Amy Bright Unfried - Biography
Amy Bright Unfried's sculpture is her second career. With degrees in economics from Wellesley and Yale, her first career was in economics and finance, but a search for a new path later led her to making bronze sculpture. After training in classical realism at art schools in New York, her first body of sculpture focussed on the human figure in a classical realist style. Later, after moving full time to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, she found herself making a new kind of work, small trees directly cast from interesting branches she found on her walks in the valley. Familiar local birds settled in the branches of these little trees.
As more time passed, her work took a turn toward abstraction as she began to explore the Moebius strip in compositions of all kinds. She enjoys the freedom that abstraction gives her to use color in non-naturalistic ways, as well as to experiment with different types of yarns and knitting stitches.
Sculptor Amy Bright Unfried grew up in Massachusetts, lived in Westchester County, New York, for 25 years, and now lives in Wyoming. She earned degrees in economics from Wellesley College and Yale University. After a career in finance and economics, she began a search for a different type of life's work. This search ultimately led her to sculpture: several years of courses at SUNY-Purchase were followed by three years of study at the National Academy of Design's School of Fine Arts in Manhattan. Since 1994 she has maintained her own studio.
Over the years her work has involved three distinct periods. Her first body of work was of human figures, in a traditional realist style. She created figures in clay or wax and had them cast in bronze editions at a specialized fine art foundry. The figures ranged from small and medium-sized tabletop pieces to life-size commissions for public locations. From 2001 through 2011 she developed her second body of work, small one-of-a-kind trees inhabited by small western birds and directly cast from small found branches. Beginning in 2011, her third body of work grew out of these, based on the pleasing mathematical form of the Moebius strip, and continuing to incorporate birds.
Amy Bright Unfried has exhibited extensively nationwide since 1991, in exhibitions and galleries and museums from New England to Wyoming and Colorado, and in Australia. Her work has been selected for inclusion in many of the most prestigious and selective juried art shows in the greater New York area, including those of the American Artists Professional League, Allied Artists of America, the National Sculpture Society, the National Arts Club, the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, the Salmagundi Club, The Pen and Brush Club, the Hudson Valley Art Association, Audubon Artists, the New Rochelle Art Association, the New Jersey Center for Visual Arts, the Ridgewood (N.J.) Art Association, and others.
She has won awards in many of these shows: Among these are the Medal of Honor from the American Artists Professional League and the Anna Hyatt Huntington Horse's Head Award from the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club. She is an elected member of art clubs including the National Association of Women Artists, the Pen and Brush Club, Allied Artists of America , and the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club , where she served on the board as sculpture chairman and from 1998-2000 as president, and in 2009 was recognized as Honored Member of the Year. A casting of her sculpture Two Sisters was acquired in March 2006 by the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, as part of its National Association of Women Artists Collection. She is also a member of Episcopal Church Visual Artists.
She is currently represented by Brush Art Ventures in Jackson Hole. For fuller information, see Exhibitions.
She has completed many commissioned works, including portraits for private clients as well as two life-sized commissioned works for public locations in Jackson, Wyoming--a Nativity for a church lawn and a young man on a bench in an art center courtyard. Her work is in numerous private and institutional collections.