'Rose Window' by Jennifer Cecere (2009)
The upcoming Fourth of July holiday is surely a time for celebrating all things independent in spirit and craft nature, and in addition to the needlework of Betsy Ross, lasting traditions of heirloom fiber and textile artistry still ring true in the American landscape and psyche.
Mixed media works on Jennifer Cecere's studio wall
It's no coincidence, perhaps, that I was fortunate to visit the art studio of Jennifer Cecere this past week. The NYC-based artist is a lace-image-maker of the contemporary variety, and her mandala-like doilies bridge the divide between East and West as well as intimate and large scale projects.
Antique laces recycled from attics and estate auctions paired with laser cut, vector drawings of contemporary doilies generated by the artist.
Jennifer and I instantly bonded over our shared history of 4-H club projects and childhoods spent daydreaming and crafting as aspiring (women) artists in rural towns.
'Rose Window' by Jennifer Cecere (Socrates Sculpture Park, 2009)
Cecere exhibited one of her site-specific doilies in Socrates Sculpture Park's 'State Fair' exhibition last summer, and this occasion marked the beginning of a new series of public works where Cecere has expanded on the mapping qualities of the doily template as a ready-made overlay for organic design in both urban and rural settings.
'Ins & Outs' installation by Jennifer Cecere (Rockland Center for the Arts, 2010)
With recent lace inspired public works at the Rockland Center for the Arts and Pratt Institute's Sculpture Garden, the artist is building awareness of the interconnectedness of the myriad realms that we all navigate and inhabit.
Mixed media works on Jennifer Cecere's studio table
Perhaps craft demonstrates a mastery that art and architecture cannot fully penetrate, that is, a certain familiarity with domestic materials that unpretentiously integrate us with our fragile environment and, in turn, revives sustainable traditions that are closely tied to our hopes and dreams.
*Jennifer Cecere's website and projects can be viewed here.