8/3/18 Featured Creative: Alison Neville

Our Featured Creative this week is Alison Neville.
As a child, drawing was something Alison never grew out of and consistently felt rewarded by.  Especially when her tries at other hobbies fell short. Drawing grew into a period of portrait painting during her time at Utah State which then  evolved into research-based work in a variety of mediums at Weber State University. In 2016 Alison graduated magna cum laude in with a Bachelor’s of Fine Art from WSU, with a two-dimensional emphasis.
More recently, Alison is inspired by political events. Her work varies widely including drawings on paper, dioramas, mixed media, and polymer clay sculpture. She says fungi also inspires her and includes it when its connotations contribute to work about nuclear weapons testing, uncanny dioramas, or zombie-parasite infested kitsch statues. In other cases, she builds dioramas in retro game boards to reveal war euphemisms, or textile work to capture a small piece of what is being lost in Syria.
Alison says, “Fungi, maps, and political events permeate most of my work. I find them to be bizarre and otherworldly. This being said I cannot understand them enough. I wonder how they can be combined, what can be learned from them? Are there ways to bring out those things that intrigue me? I examine world events and try to dissect them into understandable pieces. I try to play the scientist.”

Photo from Alison’s M.A.D. exhibition at UMOCA featuring “mushroom clouds” on a series of retro school desks

Alison also likes to play the researcher, gushing, “I love contour ink drawing but am infatuated with many other mediums. I feel institutionally drawn to pleasing line-work within my own practice and other’s. I imagine this is a way for me to go back to my roots, [making it] feel like home. While working in other mediums, I require research, new tools, and techniques, which prevents boredom.”
On being an artist in Ogden, Alison says, “Attributing value to visual arts both in mindset and in pocket-book is a huge pitfall in Utah. Artists sink hundreds of hours into what they make and being approached about doing work for free/exposure is extremely discouraging. Even if you can’t purchase a piece sharing a photo of it via social media with proper credit helps can be very supportive.
“As an individual artist it’s essential to feel like your community values your endeavors and that you mutually contribute back to this community. It’s encouraging to see what Ogden has done with city art projects that revitalize parts of town, its local galleries, and artists which generate cool and enriching opportunities.
“Working with O1ARTS was my first opportunity to consider my work as an installation within the window space of 2444 Washington Blvd during the first iteration of #O1PANES, last year. This presented me with challenges that I hadn’t considered yet and helped me with another window installation at the Gateway and my first solo show at UMOCA.”
Alison continues to look for these opportunities as her solo show at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art comes to a close. She says, “The hustle is ongoing which means I’m thinking through and working on proposals for future exhibitions both in Utah and other states as well as making new work.”

Her shows include:

On view until September 2018
Flora/Fauna a Collaborative Sculpture with Stacie Van Arsdale #artshopproject
September 28th -November 2nd
Science+Art group show
March 22nd to May 9th, 2019
Reciprocity: A Solo Show
George S. & Dolores Doré Eccles Gallery
Center for Arts & Media. South City Campus
You can also find Alison at: https://www.alisondneville.com/  or on instagram @alisondneville
~Article by Chelsi Johnston

Another photo from Alison’s M.A.D. exhibition at UMOCA featuring “mushroom clouds” on a series of retro school desks