Resaw – New work by Nathan J. Baker

Summer 2023
GPS presents a new solo exhibition by resident artist Nathan J. Baker.
From the exhibition statement:
“Sculpture has unique characteristics as a form of artistic expression.  It often brings
presence – much like sharing a room with another person – generating a space of
confrontation or contemplation.  There is much visual art that exists on a flat plane. In contrast, sculptures inhabit and command space as objects, holding weight, both literal and metaphorical. They become areas of condensed meaning – often imbued through the physicality of their making, through the choice of materials, through the movement and energy of the artist’s body, through intentional action and intervention.

The materials chosen for this exhibition – mostly common grade sheets of plywood and basic construction lumber – are the materials that constitute the spaces we inhabit. Thus they become almost invisible by way of their ubiquity and commonness. These products are all examples of tree-as-commodity, creating a tension between the tree itself and the practical building material which it has become. As is the action of the artist.  Wrapped into these pieces are confrontations with work and value, abstraction and perfection, but with the shadow of the artist always present through his tools, his time, his decisions and his labor. 

Sculptures, as containers for meaning, are also informed by their relationship with the space in which they are placed. For this show, the works are housed in a building which the artist has transformed through years of physical labor and experience. This building itself is surrounded by the Monongahela National Forest as well as vast acres of private, active timberland – much of which is at the age of harvest.” 
Support for this exhibition is provided by the West Virginia Department of Arts,
Culture, and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from
the WV Commission on the Arts.
Nathan J. Baker is an artist and builder who lives and works in Thomas, WV. 
He is a co-founder of Gradient Projects and Invisible – an artist-run gallery in Thomas.

More Images to come.

Ravel • Unravel – Kimberly Joy Trathen

June 2022 – September 2022
Opening Saturday June 18th // 6pm – late

GPS invites you to the opening of a new solo exhibition by Kimberly Joy Trathen.

This new body of textile-based work is made by intimate, meditative wrapping of embroidery thread. It is rooted in a process of embodied healing and engages the artist’s personal experiences with loss. The exhibition includes a collaborative piece that invites the community to participate in the wrapping method as a way to process the collective grief of these past years.

Support for this exhibition is provided by the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture, and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the WV Commission on the Arts.

Kimberly Joy currently lives and works in Thomas, WV.
She is a contemporary textile artist and founder/co-founder of three artistic initiatives: 
Backstitched Design – a solo design studio;
Gradient Projects – an artist-run project space;
Studio Holler – a collaborative textile studio. // insta: @backstitched_design

Appalachian Ghosts – Raymond Thompson Jr.

May – August 2021
GPS presents ‘Appalachian Ghosts’ a solo exhibition by Morgantown-based photographer Raymond Thompson Jr.

schedule a visit | view the works for sale

instagram: @raythompsonjrphoto

Raymond Thompson Jr. – Appalachian GhostsFrom the artist’s project statement:
In the 1930s, migrant laborers came from all over the region to work on the construction of a 3-mile tunnel to divert the New River near Fayetteville, WV. During the process, workers were exposed to pure silica dust due to improper drilling techniques. Many developed a lung disease known as silicosis, which is estimated to have caused the death of nearly 800 workers. Up to two-thirds of those workers were African American. Besides a small plaque at the Hawks Nest State Park, which lists a significantly lower number than the actual number killed, there is very little to mark the site. There is also sparse visual documentation available about the event. There has been an effort to erase this tragic moment in history from the memory of West Virginia. 

In Appalachian Ghosts, I explore visual possibilities of what that time and place looked like, using primary-source materials to recreate the workers’ experiences in photographs. I have also recontextualized and re-presented archive photographs, originally made to document the construction of the Hawks Nest Tunnel dam and powerhouse. The few people caught in the photographic archive were often nameless and voiceless workers. Specifically, I’m looking at what has been left out of African-American visual history, which to date has mainly been documented with a colonial gaze. From this standpoint, I have sought to re/create work that has been informed by and made from historical documents and photographs.

My research also focused on working with non-visual resources that inspired the creation of new works. I researched news clips, letters, poetry and other cultural resources looking for information that described the experience of working in the tunnel. I was particularly struck by a poem from Muriel Rukeyser’s book The Book of the Dead called “George Robinson: Blues:”

As dark as I am. when I came out at morning after the tunnel at night
with a white man, nobody could have told which man was white.
The dust had covered us both, and the dust was white.
-Muriel Rukeyser “The Book of the Dead”

Rukeyser’s book, along with other primary-source documents, inspired a series of images that focuses on the silica dust that covered everything at the work site.”

schedule a visit | view the works for sale

instagram: @raythompsonjrphoto

Group show with Gina Mamone, Emily Prentice & Kimberly Joy Trathen

For the January Thomas Art Walk we will add work from Emily Prentice and Gina Mamone to the ongoing exhibition by Kimberly Joy Trathen.

Trathen, Prentice, Mamone group show

Gina Mamone

Gina Mamone is an audio engineer & maker living in the coalfields of West Virginia. Mamone engineered and produced some of the first Riot Grrrl albums to come out of the PNW. Up until 2014 Mamone was President of Riot Grrrl Ink. the largest queer record label in the world, with an artist roster of over 200 that ranged from the Gay Ole Opry to Andrea Gibson. In 2014, in an act of solidarity with the emerging #BLM movement and in an intentional act of reparations & redistribution of wealth, Mamone gave RGI to Awqward, the first queer POC/indigenous talent agency. As the Creative Director of the Queer Appalachia Project, they communicate with over a quarter of a million queers & allies daily who call home below the Mason-Dixon through the project. Mamone is also an Editor at the looking at Appalachia Project & is currently collaborating with Nan Goldin’s PAIN project.

instagram: @queerappalachia

Emily Prentice

Emily Prentice is a forever novice, a devotee to beginnings, and the Zine Queen of Randolph County. Her work focuses on the meeting place of the natural and the supernatural (the ways in which we’re of this world and beyond it), and it exists in the form of quilts, zines, drawings, and teaching. Find Emily’s creative practice online at

instagram: @_emily_prentice_

Kimberly Joy Trathen – Dutchman’s Puzzle – November 2018

Solo Exhibition of reclaimed leather quilts by Kimberly Joy Trathen

Opening November 10, 2018  – 6-9pm

Dutchman's Puzzle by Kimberly Joy Trathen

The textiles and garments that surround us silently accompany us through the unfolding experiences of our lives. New stories are gathered. New histories are created. The materials become charged with a spirit that is not reproducible – a kind of social life or aura created by its own unique history.
I create new work from old things: new bags from discarded leather coats, wallets from unwanted jackets, quilts from textile and leather remnants. For this body of work, I have woven scraps from previous projects into new works. The result is a charged piece of art, activated not only by my own hands, but from the material’s previous lives. Another layer is added to its history.
The humble roots of this practice – mostly utilitarian work-clothes quilts – fascinate me. They have helped inspire and guide my work in its present direction. The current exhibition explores variations on the traditional quilt pattern, Dutchman’s Puzzle.