mirror IV
February 7 - March 29

Artist Opening Reception: Friday, February 7. 5-8pm.
Free and open to the public.
Reception coincides with Art 'Round Town monthly art walk in Portsmouth.
Additional Art 'Round Town on March 6. 5-8pm.

Artist Statement:
My focus is interactive installation. My works physically exist as art only while installed and activated by audience. Participants literally complete this imagery, invited to perpetuate and resolve the installations in specific ways. Once dismantled, each work exists and continues only through documentation and the memory of its participants. My installations have never really been my own. Participants are collaborators, part of the work and event as a whole. Without audience, my installations are static and unfinished. Each installation includes instructions, as much an element of this work as the audience. Participants use this guidance to influence, alter, maintain, progress, and distinguish, becoming part of each work.

For each installation, I have a desired vision, progression, and result which I initiate. But, by relinquishing the concept over to the audience, my work sometimes proceeds in ways I could never anticipate. This aspect, also, is a crucial part of the work. As each participant effects each work in his or her own way, I try to convey we are part of a whole, part of the all. We affect everyone and everything, while everyone and everything affects us, no matter how small or fleeting the impact.

Amy Stacey Curtis in her studio. Process photos for the creation of Mirror IV
Amy Stacey Curtis in her studio / creation process of mirror IV exhibit

Artist Bio
Amy Stacey Curtis:
From 1998 to 2016, Amy Stacey Curtis (born 1970, Beverly, Massachusetts) completed an 18-year commitment to interactive installation art, 9 solo-biennial exhibits of large-in-scope, participatory works in 9 vast mill spaces throughout the state of Maine. In the end, Curtis mounted 81 installations while cleaning by hand each historic space (averaging 25,000 square feet). Each solo biennial was a 22-month process exploring a different, predetermined theme, inviting audience to perpetuate and resolve each exhibit's 9 unique works.

Her 18-year project complete, Curtis began work toward new interactive projects. After 5 productive weeks in her studio, something was horribly wrong.

For 22+ months, 24 hours a day, Curtis's brain would show her horrific images of her suicide. After 2 psychiatric wards, 8 anti-psychotic drugs, the start of severe movement and speech disability, and 15 months of many quick-to-diagnose-schizophrenia doctors, a naturopath determined Curtis has brain inflammation caused by Stage Four Epstein-Barr virus and Lyme Disease.

Since the start of her illness and disability in March 2017, Curtis has been moving forward and exhibiting new concepts (even sketching and grant-writing while hospitalized), with help from assistants, curators, and the Maine community. Curtis works from Lyman, Maine.

In the press:

She keeps making art while recovering from a ‘terrifying’ neurological disorderAmy Stacey Curtis opened two ambitious exhibitions in New Hampshire this month -- Boston Globe

Managing her illness, artist Amy Stacey Curtis picks up her old pace-- Portland Press Herald


mirror IV was organized by the University of New Hampshire and curated by Kristina Durocher, Director, Museum of Art, supported by the UNH Arts Initiative Fund in collaboration with 3S Artspace. The UNH Arts Initiative is a donor-funded project that supports UNH arts programming in New Hampshire, taking the great art created in Durham to all corners of the State.

Funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, and sponsored by Pierce Aluminum Company.

Amy Stacey Curtis has a concurrent exhibition, Transfer, at the University of New Hampshire Museum of Art.
Transfer is on exhibit: January 21 - April 4 (closed March 16 – 23)
Reception: Thursday, February 6. 5-7pm.

About Transfer:
The idea of shared authorship—that visitors complete a work of art through their own understanding—is an organizing principle in Amy Stacey Curtis’ conceptual art practice. Her minimal, yet ambitious, sculptures and installations are activated through audience participation. Visitors to Transfer and mirror IV are invited to touch, perpetuate, and resolve the exhibitions’ five unique works according to a prescribed set of Curtis’ instructions. Supported by the Winthrop L. Carter Gift Fund.


2020 Gallery Reception Sponsor: