Hillary Wagner is an artist currently based in Cincinnati, OH, near rural Appalachian Ohio where her family once farmed for generations.
Wagner's multidisciplinary, studio-based practice is primarily grounded in sculpture and installation but also incorporates sound, drawing, writing, collage, performance, video, and photography. Driven by a strong relationship to materials of an elemental nature, her work confronts questions of origin and place, memory and labor, and stewardship and nurture, as she investigates how each of these concerns intersect with an experience of alienation and displacement.
Wagner also maintains a socially engaged art practice. In 2017 with her collaborator artist, Francesca Fiore, she initiated SOIL SERIES: A Social Drawing, an artwork sited in her hometown of Bethel, OH. Then in 2018, she and Fiore joined with a group of Bethel residents to form the art collective Bird Closet.
Wagner holds an MFA in Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design and BA in Fine Arts from Mount Vernon Nazarene University. She was an invited speaker at the Queen’s Museum’s 2018 Open Engagement Conference and Project Anywhere’s 2018 Anywhere and Elsewhere Conference at The New School. She was interviewed by the Bad at Sports Podcast in Episode 639: Art and Ecology. Wagner has served as a visiting artist at Mount Vernon Nazarene University and as visiting artist and adjunct faculty at Northern Kentucky University in Digital Media and Art Appreciation. She is a founding member of the art collective Bird Closet and oversaw their 2018 solo, self-titled exhibition at Schnormeier Gallery in Mount Vernon, OH. Her work was selected for Project Anywhere’s 2018 global peer-reviewed online exhibition and she has been featured in publications such as Penmarks Annual Literary Journal and Plough Quarterly.