Folklore Forevermore, 2/2/18 - 2/20/18
Steph Neary's "folklore forevermore" was a solo exhibition that included more than 100 pieces of work. The show included:
*hex signs - traditionally used to hush nosy neighbors, harvest a bountiful crop, or banish witches from curses/crushes.
*a shrine to glass bottle doll relics - they are animals made with beer bottle bodies + one woman who is haunted by a small ghost. all wearing flashy lashes. ! and dressed to impress.
*a wall of hand-painted wooden handled saws
*call-to-action embroidered tapestries. "nature vs nuture" "consent..."
*scrap crafts galore ! embroidered craft pennants, stories & more !
*piles of soft sculptures, dolls, and stuffed animals.
Steph Neary was born and raised in Wadsworth, Ohio and has since then studied Graphic Design at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. During her time in Pittsburgh, Neary has worked in art education, painting grocery store signs, organizing community events, collaborating with musicians and co-editing Andromeda Quarterly, a comix anthology.
Steph Neary is a self-taught visual artist propelled by the costume box and craft program held in the day-care her mother ran out of their home. Raised in a family of artists, her biggest inspiration is her maternal grandmother, whom attended the Rhode Island School of Design and ran a marionette and puppet troupe for children's birthday parties. She is not only inspired by her creative spirit but the everlasting love she pours into her family.
Steph Neary creates drawings, tapestries and sculpture about nature and humanity using tenderly collected antique fabrics, buttons, ric-rac, and discarded sidewalk objects which she mends and incorporates into her pieces. Neary’s work is inspired by traditional folk art motifs and peppered with a search for contemporary wisdom. Her recent call-to-action tapestries ask questions and commit answers through the comfort of textiles. “Nature vs Nurture ”? “Honor Mother”, “Consent. “No means No.” She believes, the illumination of a hand sewn message is the remedy for any broken heart.
Steph Neary honors the voices of unsung crafts people with techniques the machine world is prone to overlook. Her home is her studio and most grand art installation, a display of her heart and heritage. Currently, Steph’s body of work is focused on using scrap materials, to create call to action embroidered tapestries, handmade dolls, and her version of traditional Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs. Her work has always rooted from a heart broken space but now is bigger, brighter, softer and more hopeful.