• Sara Hubbs and Sarah Zapata: <br> Between gravity and ground

Sara Hubbs and Sarah Zapata:
Between gravity and ground

February 2 – June 23, 2024
East Wing Galleries

Between gravity and ground is an exhibition that features glass and textile works by artists Sara Hubbs and Sarah Zapata who combine craft-based techniques with experimental processes to create objects that merge familiar and ambiguous. Together, their artworks converge in a constellation of strange forms, vibrant colors, and an abundance of textures to conjure a space of fantasy and possibility.

Sara Hubbs takes an intuitive approach to working with glass, using improvisational processes to produce collections of tactilely-rich objects. She often makes vessels  – containers that map the contours of absence – to consider the act of holding space within caretaking and grief. Her works are formed with objects that reflect her roles as parent and kin such as medical tubing, architectural features, toy packaging, bows, and body parts. Attending to the ways we shape one another, she uses multi-step casting, slumping, and firing methods that alter her material references, resulting in varied states of legibility, distortion, and abstraction. The soft curves and hard surfaces of her sculptures evoke multiple associations such as shiny oversized candies and draping fabric, snaking riverbeds and translucent topographies, or brightly hued internal organs and mysterious organic matter.

Sarah Zapata combines traditional weaving techniques with vibrant colorways to create lush, collage-like, textile objects. Drawing from her identity as a Peruvian-American growing up queer in the Evangelical church, her work is informed by ancient textile traditions, Christian symbolism, colonial histories, and queer theory. Her exuberant fiber works incorporate historically-rich signifiers like stripes, a familiar pattern that holds a long history of marking individual and social bodies as deviant, criminal, or other. Zapata rearranges these kinds of power structures by intentionally combining opposites—good and bad, past and future, high and low—to situate her work in a generative place of in-betweenness. Working in large-scale sculptural and architectural dimensions to produce immersive spaces of fantasy, Zapata notes, “I want to create these otherworldly experiences for the viewer to access ideas of potential and futurity.”

Together, the glassy contours of Hubbs’s objects and the soft shag of Zapata’s textiles generate an environment to imagine other ways of being. These artworks exceed neat categorization and are suspended in the interstitial–somewhere between gravity and ground.


This exhibition is organized by Alexis Wilkinson, Curator.

Generous support for this exhibition is provided by an AMPLIFY CREATIVITY GRANT from the ARTEZONA Foundation; University of Arizona Institute for LGBTQ+ Studies; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Arizona Commission on the Arts; and MOCA Tucson’s Board of Trustees, Ambassador Council, and Members.

In-kind support provided by Rune Wines and Exo Roast Coffee, Co. 

Concurrent with her exhibition at MOCA, 2023 CALA Alliance Resident, Sarah Zapata has a solo exhibition, Beneath the breath of the sun, on view at the ASU Art Museum February 10 – July 21, 2024.


About the artists

Sara Hubbs completed a BFA in Painting at Arizona State University and an MFA in Visual Art at The George Washington University where she received the Morris Louis Fellowship. Her work has been included in group shows at the Ex-Teresa Arte Cultural in Mexico City, The Delaware Contemporary, Collarworks in Troy, NY, The Tucson Museum of Art and Carnation Contemporary in Portland, OR. In 2023, she presented a solo booth at NADA New York with Everybody from Tucson, AZ. Sara attended residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and at The Cooper Union. She received an R & D Grant from The Arizona Commission on the Arts and was a founding member of the Stew-dio Visit Artist Collective, a recipient of a stART Grant from the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona. Recently, her work was included in New Glass Review 42 from the Corning Museum of Glass and her collaborative project, DelaLuz, was shown at Espacio CDMX for Design Week Mexico in Mexico City. Sara also founded and operates Millville Artist Studios in Tucson, AZ. She lives with her partner and child in Tucson, AZ.

Sarah Zapata is an artist and writer based in Brooklyn, NY. She has held solo exhibitions with Museo MATE (Lima), Performance Space New York (NY), Deli Gallery (NY), el Museo del Barrio (NY), amongst others. Her work has been exhibited at the New Museum (NY), Museum of Art and Design (NY), Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art (NY), Boston University (MA), LAXART (CA), Paul Kasmin (NY), Arsenal Contemporary (NY), EFA Project Space (NY), Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center (NY). Zapata has also completed residencies at the Museum of Arts and Design (NY), A-Z West (CA), and Wave Hill (NY). She has been the recipient of grants from the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and the Dallas Museum of Art. Zapata was a 2019-2020 Literature Fellow with the Queer Art Mentorship program.


Image Credits: Sara Hubbs and Sarah Zapata, Between gravity and ground, installation view, MOCA Tucson, 2023. Photograph by Maya Hawk. Sara Hubbs, Tending the Garden, 2021. Photograph by Maya Hawk. Photograph courtesy of Everybody; Sarah Zapata, Installation view of Existing with the Moon Under our Feet, 2022. Photograph courtesy of the artist and Deli Gallery. Photograph © Sarah Zapata.