Tara Conley works in fiber, steel, bronze and fiberglass, often mixing materials and processes in surprising ways. She has an extraordinary knack for creating organic, yet original, shapes from man-made materials, adding a delightful sense of humor and wonder to the mix. Conley has produced a collection of cast bronze phrases in curvilinear script, which hang a few inches from the wall and cast a shadow, like an echo of the voice once heard.
Thirty-three of Conley’s phrases, an indoor sculpture of steel and glass and a towering 14 foot stainless steel outdoor sculpture completed her commissioned with the City of Houston for the Fondren Police Station in January of 2015.
In 2011 she and artist Joe Barrington were awarded the largest public art commission from Texas Tech University for the Rawls College of Business Administration. Incorporating local commodities icons, four of Conley’s phrases etched in limestone, a bear and bull by Barrington and overarching lit stainless steel pipes to emulate the stock market, the sculptural environment was installed in 2013.
My Life as a Doll, an 800 square foot installation, was a successful combination of Conley’s sculptures and collected phrases perfectly placed in a large scale book, large enough to walk through and exhibited at Diverse Works Art Space. The installation will be shown again in Conley’s first museum exhibition, in January 30 –March 29, 2015 at the Houston Museum of African American Culture. The show is accompanied by a documentary with filmmaker, Sharon Ferranti.
Conley is also included in Texas Artists Today by Catherine Anspon and Touching Fiber Arts by Carol Ikard and Jacque Smith for the Texas Museum of Fiber Arts.
Originally from New York state and a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology’s School for American Crafts in Metalsmithing and Jewelry, Tara Conley lives and works in Houston, Texas.