About



Hello!  Thanks for your interest in my work and visiting the site.  Here's a bit more about me:



I'm a native Texan and after finishing my BFA in 2001, I made the trek to the desert (Phoenix, AZ). I was lucky enough to meet the art community before I moved here so fortunately the transition was fairly easy.  I found studio space on Grand Avenue in downtown Phoenix right away and after 15 years I am still on Grand in a shared studio called The Lodge.  I work there with two other local artists, Rafael Navarro and Lisa Jacobs Handler.  We clean up the space and invite folks in once a month on First Friday.



From 2012-2015 I was a member of Eye Lounge, an artist-run contemporary art collective with a permanent space in downtown Phoenix since 2002. Eye Lounge was a great support for my growth as an artist.


My work is primarily oil on canvas.  The largest body of work has been inspired by water. I shoot under water digital photographs of figures and use these images as the source for my paintings.  I use water as a lens to see another perspective, a distorted reality or talk about the shifting perception of self and others that happens on a daily basis because of our physical and mental environments.

In 2016, I began exploring another dreamy environment, one that "conjures ghost-like images of only seemingly idyllic life for those trapped by little bits of Americana." -a fabulous description by Lynn Trimble. Again using photography as a reference and skewing the setting or characters just slightly, a quiet moment of contemplative unrest emerges.  This body of work was exhibited at MonOrchid in April 2016 and will continue to be developed.

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In 2015 I was a recipient of the 2015 Contemporary Forum Artist Grant.   Contemporary Forum (CF) – a support organization that champions contemporary art at Phoenix Art Museum awards grants to emerging artists working in Arizona. The recipients are selected by a jury in a competitive process from a pool of applicants who answer an annual open call. The work of selected artists is exhibited in a group show at PAM.  I'm thrilled for the prestigious award, to show at the museum and to meet more artists and art supporters because I'm always looking for new collaborations and challenges.

photo credit: Sean Deckert



Feel free to contact me with comments or questions via abbey.messmer@gmail.com
 




Sincerely, Abbey Messmer