Sean Healy originally hails from Brasher Falls, NY a small town on the Canadian border. Due to its proximity to the St. Lawrence Seaway the area once thrived with industry, and was home to several manufacturing plants, including: an ALCOA aluminum plant, a paper plant, and a General Motors plant. However, in recent years all of these companies have either greatly reduced their presence in the region, or, in the case of GM, moved out entirely, taking a large percentage of the population with them. While emblematic of the overall state of industry in America, this exodus also holds great personal meaning for Healy. The works included in Upstate use typical symbols of aging masculinity (thinning hair, cigarette butts, etc.) to explore how personal and communal identities can become intertwined with industry and one’s professional life, and consider what happens when these things are drastically altered.
Sean Healy was born in 1971, and received his BFA in Printmaking from Alfred University in 1994. In addition to his one-person exhibitions at the Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Healy has also exhibited at the Betty Moody Gallery (Houston, TX), and Marylhurst University (Marylhurst, OR). Additionally, he has received several important public commissions, including: The Wayne L. Morse Courthouse (Eugene, OR), Pioneer Place (Portland, OR), the General Services Administration Headquarters (Eugene, OR), and the FBI Headquarters (Houston, TX). The Elizabeth Leach Gallery has represented Healy since 1999, and in 2006 published a comprehensive catalog on his work featuring an essay by Stephanie Snyder, curator of the Cooley Gallery at Reed College.