Suchitra Mattai Sharjah Tapestry (detail)

Holding Space: Bridging Fiber Art & Racial Identity

Photograph of dark skinned person reclining in front of curtains. They are wearing an 18th century Marie Antoinette style gown. Gown, made by Fabiola Jean-Louis, is blue with pink accents. And they are holding a cloth doll.
Fabiola Jean-Louis Marie Antoinette Is Dead, 2017

Presented in partnership with the National Museum of Women in the Arts and
Textile Arts | Los Angeles on Friday, October 9, 2020 Holding Space: Bridging Fiber Art & Racial Identity was an online panel that featureed three women artists who use textiles and fiber to construct and explore ideas around racial identity.

View the recording of the panel below.

Holding Space: Bridging Fiber Art and Racial Identity from Surface Design Association on Vimeo.

*Originally aired October 9th, 2020 via Zoom


About the Panel

Fabiola Jean-Louis
Suchitra Mattai
Karen Baker
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Photograph of Shenequa

SHENEQUA is an Artprenuer who received her Masters of Design in Fashion, Body, & Garment at SAIC under the mentorship of Nick Cave and Liat Stemad. Her solo exhibition Woven Narratives was on view at Haw Contemporary (Stockyards) in KCMO in September 2019. A Featured Artist for "Ties that Bind" in American Craft Magazine and in the Kansas City Star she spoke about her process of weaving synthetic-hair in relationship to the Black hair salon. 2014’s Windgate Fellow of the Center for Craft. 2017-2018’s recipient of the inaugural National YoungArts Daniel Arsham Fellowship, presented by the Ridinger-McLaughlin Family.

Photograph of Fabiola Jean-Luis

Fabiola Jean-Louis was born in Port Au Prince, Haiti and moved to Brooklyn, NY at a young age. While her images have been described as “magical and mysterious”, Fabiola’s body of work is also that of visual activism, as she challenges the hegemony of society. Her love of Afro-futurism, science/ science fiction, pre and post-industrial eras, elves, fairies, and black history and folklore, are also central themes in her work. Her works have been featured in the Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune, Modern Luxury, Artnet News, Hyperallergic, Atlanta Art Constitution, Chicago Sun Times, The Fashion Journal, The Haitian Times, and more.

Photograph of Suchitra Mattai

Suchitra Mattai received an MFA in painting and drawing and an MA in South Asian art, from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Recent projects include a commission for the Sharjah Biennial 14, “State of the Art 2020” at Crystal Bridges/the Momentary, a project sponsored by the Denver Art Museum and the Biennial of the Americas, a group exhibition at Pen and Brush NYC and solo exhibitions at K Contemporary Art, Hollis Taggart NYC, the Center for Visual Arts, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and GrayDuck Gallery. Her work has been reviewed/included in publications and on-line platforms such as Hyperallergic, Document Journal, Widewalls, Cultured Magazine, Wallpaper Magazine, and New American Paintings.

Photograph of Karen Baker

Karen Baker is an award-winning executive specializing in Design Research, Strategic Planning, Marketing and Experience Design. Baker is the Board President of Social Art and Culture, a nonprofit founded in 2009 and Creator and Host of Behind The Mind Radio Show on the We Act Radio Network, since 2013. Karen is a 4x grantee of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Artist Fellowship for her fiber artwork. Baker has been teaching for 15 years in Higher Education and is currently part of the inaugural cohort for the MFA in Social Practice, at Corcoran School of Art and Design.Karen is an SDA Member and part of the Marketing and Equity, Access, and Integration Committees.


View the Recording of Holding Space: Bridging Fiber Art and Racial Identity from Surface Design Association on Vimeo.

*Originally aired October 9th, 2020 via Zoom