by Plush


Date & Time

July 15

- September 14

12:00 AM - 11:59 PM

Montserrat Gallery
23 Essex St
, MA
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About this Event

Plush is a group exhibition that explores references to and uses of stuffed toys in a range of artistic practices that extend beyond contexts of childhood. Through a variety of media, including sculpture, assemblage, mixed media, and photography, the participating artists transform reclaimed and fabricated objects to convey a range of human emotions. Turning away from the idea of the stuffed toy as merely a ‘toy’, these plush objects become charged metaphors exploring love and attachment, becoming surrogates, comfort items, and tangible manifestations of joy or sorrow. The exhibition aims to consider how we form attachments to these objects and what their softness evokes within us.

Curated by Crow Stevenson, Montserrat Galleries Curatorial Assistant, with Lynne Cooney, Director of Exhibitions and Galleries, the included artists expand common conceptions and representations of stuffed objects.  

An amalgamation of various plushies
Jeffrey Nowlin
Monster (detail), 2019
Fabric, yarn, thread, polyfill,
stuffed animals, vacuum hose
114 in. 36 in. x 18 in.
Brittany Gorelick
Left Behind I, 2024
21 in. x 30 in.
Julie Peppito
All-In-One, 2023
Reclaimed objects, paper mâché, fabric, thread, beads, clay, resin, gouache, wood, fabric paint
19 in x 7 in x 10 in












Andrew Cain, who lives in Upstate New York, explores in his mixed media work ideas of ephemerality, memory, and nostalgia. I Love Your Guts is an interactive installation featuring life-size plush objects that are meant to be caressed, squeezed, and nuzzled. Conceived during the COVID-19 Pandemic, I Love Your Guts served as a proxy for physical contact when social distancing was the norm. Cain’s iteration for Montserrat Galleries reminds us of the importance of touch as integral to human connection and togetherness.

Brittany Gorelick is an artist and printmaker currently based in Kansas. Through traditional printmaking, alternative papermaking and photographic processes, Gorelick uses abstraction to explore the unseen symptoms of mental health. In two unique prints included in Plush, Gorelick used an unstuffed teddy bear as a printmaking substrate. Run through the press, the teddy bear form appears like a medical x-ray, evoking a human dimension.

Aodhan Gyory, currently based in Upstate New York, works across multiple formats including soft sculpture, textiles, and illustration. Gyory’s soft sculpture included in the exhibition is a plush car seat that is part figure and wearable object. Made after experiencing a car accident. Gyory’s car seat recalls the harrowing moment in which Gyory was suspended from a sideways turned car only by a seatbelt.

Stephanie Metz is a California-based artist who works primarily in wool and industrial felt, humble materials that embody contradictions in both the physical and conceptual realms. Metz transforms tangible materials into satisfying forms, which occasionally resonate with kindred spirits. In her Teddy Bear Unnatural History series, represented by two works in the exhibition, Metz alludes to the methods and taxonomies of the natural sciences to examine the iconic teddy bear as an allegory for the way humans manipulate the natural world to our own ends.

Regional artist, Jeffrey Nowlin, imagines the complexities of human experience through weaving and embroidery. His large-scale sculpture, Monster, is a collection of childhood plush toys, bound together with coiled weaving. Monster is a metaphor for the psychological responses engendered by childhood memories. 

Julie Peppito is a New York based artist and activist who interrogates the political and environmental impacts of our consumer-based culture. An activist and artist, Peppito uses her artmaking to draw connections between our dependence upon cheaply made and disposable goods, including reclaimed stuffed toys, and their destructive effects on the planet and on human health.

Megan Whitmarsh, who lives in Los Angeles, works in a variety of low-tech media including drawing, comics, stop-action animation, hand-embroidery and soft sculpture inspired by growing up in the 1970’s and 80’s. Whitmarsh’s soft sculpture re-fabrications of functional objects reflect our collective material history and explore relationships between cultural and personal narratives. 

Haley Wood is a fiber artist living in Arlington, Massachusetts. Wood is inspired by medieval marginalia, folk horror, antiquities and oddities, and living creatures that embody personality. From wall-hangings to tufted pillows created as multiples. Wood depicts a range of creatures that draw on children’s stories and folk traditions.