Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fiber Arctic- Katya Usvitsky

We are catching up with another artist participating in Fiber Arctic, Katya Usvitsky. Fiber Arctic opens up in a few weeks! The reception is on June 12th so mark those calendars and come check out some amazing fiber art by twenty talented fiber artists.

S- You recently hit the streets of New York with Knitta Please. How did that all come together and what was your experience like?

KU- A friend of mine who also knits and embroiders, Megan Canning, told me about the opportunity. Also, earlier this year I saw Knitta Please in the documentary 'Handmade Nation' and was immediately taken with their work - so to collaborate on a piece with Magda seemed like an chance I couldn't pass up.

The piece itself was not that hard to make, anyone who has ever knitted a scarf could have done this. For my work, I wanted to use the opportunity to make a statement to the drivers out there about biking in Brooklyn. I am a huge proponent for more greenways and biking in NYC. I used a simple bicycle icon and the letters BKLN (short for Brooklyn) in blue on a yellow background. The best part, moments after I put up my piece, a man promptly chained his own blue bike to my meter. It was kismet!

S- I love New York but can get overwhelmed a bit by how many people there are there doing cool things. How does the city help to foster your creativity? What are the challenges to being in a city that has so many other creative people trying to "make it"?

KU- I think the intimidating part is that the so-called "Art World" seems like a secret club and no one you know has the password. That said, the BEST part about NYC is that it's a great place to MAKE UP an avenue to show your work. The meter project is great example. You don't have to be in a gallery in order to be seen, people here walk, take public transportation and are generally easier to reach on the streets than anywhere else, especially when it's warm out.

S- Have you been embroidering since childhood or found your love for it later in life? What are some of your favorite aspects of it?

KU- Actually I just picked it up about a year ago. Nobody taught me how to embroider in the traditional Cross Stitch way, but my grandmother taught me how to sew, and knit, so I had a great foundation. In addition I did go to art school and now work as a graphic designer, which are all aspects that have lead me to make the kind of work that I do. So, even though I haven't been embroidering that long, I have been making art with my hands since I was little and THAT is my favorite part! The physical motion of taking a 'fiber' and creating something out of it with just your hands is beyond satisfying.

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