View of communal crocheting activity at MAD. Photo: Courtesy MAD

Sheila Pepe: Claiming Space

Sheila Pepe takes a gender-bending approach to process and material while also blurring the distinction between art and craft. From large-scale installations made of crocheted and knitted fiber to small, table-top sculptures composed of found and manipulated objects, her work gives form to a range of conceptual ideas drawn from philosophy, history, art history, and religion and filtered through personal experience. Pepe’s own narrative often plays a role in unraveling the meaning of her works. She defines herself as a multiplicity of identities—Italian-American, Catholic, white, lesbian, woman—and she holds strong beliefs, including that her fiber work—especially the act of crocheting—represents a sustained elevation of home craft . . .

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