Augusta Sparks Farnum (b.1974) grew up in New England, home of the transcendentalists. With artist parents, she lived amongst abstract painted narratives on the walls and floors. In houses that were built, and pulled down, by hand. Independence came early to Augusta as she moved freely, walks in multi-storied forests, swimming in natural bodies of water, and immersed in visual conversations. She was guided to consider where she looked, early. Graduating from Bard College in 1998, with a degree in Photography, the world was full of stories to be told in a single large format photograph.
Constructing an adult life, Augusta's art circled inwards. With a young family, visions recalibrate to the mess of the kitchen sink, and utter chaos. She renewed her botanical studies, inspired by cultivating a garden, and as a florist. Drawn to the simple line, versus the complications of a darkroom with small children, attention was directed to what was accessible and close at hand, most often this meant a pencil and a scrap of paper.
Since 2008, during the re-modeling of her tiny house, art work began to crawl into the plaster and wood paneling. The bathroom tiles grew a mural, an ode to an ending florist career, and pulling in the gardens that adorn the house. The use of common building materials, sheets of plywood and plaster, became the ground work for Augusta's art practice, for the years to come.
After what started as a side project in 2007, Augusta founded the Carnegie Picture Lab, a volunteer art history and art education nonprofit in the Walla Walla Valley for Elementary schools. Carnegie Picture Lab continues to play an important role in her family's life. In particular, helping to establish a healthy development program. The now established nonprofit has 70 volunteers, serves 9 schools, with 4000 students, a two person paid staff, including a program director, and a 10 person board in housed on Main street.
Augusta now directs the majority of her attention towards her own art. Integrating art into life as a layer versus as an object has been a theme. The body of work continues to explore multiple mediums, raw and precious lines, color light study, and spacial mapping.
The work has become more abstracted, and the color atmospheres more emotive. Though derived from relationship studies, like the bowing of one tree to another, it is only yet another form of abstract narrative conveyance.
The social aspect of the art practice, specifically the installation's influence, is the indication of a good host.
Studio Two ZeroTwo
Walla Walla. Washington