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Ashley Grammer
Honors, Interdisciplinary Visual Arts

My artwork takes a critical view on issues revolving around the self, identity, and autonomy. Through my work I often question social norms and societal influence. This piece addresses the issue of how our true identity is most often disguised or guarded by a persona that fits within the parameters of how we think others should perceive us or how we want to be perceived. Only those we trust are allowed to see the vulnerable, complicated, truest version of ourselves. Only those who are observant can spot the cracks beneath the surface of the masks we wear. I question whether or not we are really our true selves, even in the presence of those we trust the most. Does anyone operate fully autonomously?

I challenge the ability to claim ownership over every single decision or choice made by myself and others. This sculpture represents the suppression of autonomy, and by doing so results in nothing but playing a fool for the entertainment of others.

Ashley Grammer began her career as an aspiring hairstylist. Lacking fulfillment in the beauty industry, Ashley decided to change her career and get a degree in Fine Arts, majoring in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts with Honors.

Born in Portland, Oregon, Ashley is a contemporary mixed media artist who currently lives and works in Seattle, Washington. Ashley’s work incorporates the juxtaposition of soft, sweet pastel colors with an eerie, unsettling, and disproportionate appearance in her subject matter, inspired by carnivals, dolls and puppets.

Through mediums including sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking and collage, Ashley explores the big life-long questions we ask ourselves in regard to self-identity. As the artist explains, “I want to tell a relatable story through my work that you might miss if you don’t take the time to really observe and analyze what you are seeing. I want to give a sense of comfort and discomfort simultaneously because that’s the reality of how life feels.”