American Relics

In the Relic Americana series I am exploring the concept of the American identity. Knowing that the objects and events that are meaningful to an individual are incorporated into a self-image, I mine the popular culture that surrounds me.  I use the forms of medieval reliquaries, with humor and irony, as a means to question what I value.  Just as the venerated body parts of saints acted as a conduit to supreme power, the relics I create help me to understand and access culture I am immersed in. 

Reliquary for an American Icon: Mickey Mouse - 2011
In he collection of Ryan Lee

 Reliquary of the Franchise - 2011

Reliquary for Soda Wars - 2011
In the collection of David Gianfredi

True Fragments of Route 66 Neon II - 2011
In the collection of David Gianfredi

 A True Piece of American Diet
7" dia x 14" tall, guilt bronze & brass, hamburger pieces sealed under glass, and marble base  - 2010
Collection of Robert Marshall family

Pop Art Relic: Emblem of the End of Art
24" dia x 5" deep, clock frame, brillo box, magnifying lens - 2010


Foster Art True Canyon 2
A True Piece of the Canyon - 2010

True canyon college
The True Piece of a Canyon college is centered around a postcard dated September 18, 8am, 1913. J.T.'s note to Mr. E. M. Tuttle of Ithaca, NY does not say much, other than he/she gained a special affinity for mules on the Bright Angle Trail. Nonetheless, I loved the card and wanted both side to be visible so I color copied it onto new card stalk and cut and pasted around it.

Reliquary for an American Icon: Coke II - 2010
Loaned to Crystal Young-Otterstrom, Salt Lake City, UT in 2010 now in the collection of Frank McEntire.

Foster Art civil rights pa copy

Relics of the American Civil Rights Movement - 2010
In the collection of Donna & Tirrell Hayes

Each button was worn on a march on Washington D.C. The white button with clasp hands was worn on August 28, 1963 when Dr. Martin Luther King gave the I Have A Dream speech. The blue button with hands holding a dove was worn on November 27, 1965 where people rallied for Peace in Vietnam.

foster art Wisdom blk
Reliquary for an American Virtue: Wisdom - 2009
In the collection of Chuck Green

wisdom relic detail

Detail of Relic. I found this pack of gum in a novelty shop and instantly thought that it was the type of advice to come from my own father. I had to acquire the piece and use it.

Rt66 Neon
True Fragments of Route 66 Neon - 2009

Reliquary for a Lifesaver - 2008
Portrait with the Reliquary taken by Aaron Eskaran in July 2012

Detail of top with vintage pro seat belt button.

Reliquary for an American Virtue: Humor - 2008
In the collection of Sharon Gray


Reliquary of an American Icon - 2007

The following are a series of collages  completed in August 2007.  Using an older intaglio print I set myself strict parameters as to what could or needed to be used in the image; such as they all contain a flag, bird, and a Native American.  They are designed similar to advent calendars with the chocolate that you would normally find behind the doors replaced with a miniature coke bottle.



A True Piece of a Barbie 
12" dia x 18" tall- 2006

hot dog

A True Piece of an Oscar Mayer - 2004
A hot dog fragment is encased under glass inside the alabaster carver dog. The dog is only two inches long.