KERA Arts Story Search

Past Events

Andrea Tosten | Paper Altars

Terrain Dallas

Terrain Dallas 

Andrea Tosten

Paper Altars

December 13, 2020 – January 19, 2021

Terrain Dallas is proud to present Andrea Tosten’s site-specific installation, Paper Altars, on view December 13, 2020 – January 19, 2021.

Tosten is an artist, calligrapher, and bookbinder. Her works on paper and installations explore social constructs, binary thinking, and the nature of existence. She utilizes letterforms, paper, and sewing to recontextualize and conceptualize her Catholic upbringing, background, and her place in history. Paper Altars is her second solo exhibition for 2020.

Using symbolic color, the practice of origami, and her skill as a calligrapher, Tosten will construct parterre paper altars in/around the landscape of Terrain Dallas. Parterre translates from French or Creole into English as “flowerbeds” or “orchestra”, but can also translate more broadly as “an organized mélange of different offerings and music”. Tosten’s altars will reference historical accuracies of parterres by residing on the ground at Terrain Dallas and being well ordered in their structure, but they will differ in their purpose and meaning.

The individual altars, which reference her creole heritage and her identity as a Black/African-American woman, are informed by spiritual practices in Catholicism and Louisiana Voodoo. Through this work, Tosten explores the complex histories of the African Diaspora and patriarchal power structures to “strengthen her spiritual scaffolding”.  

Situating these altars at Terrain Dallas, an outdoor environment with all the complications of weather, adds another layer to Tosten’s work. Over time the paper material that makes up the altars may change in color and shape depending on the natural elements.  This is  intentional as it relates to the artist’s interest in material experimentation and is a conceptualization of shifting social constructs. 

Visitors to Terrain Dallas are welcome to walk around the Paper Altars, taking special care to avoid disturbing them. 

Andrea Tosten has practiced calligraphy for fifteen years and taught workshops in the medium for seven years. She is an experienced bookbinder at the Book Doctor in Oak Cliff – Dallas, TX. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science from Texas A&M University and a Master of Liberal Arts in Museum Studies from the University of Oklahoma. Following her solo exhibition, Martyrdom at Mountain View College in Dallas, TX, she was invited to exhibit in Going Through a Phrase curated by Dennis Nance, Galveston Arts Center, Galveston, TX. She was a 2019-20 artist in residence at Tarrant County College South Campus. 

Founded by local artist, educator, and curator Iris Bechtol, Terrain Dallas is a public exhibition space located in Elmwood, a historic neighborhood in Oak Cliff - Dallas, TX. Terrain Dallas focuses on exhibiting site specific, temporary interventions by emerging artists in and around the landscape of a suburban dwelling. Offering artists a place to experiment within an alternative setting, Terrain Dallas functions as a site of connection, exposing the community to new ideas and experiences through challenging works of contemporary art. 

Terrain Dallas is located at 1122 Elmdale Pl, Dallas, TX 75224
Viewing Hours: Seven days a week, 10 am - 6 pm during exhibition

Official Site   Instagram Tumblr

  • FREE!

1122 Elmdale Pl · Dallas, TX 75224