Spinning, weaving, sewing and embroidering textiles have often been creative endeavors for women to document narratives, assert their identities and express themselves. Spanning more than 50 years, this lecture highlights fabric artists who demonstrate their commitment to community through forms of mentorship, collaboration and ancestral lineage.
Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party (1979) installation partnered with textile artists to chronicle a history of heroines; Faith Ringgold’s Tar Beach series (1988) reflects ancestral African American quilting styles; and Marie Watt’s Companion Species: Canopy (2017) conveys her Seneca heritage and sewing group collaborations. The tactile nature of fabric accentuated by an artist’s hands at work invites an audience to physically engage with the medium creating a shared experience.
Kimberly Minor is a doctoral candidate in art history at the University of Oklahoma. Her research broadly focuses on American art, with interests in material culture, art of the early American West, and Northern Plains Indian drawings. Her dissertation “Pictographic Motifs: Memory and Masculinity on the Upper Missouri, 1780-1840” examines intertribal war narratives of Indigenous men visually negotiating physical and spiritual battles on painted bison robes, shirts and drawings. She currently lectures at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and offers classes on global Indigenous art and Native American art history. Her research has been supported by the Smithsonian Institute of Museum Anthropology and the ACLS/Luce Dissertation Fellowship in American Art.
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Image: Marie Watt, Companion Species, 2017, reclaimed wool blanket, embroidery floss, thread, 15½ x 23½ in. (39.4 x 59.7 cm)
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