Gina Phillips weaves art into Piedmont

CHANCE HUNTER
Contributing Writer

Gina Phillips is a unique mixed media artist who weaves unique narratives into her artwork. Phillips grew up in Kentucky but now lives in New Orleans. Being a narrative artist, the works seen in the show at the Mason Scharfenstein Museum of Art are influenced by her home in New Orleans, but her narrative is not limited to the regions she has lived in. Fabric arts are not a new process, but Phillips has taken it to a new and exciting extreme that has not been seen before. Her works are created on a long-arm sewing machine. This machine is used for making large quilts, but she has adapted it to be a thread-drawing machine. This non-traditional use of this machine allows her to draw and sculpt different layers together to create on piece. According to Phillips, the back of her pieces are just as interesting because they show the method in which the pieces are made; the back becomes a narrative of how the work was produced.

The manner in which her works at displayed are another interesting point. Her works are pinned to the wall with common sewing pins used to hold fabric together when sewing, but by using these pins, it allows her to create an ever changing narrative on the wall. Often times works from many different places come together to create a new and unique narrative. Many of the works displayed in the MSMA gallery were from different works, but they were brought together to create a sampling of the unique narrative that she has created in the past.

The tree on the wall with Adam and Eve was originally part of another narrative, but it was cut down to create a tree for Adam and Eve to rest under. Much like her works can be rearranged and reused, Phillips uses a communal gathering process to source the fabrics she uses. Neighbors, family and friends often donate discarded materials so that they can be resourced into something new.

Phillips has a BFA from the University of Kentucky and an MFA from Tulane University. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the country in- cluding, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Asheville Art Museum, Pepperdine University, Ballroom Marfa, The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, The New Orleans Museum of Art and the 21c Museum. The show ran until February 29 and a reception was held on February 25.