June Ahrens is a sculptor and installation artist. Throughout her career, she has created collaborative and community based projects as well as individual sculptures and installations. Several of those projects involved both global and local communities. Examples include installations such as The Healing Heart Project addressing 9/11, The Wishbone Project, addressing homelessness and an upcoming show, Breaking Through the Darkness, addressing mental health, which will include viewer participation.
June has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards including The National Endowment for the Arts, the Duracell and Polaroid Foundations and a nomination for a Joan Mitchell Foundation grant. She received the Distinguished Advocate for the Arts Award from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts as well as an Individual Artists Grant.
Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally and resides in the permanent collections of several universities and museums, with the latest acquisition by the Kemper Museum, Kansas City, MO. June’s work is part of the collections of the Trustman Gallery, Boston, MA, Housatonic Museum, Bridgeport, CT, Contemporary Gallery of Art, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT, Sculpture Art Gallery, Matera, Italy, Copelouzos Art Museum, Athens, Greece and Silvermine Arts Center, New Canaan, CT.
June is a graduate of Purchase College, NY where she received a BFA degree (Summa Cum Laude) and she was also part of an advanced studies group at Yale University.
Over the years my art has explored the issues of fragility, vulnerability, danger, and healing. These themes continue to surface, especially today and I respond to them as best I can – through a visual language that takes many forms and shapes, often unexpected and surprising. I have learned to let the work lead me and to embrace the openness of what lies ahead. It goes beyond what we know and asks “what if?”
I create sculptures and site-dependent installations and digital work that incorporate everyday materials such as cement board, repurposed glass, powdered chalk, filters and mirrors. I isolate these materials to refocus the viewers’ attention toward exploring and examining their own thoughts and feelings. The work continues to mine the materials of mass culture, creating an alternative world and an environment that transcends boundaries. I want to create a map of awareness, bringing the past into the present.
“A cry, almost a song, to mourn what has been lost while its memory refuses to depart, and a cry to celebrate what has been left, however little, to infuse it with residues of old knowledge.” – Ishmael Beah, from Radiance of Tomorrow: A Novel
- June Ahrens