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2023 McKnight Fiber Artist Fellows: Marjorie Fedyszyn & Delina White

Fellowship Period:
March 1, 2023 – February 29, 2024

"Bind (Sit With Me)" by Marjorie Fedyszyn, 2023 McKnight Fiber Artist Fellow
"Autumn Peltier Dress 02" by Delina White, 2023 McKnight Fiber Artist Fellow

Marjorie Fedyszyn

"Bend 1 & 2" by Marjorie Fedyszyn, 2023 McKnight Fiber Artist Fellow

Marjorie Fedyszyn addresses the universal experiences of loss and human vulnerability, and the palpable tension around it, through her sculptural practice in textiles. Careful attention to process and the inherent properties of materials informs her creative vocabulary for this work, which simultaneously expresses ideas from broad environmental concern to personal grief and introspection. Using traditional craft techniques such as paper making, hand stitching, and felt making, Fedyszyn’s forms and installations emerge as emotional histories that investigate ideas of control and the realms of the personal and the global. Her work has been exhibited regionally and throughout the US, including the Silverwood Park Gallery in St. Anthony, Hopkins Center for the Arts, South Dakota Museum of Art, Duluth Art Institute, Sebastopol Arts Center in CA, and the Yeiser Art Center in Paducah, KY. Fedyszyn has been a Jerome Visual Arts Fellow and a Jerome Fiber Artist Project Grantee, as well as having received two Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grants to support her work.

marjoriefedyszyn.com

Decline and Fall, Silverwood Park, on MPLS.COM

What Fierce Looks Like: Artists of the Women’s Art Institute, Form + Content Gallery, Minneapolis, MN

New Terrain, Morgan Conservatory of Paper, Cleveland, OH

Sustainability in Chaos, Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking, Atlanta, GA

MPLSArt: Open Work: Q&A with Marjorie Fedyszyn

Delina White

"Autumn Peltier Dress 2" by Delina White, 2023 McKnight Fiber Artist Fellow

Delina White is a Native apparel designer, beadwork artist, and enrolled member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. Grounded in the traditional designs of the Great Lakes Woodland Anishinaabeg, her artist-designed fabrics utilize contemporary materials in her wearable works. As an intergenerational, cultural knowledge keeper, White communicates the values and beliefs of the original people of the Great Lakes Woodlands as passed from her grandmother and her grandmother before her, using apparel as a catalyst to wider approaches of learning, research, and creative exploration with her community. She has produced and participated in numerous fashion shows including Northern Lights: A Native Nation Fashion Night in Minneapolis, the SW Association of Indian Arts fashion shows, and Walker Art Center’s 2Spirit Fashion Show. White was recognized as one of six Star Tribune 2019 Artists of the Year for her work with Hearts of Our People, Minneapolis Institute of Arts’ landmark exhibition, and was named a 2020 Artist in Business Leadership Fellow by the First Peoples Fund. She has also been recipient of a Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship and a US Artists Fellowship in Traditional Arts.

iamanishinaabe.com

Read the Star and Trib’s latest article, Native Nations Fashion Night Created by Ojibwe Designer Delina White Spotlights Indigenous Artists

Other Press:

Read about Delina’s 2023 project, Northern Lights, A Native Nations Fashion Night Tuesday, April 25, at the Machine Shop in Minneapolis, during Fashion Week 2023 on KAXE.ORG and KARE11 

Don’t Miss Native Nations Fashion Night, Artful Living

Native Nations Fashion Night (2023), StarTribune

M. Rachael Arauz

M. Rachael Arauz is an independent curator of modern and contemporary art, with a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Pennsylvania. She has organized exhibitions and contributed to museum catalogues in the United States, Mexico, and Europe for institutions including DeCordova Sculpture Park + Museum, Boston University Art Gallery, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Cranbrook Art Museum, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. She has presented major solo exhibitions of artists Keith Haring and Julianne Swartz, and her wide-ranging curatorial interests have spanned topics such as mid-century abstraction, Mexican photography, and weaving in contemporary art. Arauz was co-curator of the 2019 exhibition In the Vanguard: Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, 1950-1969 for the Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine. In addition to serving as juror and visiting critic for various organizations, Arauz has written for Hyperallergic about her museum experience as a “minority intern” in the 1990s, and was a Visiting Scholar at Virginia Commonwealth University in autumn 2023 in the Department of Craft/Material Studies. She is currently Visiting Curator at Boston Center for the Arts.

@rachaelcurator

Sheila Dickenson

Dr. Sheila Dickinson is a curator, art critic, and art history professor focusing on contemporary art. She’s published widely on platforms such as Artforum, ART News, The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, and Hong Kong’s Artomity, among others. She previously held the position of Artistic Director at the Rochester Art Center and is currently the Curator for the Mayo Clinic where she also teaches Mayo medical students visual acuity and compassion through looking at art.

@sile.ann.d

Jacqueline Stahlmann Cassidy

Jacqueline Stahlmann Cassidy is a creative consultant with over a decade of experience at a number of world class cultural institutions. She previously worked at creative agency Zeus Jones, producing brand strategy with a range of clients including MPR News, University of Minnesota, and the Minneapolis Downtown Council. Prior to this, she held various positions designing and producing community-centered programming at Walker Art Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. She was a 2018 Getty Leadership Institute NextGen Fellow, a 2013 Art & Law Fellow, and holds a BA from the University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts in Spanish and Global Studies.

Jennifer Swope

Jennifer Swope is the David and Roberta Logie Curator of Textiles at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She attended the Winterthur Program in American Culture as a Lois F. McNeil Fellow, receiving a Master’s Degree in American Material Culture from the University of Delaware. Swope co-authored and curated of Quilts and Color, the Pilgrim/Roy Collection, a catalog and exhibition that opened at the MFA in 2014. Most recently, she co-authored the publication Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories and curated the exhibition of the same title, which opened at the MFA in October 2021 and then at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles in November 2022. The exhibition will travel to the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in Jackson Florida, where it will open July 5, 2024.

@jennswope

Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy

Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy is a New York-based curator and writer advocating for underrepresented communities, stories, materials, and approaches in the art world. She is the Director of the New York City Department of Transportation Art program. Curated and juried exhibitions across the United States include the Crocker Art Museum, CA; Mindy Solomon Gallery, FL; Center for Craft, NC, where she was a 2020 Curatorial Fellow; and the Museum of Art and Design, NY, where she presented her most recent exhibition, the critically acclaimed Funk You Too! Humor and Irreverence in Ceramic Sculpture, which contextualized contemporary ceramics within the legacy of Funk ceramics and their makers, particularly their use of humor for critique and personal expression.

Vizcarrondo-Laboy has written for many exhibition and collections catalogs and publications including CulturedAmerican Craft, and the Journal of Modern Craft. Her upcoming book, New Women’s Work, published by Smith Street Books, reflecting on the relationship between “feminine” crafts and contemporary art through conversations with artists, is slated for 2024. She holds a BA in Art History from the University of Florida and an MA in Decorative Arts, Design History, & Material Culture from the Bard Graduate Center, NY. She was born and raised in Puerto Rico.

angelikvizcarrondo.com

@angelik.wiki

Andrew Gardner

Andrew Gardner is a curator and writer based in New York. His work focuses on a wide range of topics in material culture, design, and craft history, including: post-WWII textile design and the fiber art movement; 19th-century New York’s oyster culture; and the automobile age’s impact on 20th century visual culture. His article “Lily-White” for the Museum of Modern Art’s post has led to an ongoing research project into the life and career of designer A. Joel Robinson, whose textiles were recently rediscovered as the first by a Black designer to enter MoMA’s collection.

Gardner has organized a number of exhibitions, the most recent of which include Taking a Thread for a Walk (2019), The Value of Good Design (2019), and Automania (2021) at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He has also written on the monumental fiber-based sculptures of Mrinalini Mukherjee and contributed to exhibition publications focused on the radical contemporary ceramics of Takuro Kuwata and the furniture designs of Gae Aulenti, one of only a handful of women architects to find success in postwar Italy. He has lectured widely, served on the jury for the 2021 Museum of Arts and Design Burke Prize, and previously worked at the Museum of Modern Art, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, and the Bard Graduate Center.

@gardnerae

Beili Liu

Beili Liu is a visual artist who creates site-responsive installations and performances that address themes of migration, cultural memory, labor, social, and environmental concerns. She has exhibited extensively, in locations including Norway, Finland, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Lithuania, France, Belgium, Poland, China, Taiwan and across the United States. Liu has received numerous fellowships and awards, including the Andrew Carnegie Fellowship (2022-2024), the Pollock Prize for Creativity (2022), the Fulbright Arctic Chair, Norway (2021-2022), the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant (2016), the National Endowment for the Arts Challenge America Grant through the Museum of Southeast Texas (2014). In 2018, Liu was honored by the Texas Legislature as the Texas State Artist in 3D medium. Liu received the Distinction Award at the Kaunas Biennial, Lithuania (2011), and a San Francisco Mayor’s Award (2008) for her contribution to cultural exchange.

Liu’s work has been featured by PBS Arts in Context series, Sculpture Magazine, Art in America, New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, ArtNews, Art Papers, ArtSlant, The Huffington Post, Climate Progress, Public Art Review, Sacchi Review, UK, Helsinki Sanomat News, Finland, Morgenbladet, Norway, China Daily, Yishu, Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Hamburg Abendblatt, and Vita (Life) Magazine, Italy, among others.

Born in Jilin, China, Liu lives and works in Austin, Texas. She received her MFA degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and is the Leslie Waggener Endowed Professor in the College of Fine Arts and a Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

(Philip Rogers, photo credit)

www.beililiu.com

Erica Warren

Erica Warren is a curator and scholar, working with collections, in museums, and teaching. She is currently the editor of Craft Quarterly, the James Renwick Alliance for Craft’s magazine. Her area of specialization within decorative arts and design histories centers on the late nineteenth century through the present day with a focus on alternative modernisms. Research pursuits include the human and ecological costs that attended industrial innovations in modern textile production; color theory, synthetic dyes, and modernists with intermedial art practices such as Marguerite Zorach; the American designer, entrepreneur, and weaver Dorothy Liebes; and the unbounded practices of contemporary artists working with textiles.

Her essay “Fission: Design and Mentorship in the Dorothy Liebes Studio” will be published (summer 2023) in the catalog accompanying the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s exhibition A Dark, A Light, A Bright: The Designs of Dorothy Liebes. In 2021, her essay “Beyond Weaving: Transdisciplinarity and the Bauhaus Weaving Workshop,” appeared in Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture, and the year before, she edited and contributed to the catalogue Bisa Butler: Portraits (2020). From 2016-2022, Warren was a curator of textiles at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she organized numerous installations, including the critically acclaimed exhibitions Bisa Butler: Portraits and Weaving Beyond the Bauhaus. As a complement to her curatorial pursuits, she has taught courses at the University of Chicago, Drexel University, and the Tyler School of Art, Temple University.

www.ericawarrenphd.com

Fiber art is thriving in Minnesota, and the field’s growth as an artistic discipline now includes the McKnight Artist Fellowships Program, which provides two $25,000 fellowships to be awarded each year to individual midcareer fiber artists living and working in Minnesota.

In addition to the $25,000 unrestricted award and public recognition in support of their studio work and practice, McKnight Fiber Artist Fellows receive:

  • Critiques/studio visits with curators and critics from the field.
  • Exhibition at the end of the fellowship period in the galleries at Textile Center.
  • Professional photographic documentation of work at the end of the fellowship period.
  • Participation in a public discussion that features fellows and an invited critic or curator.
  • Professional development support, such as attending conferences, workshops, and marketing advice for their work; plus consultation sessions from artist career consultants at Springboard for the Arts on topics of your choice.
  • Participation in a 1 – 2 week artist residency in partnership with McKnight and Artist Communities Alliance.
  • Membership to Textile Center and access to Textile Center’s resources, including library of more than 32,000 books and periodicals, state-of-the-art dye lab, and artisan shop opportunities.

The intent of the McKnight Fellowships for Fiber Artists is to recognize and support talented Minnesota fiber and textile artists whose work is of exceptional artistic merit. These fellowships are in support of individual artists who are at a career stage beyond emerging. Fiber Artists, as defined for the purposes of this fellowship, are artists who use textile and fiber arts materials, processes, histories, traditions, and/or sensibilities in their artistic practice throughout the conception, execution, and resolution of their work. The fellowships are funded by the McKnight Foundation and administered by Textile Center.

ABOUT THE MCKNIGHT ARTIST FELLOWSHIPS PROGRAM

Founded on the belief that Minnesota thrives when its artists thrive, the McKnight Foundation’s Arts & Culture program is one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the country. Support for individual working Minnesota artists has been a cornerstone of the program since it began in 1982. The McKnight Artist Fellowships Program provides annual, unrestricted cash awards to outstanding mid-career Minnesota artists in 15 different creative disciplines. Program partner organizations administer the fellowships and structure them to respond to the unique challenges of different disciplines. Currently the foundation contributes about $2.8 million per year to its statewide fellowships. To learn more about McKnight Artist Fellowships, visit: mcknight.org/artistfellowships.

ABOUT THE MCKNIGHT FOUNDATION

The McKnight Foundation, a Minnesota-based family foundation, advances a more just, creative, and abundant future where people and planet thrive. Established in 1953, the McKnight Foundation is deeply committed to advancing climate solutions in the Midwest; building an equitable and inclusive Minnesota; and supporting the arts in Minnesota, neuroscience, and international crop research. mcknight.org

A focus on racial equity is at the heart of the McKnight approach to funding. Along with Textile Center, our organizations value diversity and equity, seeking to be inclusive and accessible to all applicants. We welcome and encourage applications from artists representing diverse cultural perspectives.

Marjorie Fedyszyn, 2023 McKnight Fiber Artist Fellow

Order from Chaos, Marjorie Fedyszyn

 

For years, Marjorie Fedyszyn believed that her art embodied the tension between restraint, power, and control she was convinced she had. Loss, shame, and trauma have shaped who she is. Her work in abstract sculpture and installation expresses this, distilled down to the universal experience of loss and human vulnerability. As her life shifts and things open up, her work and creative practice continue to evolve.

 

Textiles have become Fedyszyn’s fundamental language in creating the body + emotional stand-ins that represent significant life events in her work. Through the exploration of new materials and techniques including handmade paper, wet felted wool, and hand stitching on fabric, abstract sculptural forms become a way of interpreting the past to help her understand it more objectively. The springboard to studio practice has its origins in felt making, her medium of choice for many years. Of the beginning of her fiber art practice Fedyszyn says, “The magical metamorphosis of manipulating wool fibers was a bridge that led to working in sculptural forms. In 2017, I discovered a dynamic material and source of inspiration in abaca paper and papermaking. For the past five years, I have focused on the stripped down nature of abaca paper, which has enabled me to concentrate on form and content.” The inherent structural properties of abaca fiber–ephemeral, resilient, and unpredictable–include the potential for uncontrolled shrinkage during the drying process. Used in casting and sculptural relief, there is at present a sparseness in the work and a range of outcomes that have given way to new ideas and means of exploration.

 

Fedyszyn’s lengthy career as a scenic artist, along with a degree in theater design, also influences her process and provides a solid foundation for experimentation and exploration. This former career necessitated flexibility and the ability to utilize a broad range of materials and techniques for problem solving. Being trained in the illusion of theater, she draws on any number of principles to mine meaning. Tension, suspension, and wonder are just a few that have come into play throughout her recent work.

 

Numerous public installations have been a means of lending a voice to others and creating space for stories to be told. Fedyszyn finds that the content of much of her work elicits the feeling of shared weight with her viewers, and bearing this weight unites her with an audience. In experiencing her work, viewers are prompted to share their own stories with her. “As I work through the palpable tensions the world presents, the act of creating renders it bearable and helps to unpack emotions in a physical way,” says Fedyszyn. “The tactile, rigorous and meditative physicality of art making helps me meaningfully discharge the residue of the past through my hands.” New discoveries and occurrences that impact her continue to propel the work forward, as things continue to shift and appear in unexpected ways.

For more on Marjorie’s work, visit marjoriefedyszyn.com

 

Restraint


Flow


Echo Chambers

Delina White, 2023 McKnight Fiber Artist Fellow

 

Delina White is a Native apparel designer, beadwork artist, and Indigenous materials jewelry maker and has been making heirloom beadwork, apparel, and accessories for as long as she can remember. She is an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and lives in her hereditary homeland on the lake shore of Agency Bay in the village of Old Agency (Onigum) on the Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota.

 

White’s work combines functionality with decoration and global influences to honor time, place, and culture. Using materials rich in texture, natural and handmade, and designs that incorporate meaningful symbols that define the diversification of landscape, she combines contemporary with traditional style to make wearable art founded in the traditional designs of the Great Lakes Woodland Anishinaabeg.

 

My artwork is built on the traditional philosophy of living a good life: traditional values rooted in the belief of love for oneself, human kind, and our mother Earth. Art is a way to wear the pride, dignity, and distinction of the original Great Lakes and Woodlands people”, says White. This life work is a way to communicate the values and beliefs of the original people of the Great Lakes Woodlands as an intergenerational cultural knowledge keeper, passing tradition to me from my grandmother and her grandmother before her.

Artists are the history keepers, having documented societal events since the beginning of time. We provide inspiration to motivate change, bringing awareness to thrive for a better world. In my work, apparel design and fashion accessories become a narrative to assert equity rights, the need to protect sacred sites, build a sustainable environment, and to show cultural pride as sovereign nations.

Using natural objects for personal adornment is part of the indigenous culture and tradition. Through the designs and materials used in making art, songs and dances, clothing and jewelry, we show respect for the environment and beliefs instilled by our ancestors. Making beautiful jewelry and clothing is one way we honor the gifts given to us by the Creator; it is an expression of creativity of who we are as people.  It is the way we say, “I am Anishinaabe.”

 

The world of the Great Lakes, the largest body of freshwater in the world, has a unique lifeway specific to the people who live within its shores. For White, this world is a source of endless inspiration in its variations of extremes–freezing cold, snow and northern lights in the winter, rain and thunder storms in the spring, strong winds and bold autumn colors in the fall, with the brief summer months filled with heat and splendid sunrises and sunsets. “The Anishinaabeg possess tremendous respect and appreciation for all of nature’s forces and Spirit elements”, says White.

 

Beyond the inspiration and significance of place, working with community has been essential to her practice. Of her accountability to this, she states, “My goal is to advocate the importance of arts programming throughout Minnesota and beyond, to tap into the talents and grow business skills of Native artists and work with youth in creative placemaking to build self-confidence in identity for healthy communities. It is my responsibility to preserve the ancestral knowledge and share to advance what artists envision for themselves and our communities.

 

For more on Delina White’s work, visit iamanishinaabe.com

Red Winter Jacket Skirt


Woodland Basket Weave Dress