Multimedia and Sculptural Exhibition ‘Threads’ Opens at PlySpace Gallery on First Thursday, December 5

Detail of nuno felted tapestry by Plyspace resident Sarah Trad. Photo providedDetail of nuno felted tapestry by Plyspace resident Sarah Trad. Photo provided

By: Erin Williams—

Muncie, IN— Muncie Arts and Culture Council will present a pop-up, one-night-only exhibition of new multimedia and sculpture artwork by PlySpace artists-in-residence Sarah Trad and Sydney Pursel. The exhibition titled Threads explores concurrent themes in the artists’ work related to personal heritage and representation. The exhibition will be held on First Thursday, December 5th, from 5-8 PM in the PlySpace Gallery. Both artists will be present throughout the evening and share brief remarks about their work at 7:00 PM. Light refreshments will be served and the public is invited to attend.

Since their arrival in early November, both Trad and Pursel have completed collaborative, community-based arts projects in the city of Muncie while also working on their own artwork in the PlySpace Studios in Madjax. Trad collaborated with both Ball State University School of Art and the Islamic Center of Muncie to offer workshops on nuno felting in the month of November. Pursel collaborated with Minnetrista and The Delaware County Historical Society to offer an iteration of The Feast, an educational performance where she created handmade plates and place settings that celebrate the many Native American tribes of the United States. Both artists were also joined by visiting artist Toby Kaufmann-Buhler for Heritage in Practice, a panel discussion at Ball State University School of Art on November 14th. The event, moderated by Tania Said, Director of Education at the David Owsley Museum of Art, explored topics of heritage and cultural expression in artwork.

Threads will be the culmination of work created by the artists during their residency experience. The two-person exhibition will examine themes of decolonization and representation of both Indigenous Native American and Middle Eastern cultures as they pertain to each artist’s specific family life. Using traditional clothing, textile, and pattern design and practice, among other media, each artist will explore how inherited trauma such as mental illness and addiction causes rifts in future generations. Each artist hopes to use their work as a window to understanding the position of Native American and Middle Eastern cultural identities outside of their problematic historical representations.

Sydney Pursel (Kansas City, MS) is an interdisciplinary artist specializing in interactive, socially engaged, and performance art. Through art she explores personal identity drawing from her Indigenous and Irish Catholic roots and links identity struggles with contemporary Indigenous issues. Her work has been shown at public parks, universities, galleries, and alternative spaces across the U.S. and Canada. Pursel received her MFA in Expanded Media at the University of Kansas and her BFA in Painting from the University of Missouri. She was the first recipient of the Ucross Fellowship for Native American Visual Artists, received the Harpo Foundation Native American Residency Fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center, and was selected for the Indigenous Arts Initiative Residency program through the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission. Pursel is an enrolled member of the Ioway Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska.

Sarah Trad (Philadelphia, PA) is a video artist and curator who explores the relationship between subjective and objective emotionality, navigating daily life and relationships while faced with mental illness and breaking down stereotypes of gender and narrative. Her work also highlights how mental illness and coming from marginalized backgrounds intersects with internal emotional worlds. Sarah has participated in other residencies, such as the 77Art Residency in Rutland, Vermont and is a recipient of the Carol N. Schmuckler Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film. Sarah’s work has been shown at The Warehouse Gallery (Syracuse, NY), Kitchen Table Gallery (Philadelphia, PA), Gravy Studio and Gallery (Philadelphia, PA) and the Everson Museum of Art (Syracuse, NY). She is currently part of the Philadelphia artist-run gallery, Little Berlin.

Learn more about Muncie Arts & Culture Council by visiting More information about PlySpace Fall Term events can be found on the PlySpace website at and the PlySpace Facebook page. Learn more about the residents by visiting Questions or comments about the PlySpace Residency program, events, and community collaborations can be directed to the Residency Coordinator, Erin Williams, at


PlySpace is a program of Muncie Arts and Culture Council in partnership with the City of Muncie, Ball State University School of Art, and Sustainable Muncie Corporation. PlySpace is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.