Through the years, my artwork has evolved in both content and medium. The common thread throughout the work has been, and still is, typography, words, stories and color. Sometimes the stories are apparent in the work, and other times the stories are what fuel the art. My background in graphic design has influenced my work through explorations of color, pattern and repetition. Collage, paint, fibers, textiles, metal, found objects and hand-carved stamps make up some of my recent work.
I am often inspired by experiences that impact me emotionally. I am a teaching artist at the Kensington Storefront and Prevention Point – both of which serve people impacted by addiction and homelessness in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. I also co-facilitate weekly art workshops at Kirkbride Center – a behavioral health facility that provides addiction and mental health services.
I am the founder of Epidemic (www.epidemicweavings.com), a series of weavings thematically connected by the struggles, the despair, and the stories of hope surrounding addiction. Each weaving is created with strips of fabric on which people affected by addiction write a wish, a prayer, a dream, a memory. The messages of love and loss are knotted and woven together, then threaded onto and suspended from sticks found in parks in Kensington, which is where I was born and raised and also where I practice art as harm reduction. The project is a story about bearing witness, of gaining empathy and compassion, exploring the stigma and shame of addiction and of taking action and reaching beyond the personal to affect change in my community.
I live in Elkins Park, PA with my husband and teenage daughter.
photo by Cindy Fatsis