Welly Fletcher

Born: 1977, Stanford, CA

Biography and Information

Welly Fletcher (b. 1977) disrupts the right angles of monolithic minimalist sculpture in her diagonals. The slanted sculptures reference queer theory and serve as a metaphor for resistance to the straight angles found in heteronormative perspectives. Fletcher further challenges anthropocentrism by collaborating with materials like wormy maple, wool, felt, steel, and milk paint. They specifically select wood that has been marked by worms and bugs and use milk paint to finish their wood pieces in order to allow the work to breathe.  The artist is interested in how systems found in nature such as how individual scales on fish and feathers on birds work together to create strength and protection.  She uses these as iconographies to emphasize the intelligence found in the natural world. 

Fletcher is further inspired by prehistoric sculptures of animals as a reflection of how human’s intimacy with animals has transcended time. Several artworks mimic the first known portable sculptures made by Homo sapiens, dating back to 40,000 BCE. Fletcher also employs technologies such as CNC routers , plasma cutters, and 3D printers, to achieve outcomes that incorporate digital mark making with analog methods.

Welly Fletcher is one of Southwest Contemporary’s 2022 12 New Mexico Artists to Know Now. SLANT, their 2023 exhibition at Richard Levy Gallery was a critics pick in Artforum. They have exhibited widely and has been awarded artist residencies at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, CA, Stello in Portland, OR, and Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, CO. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including the Sinister Wisdom and Portland Tribune. Fletcher is currently an Assistant Professor of Sculpture in the Department of Art at the University of New Mexico.

My interest in prehistoric artworks is rooted in my ongoing exploration of themes of human-animal kinship, and the body’s central role within that inquiry. I am investigating how our paleo-past informs our post-human future, while taking aim at human exceptionalism – a claim which has led to a culture with severe consequences for non-human people, and is tied to fabricated hierarchical divides within human kinships as well.  As a sculptor, I believe that the expanded field of sculpture can offer increasingly-rare opportunity for an embodied, intersectional, poetic experience of otherness. —Welly Fletcher

2010 MFA, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA
1999 BA, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
1998— International School of Art, Umbria, Italy

Solo and Two-Person Exhibitions
SLANT, Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, NM

Elephant-Shoe, Rainbow Gallery, Cincinnati, OH

DIAGONAL RESISTANCE //, Northern Arizona University Art Museum, Flagstaff, AZ (catalog)

Shadow Masks, Esqueleto Gallery, Oakland, CA

Everything Changes, Make Hang Gallery, San Francisco, CA (two-person exhibition)

Space Stations, Carville Annex, San Francisco, CA

Select Group Exhibitions
12 New Mexico Artists to Know Now 2022, Pie Projects, Santa Fe, NM

In Tandem, Masley Gallery, Albuquerque, NM

Art In Practice, San Francisco Zen Center (online exhibition), San Francisco, CA

Advice for Future Homecomers, People’s Liberty, Cincinnati, OH
Open Source 1.4, The Carnegie Galleries, Covington, KY
AD:2019 Cincinnati Edition, Anytime Dept., Cincinnati, OH

Women to Watch Ohio – 2018: A collaboration with the Ohio Advisory Group of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Ohio Arts Council’s Riffe Gallery, Columbus, OH (catalog)
Igniting Change, Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery, Bowling Green, OH (catalog)
Altered States, Lexington Art League, Lexington, OH
Beyond Things, Alternate Projects, Cincinnati, OH
Companion Pieces, Anytime Dept., Cincinnati, OH

Animal Magnetism, Wave Pool Gallery, Cincinnati, OH

Just Passing Through, University of San Francisco Kalmanovitz-Hall Rooftop Sculpture Terrace, San Francisco, CA

Print, Print, Pass, Berkeley Central Arts Passage, Berkeley, CA
The Familiar Unfamiliar, Casa Agave, Wonder Valley, CA
Actual Scale, Kala Gallery, Berkeley, CA
MFA Selections, Gatehouse Gallery at di Rosa, Napa, CA
Thinking Like The Universe, Hatch Gallery, Oakland CA

We’re All Here Because We’re Not All There, Tecoah Bruce Gallery, Oakland, CA (catalog)

breathe, Project One Gallery, San Francisco, CA; curated by Jessica Silverman and Brook Waterhouse
Symbolic Flow, SUB Mission Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Graduate Fine Arts Exhibition, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA
Barclay Simpson Award Exhibition, Oliver Arts Center, Oakland, CA
The Domestic-Garde, ap-art-ment, San Francisco, CA

Immediate Future:  The 2009 Murphy & Cadogan Fellowship in the Visual Arts, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, San Francisco, CA
A Matter of Course, Swell Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
About Place, AC2 Gallery, Albuquerque, NM (catalog)
Threads, National Queer Arts Festival, SomArts Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Hare & The Hounds, 18 Reasons Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Thought Processes
, Krause Gallery, Providence, RI

Confluence, Krause Gallery, Providence, RI

Steel Yard Summer Tour, SPACE Gallery, Portland, ME & Hillel Gallery, Providence, RI
Photography and Sculpture Juried Exhibit, Kathryn Schultz Gallery, Cambridge, MA

Small Works, Attleboro Museum, Attleboro, MA

Kawit Legong, Shadowlight Productions, Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley, CA

Seven Visions, Shadowlight Productions, Brava Theater, San Francisco, CA

Collaborative and Special Projects
STANDING SOUND COSTUME: LION and Power Place, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH

The Calmest of Us Would be Lunatics, Rochester Art Center, Rochester, MN (two collaborative works included)

DEMOS, c3:initiative & St. Johns Community Center, Portland, OR (collaborative public project with video, publication, print, and event)

ERNEST Introductions, c3:initiative, Portland, OR (two-person collaborative exhibition)

Over My Dead Body, Root Division Gallery, San Francisco, CA (one collaborative work included)

Pilgrims and Visitations, Simon Edwards Gallery, Yakima, WA (two-person collaborative exhibition)

Awards and Residencies
12 New Mexico Artists to Know Now selection, Albuquerque, NM
Outstanding New Teacher of the Year Award, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant (nomination), New York, NY
Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (nomination), Washington DC

Artist in Residence, Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito CA

Individual Excellence Award, Ohio Arts Council, Columbus OH

SECA Award Nominee, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco CA
Artist in Residence, Sedona Summer Colony Program, Sedona Arts Center, Sedona AZ

Artist Residency and Public Project, c3 initiative, Portland OR

A1 Travel Grant Recipient, San Francisco CA
Artist in Residence, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass Village CO

Barclay Simpson Award, San Francisco CA

Murphy & Cadogan Fellowship Recipient, San Francisco CA

Peter S. Reed Foundation Grant Recipient, New York NY

Jurors Choice Award, Attleboro Museum, Attleboro MA; juried by Dorothy Simpson Krause

Wolfenden Fine Arts Prize & Yakovak Fine Arts Scholarship, Dartmouth College, Hanover NH

Publications and Press
3D Printing Sculptures for Creative Exhibitions | University of MexicoBigRep 3D Printers, YouTube, February 12
Symbiosis Of Art And Technology Through Large-Format 3D Printing
BigRep.com, February 9
Team Dynamism, Shaping Success: Dynamism’s Dynamic 3D Printing Collaborations, 3DPrint.com, January 29
Kathleen Roberts, We’re not on our own’: Artist Welly Fletcher explores interspecies relationships, animal intelligence and queer theory through sculpture, Albuquerque Journal, January 14

Nancy Zastudil, Critic’s Pick: Welly Fletcher, Artforum, October 13

Land Art of the 21st Century – includes shortlisted award designed with/Poured Earth Collaborative for 2020 Fly Ranch LAGI Competition. (forthcoming – publication in Fall 2021, Hirmer Publishers).

Unraveling the Rational: Making Kin and Amplifying Attunement,  Commissioned essay, exhibition catalog Creatures: When Species Meet, at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, May

 //, Publication produced with Special Collections Press, University of Cincinnati; Edition of 100,  6.5 X 5.25 inches

Demos: Wapato Correctional Facility, Publication produced with Container Corps and c3initiative, 31 pp. with special inserts, 10 x 8 inches

Zastudil, Nancy, “Critics’ Picks: Welly Fletcher”, Artforum, October 13

Ware, Joshua. “Welly Fletcher: 12 New Mexico Artists to Know Now 2022,” Southwest Contemporary. June

Rosen, Steven.  “Five best Arts & Culture Events in Cincinnati for this weekend (June 15-17),” City Beat. 15 June
Distel, Matt.  Exhibition catalog for Women to Watch Ohio – 2018: A collaboration with the Ohio Advisory Group of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Riffe Gallery: 4-5, 14.
Ostrow, Saul.  Exhibition catalog for Igniting Change, Dorothy Uber Bryan Galler: 32.
Seda-Reeder, Maria.  “Collaborative Art Exhibit ‘Companion Pieces’ Opens at Camp Washington’s Anytime Dept.,” CityBeat. 6 June

Carter, Christopher.  “Serenading the Bones: Animal Magnetism at Wave Pool Gallery,” ÆQAI. 29 October
Thee, Mike. “Birds-Eye View: Striking new installation in Student Center inspires playfulness, pondering,” The Commons. 17 February

Harned, Megan. “Top 5 Visual Arts Shows: Fall Arts Guide,” Willamette Week. 8 September
Spitz, Enid. Look Inside St. John’s Unoccupied Jail; Demos: Wapato Correctional Facility makes the NoPo point of contention into art,” Willamette Week. 13 November
Anderson, Jennifer. Wapato Stars in Artful Video, Book,” Portland Tribune. 5 November
Jahn, Jeff. Demos: Wapato Correctional Facility by ERNEST,” PORT. 11 November
Brook, Pete.  “An Exhibit, Film and Community Engagements to Grapple with a Mothballed Portland Jail’s Legacy,” Prison Photography.  September

Rogers, Pat.  “Animals Take the Spotlight in ‘Kingdom Animalia.’”  Hampton Art Hub27 September
Westbrook, Lindsey.  “Awards and Accolades.” Glance Magazine. Fall: 40
Aesthetica Blog. August
Herriman, Kat.  “Animal Masks for Minimalists,” Artlog.com.  June
Federico, Cherie.  “The Aesthetic Art Prize 2013: 100 Contemporary Artists.” Aesthetica Magazine:  86

Beal, Stephen, David Kasprzak, & Larry Rinder.  25: Celebrating 25 Years of the Barclay Simpson Award.  San Francisco: California College of the Arts
Barber, Bonnie. “Newsmakers.” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine. July/August: 53 & 55.
Bamberger, Alan. ArtBusiness.com. 1 June

Fontaine, Sarah, & Alexis Petty. “Llewelynn Fletcher Interview.” a Case For Making. October:  34 – 37
Bamberger, Alan. ArtBusiness.com. 13 August
Lehner, Ace. “Inhabiting Space Stations, a Performance Interview.” AceLehner.com.  February
Maers, Jennifer. “Close Encounters at Carville Annex.” The Bold Italic. 26 January

Gross, Jaime. “REMIX: STYLE MAP; SAN FRANCISCO:  Riding a Wave.” The New York Times Style Magazine. 21, November: 28
Cole, Serena. “breathe.”: Art Show with Welly Fletcher.” Artists and Astronauts. 19 June
Ketenjian, Tania. “Interview with Llewelynn Fletcher.” Audio Tour of California College of the Arts MFA Exhibition. May
Sussman, Matt. “All The Young Turks.” San Francisco Bay Guardian. 5 – 11 May: 30

Press Release
2023 Welly Fletcher • SLANT at Richard Levy Gallery