine Visions

The origins of this exhibition were in the alchemical shift from waste to altar; at once a reflection of our reverence for single use materials, a nod to their permanent underground deposits, and an imagined space of a world beyond their use and proliferation. It is my desire that my offering situates there, in the imagined realms: in what we need to give death to, and what must be exalted after the wake. What more beautiful world unfurls in these mysteries, in their becoming?

This work sits differently today. Its scope has expanded in service to shifts in the collective consciousness and in response to our collective grief. On a molecular level, plastic is one of the strongest human inventions. White supremacist capitalist patriarchy sits in direct parallel. Entire ecosystems have been organized around their

existence. Entire ways of being must be reimagined. Our trash and our history are being built into the landscape in real time, without the consideration of the lasting effects of either. This work is my attempt to make something beautiful, to create balance, to build another world.

My offering is imperfect. As I have benefitted from these systems, I kneel before these altars to both process my ongoing growth towards necessary change and contemplate a more just reality.

Altars of Imperfection are bas-relief oil paintings made of poured plaster castings from my collected array of single use plastics. The plaster castings are set in harmonic compositions, locked in space and time with a poured plaster finish. I see these compositions as fossils in a landscape.

At the beginning of Covid-19 I started the series Quarantine Visions; a return to working on my kitchen table with limited materials while my child sleeps. In these graphite and colored pencil drawings I channel line, form, and geometry to chart what the brain does with limited visual information. Like the feeling of my eyes adjusting to sudden darkness, my brain constructs its own visuals to focus on in the absence of others. Working on this series has given me moments of harmony during this time of unrest.” – Chelsea Wrightson

Virtual Artist Talks

On Thursday, August 27 we held a virtual exhibition reception and artist talks on Zoom. 

Please use the link below to view a recording of Chelsea’s artist talk. 

About Chelsea

We are never too late to not feel invisible. Whispered to me in a dream, I am working to accept the call back to myself, and to sit with the sound of my own voice while amplifying the voices of underrepresented people. Inspired by Transcendental paintings, desert living, invisible phenomena, space travel, archaeology, and memory, I create still life compositions situated within landscapes, combining mementos and imagery from my vivid dreams. I celebrate mistakes in my paintings because without my mistakes, I have no reason to continue dreaming. 

Chelsea Wrightson is a painter, ceramicist and mother. She received her BFA in printmaking from the University of New Mexico, and worked for six years as a commercial art gallerist. Her work has been exhibited in Albuquerque, NM and New York, NY. She currently lives in Albuquerque and maintains her painting practice in her studio at the Harwood Art Center.


Exhibition Sales

Chelsea Wrightson is donating 50% of the sale of her artworks to support Orenda Tribe and Crossroads for Women.

Orenda Tribe’s current initiatives include the Children of Nááts’íilid heart project to deliver care kits to Diné children and support of domestic abuse shelters on Dinétah, including the Amá Dóó Áłchíní Bíghan (ADABI) shelter in Chinle, Arizona.

Crossroads for Women (Albuquerque, NM) provides comprehensive, integrated services to empower women emerging from incarceration to achieve safe, healthy, and fulfilling lives in the community, for themselves and their children.

Altars of Imperfection

Quarantine Visions

Digital Exhibition Catalog

Artist Talks