This is the third in a series of posts highlighting artists from Dysfunctional, curated by Roberto Lugo, on display at Pewabic through May 14, 2017.
Betty’s Delight, Brown, Red and White, Arrangement No. 1, 2017
“The domestic object as souvenir” is how Margaret Kinkeade sums up her work, which often reflects upon the nature of collections.
In Betty’s Delight, Brown, Red and White, Arrangement No. 1, Kinkeade translates fiber art quilt patterns and the concept of transmitting familial traditions, well wishes and meaningful heritage patterns into an arrangement of 40-some 6 x 6 inch mid-range stoneware, red stoneware and porcelain with underglaze plates with which visitors interacted at the exhibit’s opening.
“The quilt arrangements in my most recent body of work only come into being as a result of their use. As the participants engage in the breaking of the bread with strangers and friends alike they became active participants in the shaping of the ‘quilt’ comprised of the plates from which they eat,” Kinkeade says.
Kinkeade’s concept is for participants to select the position to hang each plate on the gallery’s wall, thus creating, according to Kinkeade, “a fingerprint of the moment, the ritual, and the gathering with no two arrangements alike.” Of the 42 plates in Pewabic’s gallery, several remain unhung.
Kinkeade focuses on American folk art and traditional craft, particularly those historically created by women. She also explores human nature’s draw to collect objects of personal or sentimental value.
“In my experience, collecting acts as an attempt to combat the temporality of a moment and the souvenir acts as a surrogate to re-experience. Even though the event inevitably falls victim to time, and it’s fluid effect on our recollection, the souvenir acts as a tangible connection to something intangible. These items are not documentation of the events themselves, as exists in a photograph, but shells which hold the memory of the moment within its walls,” Kinkeade explains.
Kinkeade earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in printmaking from the University of Oklahoma and a Master of Fine Arts in ceramics from Pennsylvania State University. She has exhibited at the Epsten Gallery, Overland Park, Kan.; The Clay Studio in Philadelphia; and at Burlington City Arts, Burlington, Vt., among others. She teaches at the Kansas City Art Institute’s School for Continuing and Professional Studies in Kansas City, Mo.