Artist Statement


Ashley Lester
Born in Plattsburgh, NY

Lives & works in St-Petersburg, FL



The sound of a car lacking a muffler four miles away. The handmade wooden political signs plastered in my neighbors yard. The smell of a bottle redemption center. The six degrees, or maybe even three, of being related to everyone in town. My work is created through my use of iconography, symbolism, and material choices from lower class communities such as my hometown. Growing up in rural America, money was something that was always scarce. Therefore, expensive objects were often handbuild. If you needed a table for a backyard party, you made one with a warped piece of plywood on top of cinder blocks. If there was no plywood, you took the door off the house. If there were no cinder blocks, you borrowed some stacks of tires from the neighbor. Rural ingenuity and the need to invent is a major thread of my work. The work I create is also a reflection of and influenced by my experience growing up in rural America. I touch on issues and topics such as class, isolation, and stereotypes while simultaneously exposing and celebrating those communities and their often cliche cultures.