Imagined Fungal Emergence, 2023Reclaimed aluminum and aluminum fasteners

Images: Byron Guinanzaca, Alexa Hoyer, Joyce S. Chan

Using reclaimed aluminum blinds, Rusek creates an immersive tapestry inspired by clusters of fungi. Referencing both natural and manmade architectural structures, the installation features archways and openings that invite visitors to navigate through the suspended forms. Notice how each cluster draws strength from its neighboring component while also relying on the supportive embrace of the trees. Crafted predominantly from waste sourced in New York City, this work challenges preconceived notions of value, and imagines a future where each element holds regenerative potential.

*2023 Devra Freelander Artist Fellow


Kate Rusek talks about Imagined Fungal Emergence in The Socrates Annual 2023.

Video by KMDECO Creative. Courtesy of Socrates Sculpture Park, 2023


Influenced by man-made environmental catastrophes, emotional landscapes, and ecological systems, Kate Rusek assembles highly tactile sculptures transmuting these themes into abundant maximalism. She shape scenes that interrogate the binary between the living and manufactured worlds. Selected exhibitions include Mizuma, Kips, and Wada, Studio Archive, The Lowe Art Museum, The Gallery of Visual Arts at The University of Montana, Portal Art Fair, La Bodega, and Governor’s Island Art Fair. She is a Socrates Annual Fellow for 2023 and a recipient of a Wingate Distinguished Fellowship for Innovation in Craft. Rusek has been awarded residencies at The Archie Bray Foundation, Chulitna Lodge, Vermont Studio Center, The Hambidge Center, and Western Montana Creative Initiatives among others. Additionally, Kate Rusek is a Daytime Emmy winning designer and builder of costumes, puppets, and props within the broader television and film industry. Rusek lives and works on the East and West Coast, splitting her time between NYC and the Pacific Northwest.


Sep 30, 2023 – Mar 24, 2024 The Socrates Annual 2023