Nathan Gorgen and Molly Jo Burke are an artist and designer couple who create semi-functional artwork centered on the complexity of modern life as they are forced to grapple with the blending boundaries of work, art and parenting.
They use discarded art, found objects and sustainably sourced natural materials, as well as objects they collect in their family life, such as unused or broken children’s items and leftover components from home improvement projects and industrial remnants. This results in the imaginative repurposing of substances for roles that they do not normally fill, allowing the artists to create surprising, occasionally whimsical artwork while also addressing their own “waste stream,” reflecting on consumer culture in general and playing with the perception of a material’s purpose, quality and value.
For this series, Nathan and Molly have included items from their home libraries and book shelves, places in the home that are functional but also curated. The vacuum formed pieces create dimensional portraits of the home.
Nathan Gorgen is a Columbus, Ohio based artist and educator. His artwork explores the space between art and design, as well as digital and traditional fabrication and recycled materials. This manifests as objects on a continuum between furniture and sculpture with varying levels of functionality. Gorgen received his Bachelor of Fine Arts (2008) in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art and his Master of Fine Arts (2012) from Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD). After graduation he worked in exhibition design and manufacturing before becoming the Lab Supervisor at the Studios for Art and Design Research at The Ohio State University. Gorgen has also taught at CCAD and Ohio State and exhibited his work around the country, including at the Toledo Museum of Art, Inlight Richmond and the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art.
Molly Jo Burke
Molly Jo Burke is a Columbus, Ohio based artist and educator. She creates artwork examining details of our environment and repetition of forms throughout various ecosystems using traditional and non-traditional materials. Her use of materials reflects on humanity's interactions with nature — sometimes beautiful but at times destructive and precarious. Forms are inspired by cells, plants, coral and the architecture created by living organisms. Burke received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (2006) from Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD) and a Master of Fine Arts (2009) from Ohio State. In 2019 she accepted the Barnett Fellowship from Ohio State’s Arts Administration Education and Policy Program to pursue her PhD. She has taught at Ohio State, CCAD and Corning Museum of Glass. Her work has been featured most recently at Toledo Museum of Art, Columbus Museum of Art and the Centre Pompidou in Paris, France.