Historically devalued as “low” art, craft has long been a powerful form of resistance.
For this conversation, Mikey Anderson has invited Christian Ortiz and Rachel Wallis to discuss how they use traditional craft processes to promote personal, social, and political change in communities faced with conflict, displacement, and social upheaval.
Mikey Anderson is a Queer artist and art therapist from Chicago. Anderson's practice is informed by their community-driven art therapy practice, which incorporates fiber crafts, queer theory, and activism.
Christian Ortiz is an artist and educator from Mexico who lives and works in Chicago. Ortiz uses fiber processes to explore themes around immigrant labor, migration, and displacement by connecting it to the immigrant labor experiences of his family and his own labor as an artist, which he considers indicative of the greater narrative of many immigrant communities and the fragile nature of home in light of the challenges they face as immigrants.
Rachel Wallis is an activist who uses art in her organizing work, and an artist who engages in issues of racial and social justice. Wallis draws from the rich history of quilting to create community quilting projects that tackle complex subjects including the legacy of violence by the Chicago Police Department, the impact of incarceration on families, and the relationship between the global slave trade and the textile industry.