Safekeeping: SDA 2023 Juried Member Exhibition
|Held in partnership with 108|Contemporary, Safekeeping, SDA’s 2023 member exhibition, celebrates diverse works that push the evolution of textiles through the use of color, design, process, material, and concept. Juror Anita Fields, selected 42 artworks from more than 375 submissions. From zip ties to native prairie grasses, the exhibition incorporates a stunning range of materials to explore the concept of “safekeeping.” There are 40 artists included in the exhibition representing 26 states across the U.S. as well as three international artists.
Making begins innocently with random thoughts, memories, experiences, and imagination. An artist responds to such intrigue by invoking the unknown: producing something that has never existed.
The creatives begin dreaming; they look to their arsenal of tools; needles, thread, paper, hand-spun fibers, looms, cloth, discarded objects, technology, or the natural world. The artists begin innovative production by creating symbiotic relationships with their chosen mediums and committing to many tedious processes.
Masterful expressions of hand, heart, and spirit emerge, such as those submitted for Safekeeping. All exquisitely crafted, the submissions were powerful, making the selection process difficult and challenging. I thank the Surface Design Association for inviting me to judge their 2023 exhibit; the unwavering abilities of this genre’s artists are evident and inspiring.
The artists selected for Safekeeping take bold risks. In their diverse practices, they look to innovative techniques that are cutting-edge and experimental. They don’t hold back their thoughts, influences, or what drives their work. Their artist statements reveal highly personal, compelling stories of the complexities of being human. They speak to sorrow, joy, relationships to land, heritage, and the fragile state of our environment.
The makers of Safekeeping lead us into their worlds to share their clarity and comfort when settling into the folds and physical movements of their practices. They find contentment in the meditative, repetitive rhythms of artistic handwork. The works become entry points for healing, exposing hopeful possibilities, truths, and surfaces where the light shines through.
Born in Oklahoma, Anita Fields is a contemporary Native American multi-disciplinary artist of Osage heritage. She is known for her works which combine clay and textile with Osage knowledge systems. Fields explores the intricacies of cultural influences at the intersection of balance and chaos found within our existence, explaining that: “The power of transformation is realized by creating various forms of clothing, coverings, landscapes, and figures. The works become indicators of how we understand our surroundings and visualize our place within the world.” In this way, the early Osage concepts of duality, such as earth and sky, male and female, are represented throughout her work.
First Place – Talia Connelly, My Blood Is Proof They Exist: Pt. 1 The Migration
Second Place – Debbie Barrett-Jones, Fading Memory, 1
Third Place – Gracie Baer, To Fold at the Mend
SDA Award of Excellence – Michele Heather Pollock, Catharsis
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