Samantha Fields, a multimedia artist from the Boston area, joined the Arts Industry residency at Kohler, Wisconsin in 2017. Normally her work involves weaving, sewing, needlework, and deep work on textiles, fabrics, and materials. When she applied for the residency program she realized that all this work of the past four years included numerous table legs and chair legs. This revealed where her emphasis during the residency would be. Together with a technician in the factory, she learned to cast table and chair legs in ceramic and glazing them. Samantha Fields who holds an MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston in sculpture, video, and installation, said that sometimes the understanding comes with the work and sometimes the experience comes first before she starts the work. The process that is a back and forth routed in her interest in gender and class, led to the body of work of approximately 60 table legs. While her art pieces before using the legs more as an afterthought, the new project based on the experience at the Kohler factory in Wisconsin has the table legs – one particular kind – as its foundation. Samantha’s plan is to bring all of the legs together under one enormous skirt to create a sculpture that could become a fountain. In addition to the table legs, Samantha created curtain weights that are beautifully glazed with delicate appearances. She is planning to create five-foot long tassels that will be integrated into new art pieces. After the residency, Samantha returned to her part-time job as a material lab fiber CE instructor at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston at Tufts where she has been teaching since 2015. She works on a new body of work with the experience gained during the residency. Earlier in 2018, a new exhibition “STITCH Syntax / Action/ Reaction,” opened at the New Art Center in Newton, MA, that incorporates meanings and metaphors from the insights and processes of the past works.
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