Today we’d like to introduce you to Pamela Palma.
Pamela, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I have always been engaged with textiles. I started this journey as a small child in Buffalo, New York, surrounded by a large extended family of creative makers who used their hands and intellect to produce all manner of wonderful things. I have considerable dexterity – I was able to manipulate knitting needles and yarn before I started school. Before I could read I could thread a sewing needle and hand stitch clothes for my dolls. Over time my textile abilities expanded to include embroidery and fashion design. I was obsessed with fashion, clothes and decorating. By 7th grade I was designing apparel, art, and decorative accessories so I would have what no one else had: Designer Originals.
I learned to weave unintentionally in college while pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Fiber and Fashion. I had other plans but I fell in love with the magic of weaving. It came easily to me although it is a complex process involving a great deal of focus and patience. The fascination of watching cloth form on the loom just never gets old, and the possibilities are infinite. I began to develop product lines – fine art, art to wear, décor – and launched my company, Pamela Palma Designs, and my first studio before I graduated.
I exhibit widely, from Miami to Mexico, in galleries and museums. In 2015 I founded a fiber arts guild, Fantastic Fibers Miami, to draw attention to textiles as a diverse art form and to create a community of textile people here. People crave hands on activities so I teach textile techniques to all age groups.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
Textiles are a means of artistic expression as well as a vehicle for purposeful objects. I use weaving as my primary mode. There is something visceral about the textural, tactile qualities of yarns and cloth. We know it from birth to death. It sooths and comforts us. Weaving is artistically intriguing as it is affected by patterns and color interactions. Interweaving with unexpected materials adds dimension and visual interest. Fiber art is versatile. It can be shaped, hung and displayed flat, dimensional, horizontal, vertical or suspended; it can be wearable, utilitarian, denote status.
My work is primarily weaving, created on large floor looms. I enjoy the physical components of hands/eyes/feet working rhythmically, in harmony with my creativity. It is very Zen.
I developed a body of work, of social commentary, by interlacing familiar materials with yarn as I weave the fabric, “The Money Weavings.” I weave shredded one-hundred-dollar bills with colorful, hand dyed yarns, incorporating paper, maps, plastic, and anything that can be linear, to deliver a message in a visually appealing work of art. I often extract from our language expressions about money to title my work: (Money Can’t) “Buy Me Love,” “Time is Money,” (Diamonds are) “A Girl’s Best Friend.” Or the “Money Weavings” can engage viewers in critical thinking. How does the work reflect the inflated value of humble paper/fiber? What happens when societies elevate the pursuit of money above the value of life itself? (see “River of Grass” and “Visit Florida”). The money I use is real, was real, before the feds shred it, rendering it equivalent to the other materials that find new meaning in my work.
Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
Be true to yourself. Your vision is your own.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can view my artwork on my website, http://pamelapalmadesigns.com; on my social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. Look for PamelaPalmaDesigns.
I have an Etsy Shop, etsy.com/PamelaPalmaDesigns. You can purchase directly from me when you see something not in Etsy.
People can support my work by purchasing my textile designs either on Etsy or directly from me. You can follow me and share my social media posts, like my pages, join my mailing list, and attend my shows and events. Of course, the best way to support my work is to purchase it!
Upcoming shows: Studio 18 in the Pines, Myths and Legends, July – September, 2018. Sol Taplin Gallery, solo exhibition, August – September, 2018 Arts Launch at the Arsht Center, September, 2018.
- Website: http://pamelapalmadesigns.com
- Phone: 786-897-8856
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: PamelaPalmaDesigns
- Facebook: PamelaPalmaDesigns
- Twitter: @PalmaDesigns
- Other: Pinterest – PamelaPalmaDesigns
Personal photos credit @millynasime
All others, by permission of the artist.