New works by Amelia Toelke

On view August 10 – September 30

Closing reception with the artist September 30, 7-9 pm


Honeycrisp is a collection of works by Amelia Toelke that continues to explore the various paths of human communication. This show is comprised of several of Toelke’s larger wall works and installation pieces that examines the iconography of signage. Pow KapowCompass, and Sparkle utilize similar formal qualities in surface and material while stylistically shifting in context. These pieces resonate with Toleke’s newer works on paper as another way to articulate her conceptual investigations.

In two of her most recent series Gem Face and High Five, Toelke playfully examines the succinctness of emojis and their ability to perform more accurately than language.  Gem Face is a series of gouache paintings on paper depicting images of jewelry. These paintings continue Toelke’s exploration of jewelry and its deep connection with people. By using a traditional gouache painting technique, a common  approach for jewelry designer’s renderings, she sheds light on the strong connection between people and their jewelry, the jewelry wearer and their admirers, and even the designer and the maker.

High Five is a series of  works using faux gold leaf on paper, that is cut and paste into a common symbol of communication—the high-five emoji —to build captivating mosaics that play with negative space. These abstractions of the original symbol draw you in with their familiar forms and tease your mind with their intricate overlaps, intersections, and connections.

Toelke says, “Emojis are wonderful things. Sitting quietly at our fingertips, they express that which cannot be said in words alone. They add emotion, humor, and sometimes-cryptic meaning to our flat, digital words. Through visually representing an action or physical expression, they capture something incommunicable no matter how many words, exclamations, question marks, or dot, dot, dots we type.”


Born in Chatham New York in 1983, Amelia Toelke’s work is a combination of sculpture and installation touching on the intersection of the two-dimensional and the three-dimensional.Toelke’s interest in collaboration and public art guides much of her practice, with recent projects for the Wisconsin Percent for Art Program, the city of Evansville, Indiana and a 2016 site specific work in The Republic of Georgia’s Artisterium project. During the summer of 2015 Toelke was selected as an artist in residence at Lanzhou City University in Lanzhou, China, and in 2016 she was an artist in residence at the Brush Creek Center for the Arts in Saratoga, Wyoming. With a BFA in metals from the State University of New York at New Paltz and an MFA in visual art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Toelke has exhibited nationally and internationally.


Check out more of Amelia’s great work at : Amelia Toelke