Presenting visual and performance art in unexpected public spaces.

A lace out of place: meet Crystal Gregory

Our Art in Odd Places call for artists’ proposals for 2011 is in full swing. The whole team is very excited to receive your submissions. To keep the energy flowing, we feature previous Art in Odd Places artists to share stories about the festival. We have featured quite a number of artists in the past, so feel free to browse our blog for inspiration.

To start off this year’s featured artist, let’s meet Crystal Gregory, Art in Odd Places 2009 artist. The “guerilla crochet technique” she used during the festival questioned gender role assumption by putting something we consider “feminine” (her crochet) against a strong environment- urban landscapes. She has created work in public spaces since then and will be attending the Art Institute of Chicago this fall on a full merit scholarship.

Aiop: Tell us about Crystal Gregory
CG: I use lace as the foundation of my work, giving structure to my ideas and rhythm to my patterns. Lace draws the eye to negative space, delicately unveiling, revealing more than it conceals, using it’s own emptiness as pattern. Lace and cloth have strong relationships to domesticity, privacy and personal space and at the same time this material is incredibly charged with societal associations of class, femininity, and sex. As a multi-media artist I am using the material ideas of lace to inspect issues of the urban landscape, the home, and handwork. My materials are domestic and architectural and operate as both sculpture and site specific installation.

Invasive Crochet – by Amber Gregory
handmade cotton doilies and razor wire fence, 30’ x 1’ x 1’, 2009
Invasive Crochet – by Amber Gregory
handmade cotton doilies and razor wire fence, 30’ x 1’ x 1’, 2009

Aiop: How was your Art in Odd Places experience?
CG: My AiOP experience was great! The curation was considerate and professional. I got wonderful responses to my work from passers by, KiptonART (Rose, Desiree. “Art Review: Art in Odd Places, 2009.” KiptonART. October 8, 2009 and an online interview with Joshua Suzanne

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUhKxDx_jZo]

Aiop: Walk us through your thought process in creating your piece for Art in Odd Places 2009.
CG: I had been building crochet graffiti around Brooklyn and Manhattan leading up to the show. I wanted to push the idea and further the tension in the concept. My solution was to create 80+ hand made crochet doilies to smother the razor wire hanging above an empty lot. I was stitching all over the city to make that many doilies, on the train, in the park, and even at work as a bartender.

Aiop: What projects are you currently working on and where can people reach you?
CG: I am currently showing at a nontraditional gallery on the upper east side called Fair Folks & a Goat (http://www.fairfolksandagoat.com/). A public work on view until the fall is at the Prospect Park B/Q stop in Lefferts Gardens sponsored by a grant from the NYC DOT. I am also getting ready to start an MFA program in the Fiber and Material Studies Department at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. My
website is http://www.crystalgregory.org/

Aiop: Where was piece located on 14th street?
CG: My piece was up for the month in the razor wire of an abandoned lot on 14th St between 2nd and 3rd Ave.

Visit her website (http://www.crystalgregory.org/) to see more of her work. We wish you all the best at the Art Institute of Chicago.

It is not too late to create your Art in Odd Places proposal to meet the May 8 deadline. You can download the application here

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