Tim Parsley

Tim Parsley

Official Sites: Website | Instagram

About The Artist

Tim Parsley is Associate Professor and Program Director of Studio Art at the University of Saint Francis, Division of Creative Arts, in Fort Wayne, IN. Tim earned his BFA from the University of Cincinnati and his MFA from Miami University (Oxford, OH). As an artist primarily working through painting, drawing, and collage, Tim’s work navigates the history of America and the complicated tensions caused by its constructive ambition. He also works as a public artist and public art educator, creating numerous, large-scale, publicly-supported mural projects throughout the Midwest, New York, and Nairobi, Kenya. Tim currently serves as a member of the City of Fort Wayne Public Mural Commission. Additionally, Tim has been significantly committed to strengthening the local art galleries of his community, previously serving as the Assistant Director of Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Manifest Drawing Center in Cincinnati, OH, and currently as a board member at Artlink Contemporary Gallery in Fort Wayne, IN.

Artist Statement

My work navigates American history and the complicated effect of its constructive ambition. With a focus on the originating stories of America, I appropriate and piece together scraps of historical imagery and collective memory, reconstructing the American narrative of progress to reveal and reinterpret nostalgic anxiety about the past. The construction of America was a dichotomous and implicating mixture of hope, pride, destruction, and dominance culminating in a conflicted national history. We live in the wake of this complicated history and continue to play out the same drama in our individual lives. My paintings, collages, and drawings explore the undercurrent assumptions that cultivate this phenomenon.

The pieces included in Beyond the Pail are some of the leftover crumbs of my mural process. They represent the wear and tear of not only the design planning but the scraped knuckles and tattered brushes of each wall I’ve had the opportunity to paint. My projects result from an engaged dialogue with a community about how they define themselves historically and hopefully. Often this dialogue involves students, as most of my mural work has also been as an educator of either my university students or members of the public itself. My hope is that when a mural is complete, and the last crumbs are swept up and put away, the public can look at their mural and say, “Look at what WE created!” regardless of whether they ever held a brush in their hand.

Beyond the Pail Artwork

Creative Practice

As a husband/father and full-time professor, my personal creative practice has found the most traction through my home studio, where I paint, draw, and collage my way around the complicated history of America. My work as an artist has always found its form between my family’s priorities. They are my first audience. While this, and my work as a professor, can limit my studio time during certain seasons, I see those limits as not only necessary but creatively productive as they require me to focus and problem-solve in ways that all the time in the world would likely not allow.