Eileen Braun, OPEN SPACES: Espaces Ouverts, Courtesy of the artist
During the COVID-19 lockdown, many faced swirling negative thoughts….. Atlanta sculptor, Eileen Braun, worked through the lockdown challenge and re-channeled that negative energy into her hands. As her hands cradled and examined the materials, her mind welcomed being in the moment and being grateful for what was. Those positive thoughts became her mantra while creating. Accepting change without judgement. On occasion, accepting the days that didn’t change, while the materials spoke anew.
She explains that “the resulting forms display my interwoven emotions: quiet, complex, absorbed, relaxed, serious, playful, flirtatious, mothering, smothering and ultimately, joyful.”
Her installation, OPEN SPACES: Espaces Ouverts, is a profusion of forms suspended in our two front facing plaza windows. As they float, sight lines shift constantly changing your focus. The changing perspectives invite closer examination, opening paths to reflection. Ms. Braun embraces natural materials (rattan reed, encaustic wax and cotton string) to create sculptures which are seen as line drawings in open space. They move as soundless ballerinas preforming a modern dance, their shadows climb the walls and skim the floor.
Though born in Boston Massachusetts, Eileen Braun has lived and worked in Atlanta Georgia since 2004. Since obtaining a B.A. in Sculpture and Art Education from Indiana University, Ms. Braun has had broad professional experiences such as serving as the Executive Director at Croton Cortlandt Center for the Arts, being an Art Educator in Cook County Illinois and managing Chicago’s Spertus Museum’s gift store. Her sculptures currently focus on the use of encaustic wax and rattan reed in the creation of large open biomorphic forms. Her unique visual arts voice was developed primarily through intensive exploration and discovery in her home studio. “It is exciting when a material’s boundaries are unknown,” notes Ms. Braun. “Unsupervised in my studio I am free to experiment and push my materials, then use my skills of observation to repeat the resulting effects.” Braun has previously been nationally recognized for her ceramic sculpture.
Ms. Braun currently exhibits nationally and has her work in numerous private and corporate exhibitions which include Ogden Museum of Southern Art (LA), San Angelo Museum of Art (TX), MESA (AZ), HCCA (TX), AMOCA (CA) and MFA Boston (MA). Her teapots are in the Kamm, Sara and Bill Morgan and Arthur Goldberg Collections and are featured in Lark Books, 500 Teapots II. In Georgia, she has had work in two Hartsfield- Jackson International Airport exhibitions, Ceramix: Georgia’s Creative Claymakers (2015-16) and E-Merge: Contemporary Atlanta Artists (2013-14). She was also a part of MOCA GA’s Georgia Artists Selecting Artists in 2013, and in 2014 and 2015, Braun received the NICHE Award.
The Center for Southern Craft & Design Artist Spotlight Series is a quarterly curated exhibition featuring the work of a selected practicing Southern craftsperson in the field of ceramics, glass, wood, metal, fiber and textiles or mixed media. Works are on view within the Museum galleries, as well as the Museum Store and are made available for purchase. Exhibitions are often accompanied by a book signing, artist workshop or lecture.