Image: Untitled, by Karen May, 2019.
Textiles Close Up
NIAD/Soft Material: On the Cusp of Art and Fashion
Tuesday, March 23rd
10:30 a.m. PST / 1:30 p.m. EST
Nurturing Independence through Artistic Development (NIAD) is a nonprofit arts organization that provides studios, supplies, and gallery space to artists with developmental, mental, and physical disabilities, many of whom are people of color. NIAD and Soft Material’s work with neuro-diverse artists has revealed that makers can employ many ways and strategies to give an element of tactility and the haptic to the cloth structures (quilts, weavings, etc.) and clothing they create.
Centering on the idea that clothing is something that shapes us and something that we shape in turn, this ninety-minute Textiles Close Up program will showcase the work of three artists: Raven Harper, Shantae Robinson, and Karen May. The artists, along with instructors Celia Lesh and Nan Collymore, will discuss their work in an interactive Zoom presentation.
Featured artists and tour leaders:
Karen May creates textiles and cloth objects as a platform from which to build narrative structure and form. She uses clothing as a way to process memory: her mother’s earring, the way she sat whilst sewing, or what she wore to a picnic. These scenes of domesticity pulled from Karen’s memory are collected, carefully placed, and stitched into textile and/or cloth structures. She is often in internalized conversation with herself while she makes her work, creating complex poetry and often breaking into song. Over the last several years, she has created and continued a series of detournements, manipulating art exhibition advertisements in art periodicals with ink and marker.
Shantae Robinson makes beautiful and complex shapes with her work. The spiral is a central conceit that appears again and again, in ceramic form and through her drawings. Shantae’s understanding of color is formidable and she is unafraid to experiment with combining different types of material together.
Shantae brings a sculptural element into her clothing and textile work that echoes Rei Kawakubo and Issey Miyake.
Raven Harper is an African American artist who works primarily in printmaking, painting, fiber and ceramics. Learning new skills and improving her craft are important foundations for her art practice. She is currently working on her first rug with Maria Guzman Capron in NIAD’s fiber department.
Deeply interested in African fashion and graphic design, she loves to create African inspired art and sculpture, and aspires to make quilts inspired by African cultures. For Raven, art is about remembering, particularly remembering our ancestors, and the things that we have and can be thankful for. Celebrating Black hair and Black cultural icons are important part of her practice.
Celia Lesh is an artist living and working in New York City.
Nan Collymore is often working by re-making or re-forming materiality into visual projects or palimpsests to re-frame a conversation on the intricacies of subjectivity. She co-founded Soft Material with Celia Lesh, and her other recent projects include Dress I and II for small press L’habillement (of which she is the Founder). She is Editor of The Black Aesthetic Series III, Contributing Editor of The September Issues, Teeth Mag and Contemporary, and a mother and inter-disciplinary artist. She works at NIAD Art Center, where she teaches jewelry and fashion construction.
Read more about NIAD here: http://niadart.org/
For questions about the program or registration, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Textiles Close Up is a series of study-workshops launched in 2013 that provides opportunities to examine textiles in leading museum and private collections, guided by renowned experts. As precautions for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic restrict travel and gathering, Textiles Close Up has moved online, to give a new type of access and learning opportunities.
*Refund Policy: There are no refunds for Textiles Close Up registration