Studio Sixty Six
Kathryn Shriver  

Kathryn Shriver

Kathryn Shriver is a painter and fibres artist currently living and working in Montreal. She has an MFA in Painting and Drawing from Concordia University (Montreal) and a BA in Studio Arts from Wells College (Aurora, NY). She has also studied in New York and Paris and has shown work in several spaces across the United States and Canada.


Artist Statement
Despite the continual upending of what art can be, presumptions of what art should be remain steadfast and continue to be reinforced by categories and biases that run throughout art discourse. My work focuses on the ways in which the specificity of materials and making processes plays in to the valuing of made works on the shifty spectrum between Art and Craft. I make pieces that vibrate between the languages of Painting and various forms of Craft in order to frustrate and expose the contradictory and culturally loaded hierarchy of value that separates these categories. Examining the ways Craft and Art are separated as well as intertwined theoretically, materially, and historically, I’m interested in the valuing and politics of function, labor, and the shifting categorizations of different materials, makers, and practices as “minor.” I believe that a close comparative study of materials and methods of making can investigate and embarrass the assumptions of value that continue to uphold the uncomfortable Craft/Art split. As my most recurrent material, handmade beadwork has been specifically significant to my research on the instability of divisive lines between different categories of artmaking. The history of beads is heavy with instances of transformation, contradiction, and transition. Linked with histories of colonialism, femininity, labor, costume, and craft, beads upset dynamics of power, identity, value, and taste. This transformational tendency and constant slippage allows for works that are ambiguous in their relationship to their own form, which alternate between hesitantly accepting and defiantly evading categorization. In my most recent work, I examine the craft methods and materials of the fashion and interior design industries for their ability to both compliment and antagonize Art as an institutional category. These industries bring up three major points of frustration for the art world: function, decoration, and trendiness. Accordingly,  aux finishes, glamorous metallics, and functional objects (hooks, shelves)  feature in this work. The delineations between good and bad taste, the timeless and trendy, the crafted and created are aggravated to upend institutional and  historical assertions of categorical hierarchies between fields of cultural creativity.

Glam Cushion
Empty Catch
Altar Zip
Floating Display
Pillow in the Morning
Untitled (Smile)
Gold Fold
Grid (Agnes & Liza)
Panic struck at the athenaeum; I ripped out pages from every book and shoved them down my throat
But most of all, I will not die.