Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2016-12-07
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

THE Q LIST Katie Vota pushes boundaries of art
by Nico Lang
2014-02-05

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


When you think about art, what do you picture?

For many of us, the word "art" conjures an image of a painting on a wall, but Katie Vota is one of a movement of contemporary artists who are thinking about genre differently. A graduate student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago ( SAIC ) and an emerging artist, Vota's work specifically challenges the divide between arts and crafts through the use of textiles. What draws Vota to textiles is that it's "art that you live in," the artist said.

"Textiles are omnipresent in our lives," Vota added. "You wear them, you see them. Think about how you have a favorite chair to read in. Someone designed that. Someone designed the fabric in your car. It's art you interact with every day."

As a child, Vota recalled that she grew up constantly immersed in textiles. Vota comes from a long generation of quilters. Fabric is a part of her history. "It was all over [my Nana's] house," Vota said. "There were always quilt squares to be embroidered, fabric pieces. The garage was full. It was her sewing room. She lived with it. It wasn't something that she did and put away."

Until recently, Vota didn't recognize that what her grandmother was doing would influence her career as an artist, the creative lens through which she saw the world. "I didn't even acknowledge it as an art form," Vota explained. "It's a social art because of the community it builds around the labor of the work." Vota said that when we don't focus on the hand as part of the process, we lose something.

Thinking about labor as a material has been important to Vota's own process, which is just as much tied to the narrative of textiles and labor as her own personal story. Her art speaks of a social conscience. "There's so much history that backs up where we find ourselves now, a history of colonization and imperialism," Vota said. "I feel like people think we're past all that, and we're not. If we knew anything about what we're wearing, maybe we'd choose to support different ways of making what we wear in our lives." Much of her own work has been a reaction to what she sees as wastefulness within the art industry, particularly textiles. "Seventy percent of landfill waste is textile-based," Vota said. "I don't want to be a part of that."

In her art, Vota commonly repurposes materials such as tires or rubber to look like leather, which often gives her work a dark, almost S&M feel. By giving discarded materials a second life, a medieval sex dungeon vibe isn't necessarily what she's going for, although she's open to that interpretation. For Vota, it's about letting the materials express themselves. "Other people wanted to talk about my work as an anthropological study, as tools or shamanistic objects," Vota said, "but I'm letting the work guide me in a more visual way."

However, Vota did confess that she has a weakness for making art that pushes the boundaries of bad taste. "I'm finding tastefulness to be a hilarious idea. I want to make the opposite of what is tasteful, like curtains with leather fringe on them," Vota said. "Every time someone gives me a 'What the hell are you doing?' look, it's an encouragement. I push it further."

Although Vota has long resisted the "queer" label in her art, she admitted that there's a "queering" element in what she's doing, repurposing materials for her own ends. "The work that I'm making right now is the first time anyone has ever talked about queerness in relation to my work," Vota said. "That makes me uncomfortable, because I don't want to just be a queer artist. I don't want to be pigeonholed." But in her own life, Vota feels an increasing need to be outspoken about sexuality and queerness, as an out bisexual woman. "There's a discomfort within the queer community around bisexuals," Vota said. "It's a really hard place to be in. There's so much erasure that goes into other peoples assumptions of you." Facing that stigma, Vota believes it's "important to count yourself amongst the queer community in an overt way."

As an artist, this need for visibility in the community also shines through in her politics. By challenging the divide between arts and crafts, Vota hopes to find a place for textile artists and craft makers in the larger art world, where they are often marginalized or left out. "Why can't a craft object be an art object?" Vota asked, saying that she believes that crafts are threatening to the art scene because they "break down high art divide between the wall and the viewer."

"I love it when something begs viewer interaction, that they just want to play with it and touch it," she added. "It's one of the reasons that I gravitate toward installation work. The viewer gets to be immersed in the work instead of it just being a thing on the wall."

Vota said that these restrictions can be particularly limiting for craft artists, who are "disrespected," but those divides drive her to keep pushing. "Having outside limitations is really helpful to me as a way generating more interesting ideas," Vota remarked. "I want to poke at these arbitrary conceptions that we have in order break down these hierarchies that exist within art. We shouldn't have all these preconceived notions."

Her new show, "Off the Mark," will be doing exactly that. Although her work is already on display, the official reception will be held Feb. 6 at Intelligentsia Coffee, 53 E. Randolph St. Vota's work is also at SAIC's Sharp Building on the eighth floor, or at Katie Vota.com .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Exhibit curator talks AIDS representation in the art world 2016-12-07 - AIDS, according to Jonathan Katz, co-curator of Art AIDS America, which opened Dec. 1 at the Alphawood Gallery, "is sadly still the 'third ...


Gay News

Center joins forces with arts groups at World AIDS Day event 2016-12-07 - On the eve of World AIDS Day and the opening of the groundbreaking Art AIDS America exhibit at Chicago's Alphawood Gallery, the Center ...


Gay News

Art AIDS America recalls changes and a new threat 2016-12-07 - There was a powerful mosaic of sound that echoed through Chicago's Alphawood Gallery in Lincoln Park on Dec. 3. Between the deep resonance ...


Gay News

Lesbian mystery writer Ellen Hart to receive Grand Master Award 2016-12-07 - Lesbian mystery author Ellen Hart's exemplary work embodies over three decades of relevance and now the Minneapolis based prodigy is being honored by ...


Gay News

Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame panel on arts/ culture Dec. 7 2016-12-06 - On Wed., Dec. 7, at 6 p.m., the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame will hold a panel for the organization's second annual exhibit. ...


Gay News

NCAVP mourns intimate partner violence homicide of Dalia Elhefny Sabae in PA 2016-12-05 - The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs ( NCAVP ) has learned of the intimate partner violence homicide of Dalia Elhefny Sabae, age 28, ...


Gay News

Class settlement proposed on health benefits for Walmart same-sex spouses 2016-12-01 - BOSTON, Dec. 2, 2016 — Former Walmart associate Jacqueline Cote and her lawyers filed a motion today asking the U.S. District Court for ...


Gay News

'Strut' fashion show benefits South Side Help Center 2016-11-30 - On Nov. 20, Madman Productions presented the eighth edition of Strut, the annual fashion event to acknowledge World AIDS Week and to raise ...


Gay News

Museum presents two exhibits on AIDS crisis 2016-11-30 - On Nov. 18, the International Museum of Surgical Science presented two exhibits that document very different aspects of the AIDS epidemic. ...


Gay News

HoF panel on arts and culture Dec. 7 2016-11-30 - On Wed., Dec. 7, at 6 p.m., the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame will hold a panel for the organization's second annual exhibit. ...


 



Copyright © 2016 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.

www.windycitymediagroup.com
[email protected]  •  [email protected]  •  [email protected]

Website Powered by LoveYourWebsite.com