Jeana Eve Klein, 42, of Boone, North Carolina was one of five artists invited to compete in Pitch Night Durham where artists pitch their art installation idea to a panel of judges. The winner is awarded a $5,000 grant and a coveted exhibition space inside one of ArtPrize’s most sought-after venues – the Grand Rapids Art Museum.
Klein, who was born in Ypsilanti, Michigan, pitched the text-based work project she started after Donald Trump’s inauguration in which she examines the false sense of participation, ineffective activism and echo chamber of social media. But she didn’t win the grant (here is who did) or a reserved spot at the GRAM. Then a couple weeks later an art museum representative reached out and asked if she would be willing to enter a selection of her mixed media quilts containing imagery from abandoned houses she photographed and she agreed.
Klein’s ArtPrize installation called “Past Perfect” features a collection of quilts that combine traditional quilting techniques with photos printed on fabric and additional painted surface design. The work is as multi-layered in its meaning in is in its construction. In her artist statement Klein writes: “I trespass in abandoned houses. I spy on the people who once lived inside, watching them through the telescope of time. I get to know their histories in fragments, in fiction, and in retrospect. Their ghostly voices speak to me from the ruins, telling me why they celebrated, how they loved, what brought them joy, what gave them pain, what they wore, what they ate, why they fled.”
Originally from Ypsilanti, Klein now resides in North Carolina where she she is an associate professor of fibers at Appalachian State University.
On this episode, we talk about her creative roots, her ArtPrize entry, and we also discuss that text based-work project she originally pitched to the GRAM. We also touch on where fiber art fits into the larger artistic landscape and Klein also shares some tips for upcoming artists looking to get their work out there.
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