About the work
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 (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), her first body of sculpture focussed on the human figure in a classical 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.
Later, after moving full time to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, she found herself making a new kind of work, small one-of-a-kind 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, which made up most of her work for ten years.
Beginning in 2011, her third body of work grew out of these, using a different material as the starting point for direct-cast lost-wax bronzes turning more towards abstraction. Now based on the pleasing mathematical form of the Moebius strip, these one-of-a-kind pieces originated in knitted or crocheted yarns, and continued to incorporate birds.
A Moebius Strip is a mathematical object with only one surface and one edge. It is frequently seen as a symbol of infinity. These Moebius Strip bronze sculptures, one-of-a-kind pieces originating in knitted or crocheted yarns, juxtapose these soft arts with the great tensile strength of bronze to create unique and colorful compositions. Experimenting with different types of yarns, knitting stitches and crochet, she has made over two hundred small pieces exploring the wide variety of ways of shaping and combining this simple form– twisting, combining, texturing and coloring them in endless ways– while birds, also an essential component of every piece, suggest motion, uplift, flight, and freedom.
Exhibitions, Awards and Memberships
Sculptor 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 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.