Rose Simpson Dream House at Fabric Workshop and Museum

The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) in Philadelphia presents a new site-specific installation by New Mexico-based artist Rose Simpson. Simpson, who is best-known for her works in ceramics, was encouraged by the FWM Studio team to explore and experiment with other materials and mediums to create an introspective body of work. Rose Simpson Dream House is the result.

“It’s been an honor working with Rose over the course of two years,” Executive Director Christina Vassallo said. “The structure of the FWM Studio team and our residency program offered her the opportunity to experiment with different processes, such as architectural installation and film, that offer new modes of expression to this celebrated artist’s practice.”

Dream House marks a shift in Simpson’s practice from figurative-based installations and objects to one rooted in personal experience and architecture with an implied figurative presence.

Inspired by Pueblo architecture, her ancestral landscape, and magical realism, Rose Simpson Dream House explores the imprints and through-lines that connect and orient her life as an artist, an Indigenous person, and a mother. The multi-room installation constructed at FWM presents Simpson’s perspective on her own domestic narrative, kinship, subconscious, and desire through use of ceramic, textile, sculpture, and the artist’s first-ever works in video, all created in collaboration with the FWM studio team.

Many of the ceramics on view were created by Simpson at Philadelphia’s The Clay Studio, a partner on this project. Rose Simpson Dream House opens on October 7, 2022 and runs until March 26, 2023.

Simpson’s connection with her multigenerational, matrilineal lineage of ceramicists resonate throughout the installation, developed as spaces reminiscent of the intimate adobe architecture found in Southwest New Mexico. Upon entering FWM’s eighth floor gallery, visitors’ shadows are projected onto the gallery wall, immediately welcoming and acknowledging one’s presence in the space as one enters the installation.

Visiting Dream House

Partitioned into separated rooms that visitors navigate between and peer inside, each presents an aspect of home: safety and emotional comfort, the work of psychological and spiritual growth, as well as abundance and fullness. Built so that visitors can peer inside, the first room features a video work depicting a landscape conveying Simpson’s notions of safety and empowerment, while the space is filled with textiles created to express comfort, along with a tapestry of interwoven figurative ceramic pieces.

A table and chairs designed by the artist fill the second room, representing familial influence and the dedication to her practice of self-reflection. Large ceramic masks suspended above the workspace reference a lineage and accountability to forebears and a sustained connection to them.

The third room, presenting aspects of fullness, features artist-made clothing, pottery, and shelves. In each of these spaces, Simpson includes video footage capturing important locations and moments of personal resonance.

In the fourth and final space, representing “the present” and located in front of the gallery’s monumental window, Simpson offers a light-filled gathering space for visitors to enter, sit, rest, reflect, and contemplate their own relationship with home and nourishment. Various public programs will be hosted at this communal site throughout the run of the exhibition, offering visitors a deeper connection of self-awareness in relation to place and community.

About Rose Simpson

Rose Simpson (born 1983, lives and works with her young daughter in Santa Clara Pueblo, NM) is a mixed-media artist whose work explores the impact, both emotional and existential, of living in the postmodern and postcolonial world. Simpson has a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Art, an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design and an MA in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts.

She has had recent solo exhibitions at the Wheelwright Museum, Santa Fe, NM, the Nevada Art Museum, Reno, NV, and SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA, is featured in a current solo at the ICA Boston and has recently opened Counterculture, a public art installation at Field Farm, Williamstown, MA (2022). Museum collections include the Denver Art Museum, ICA Boston, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Nevada Art Museum, Pomona College Museum of Art, Portland Art Museum, Princeton University Art Museum, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Public Events


Opening Celebration

Thursday, October 6

6:00–8:00 pm

Be among the first to experience Rose B. Simpson, the culmination of the artist’s residency. Light refreshments served

FREE | advance registration encouraged


First Friday: Printing for Gifting

Friday, November 4

4:00–6:00 pm

When speaking about her work and her life, Artist-in-Residence Rose Simpson describes a room of fullness, a place from which she has so much to give. With ample materials for screenprinting, block printing, and sculpting available, we invite you to draw from your own fullness to create handmade gifts for your friends and family.

$20 Public | $15 FWM members | advance registration encouraged


First Friday: Printing for Gifting

Friday, December 2

4:00–6:00 pm

Make yourself or someone you love a special handmade gift. Participants can choose to screenprint a scarf or bandana as a special item and create prints on paper that can be transformed into one-of-a kind artworks, cards or gift wrap! We’ll be using prepared imagery and monoprinting techniques.

$20 Public | $15 FWM members | advance registration encouraged

More programming to be confirmed soon. Check for updates.

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