Mia Weiner is a fiber artist, currently enrolled at MICA, but her work already has a presence in the larger art world. This spring, her fiber based works were featured in a number of exhibits, including “The 50th Annual Juried Competition” at Masur Museum of Art in Monroe, LA, “Women’s Works,” an exhibition in Woodstock, IL, “Materials: Hard and Soft” at the Greater Denton Arts Council in Denton, TX and was recently included in the catalog for the show titled “Bound,” juroried by Cora Rosevear, Associate Curator at MoMA. As she prepared for the kick-off of MAP’s new speaker series, Thirty Creative Minds Under Thirty, Bmoreart interviewed Mia about her work, process, and the value of artist talks.
Bmoreart: How old are you and where do you live?
Mia Weiner: I am 22 and I live in Bolton Hill in Baltimore.
B: Tell me a little bit about yourself and your work.
MW: I am a fiber artist. I use stitching and fabric to make works about intimacy, memory, and the body. I grew up in Chicago, and currently reside in Baltimore, MD, where I am completing my BFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
MW: Using devoré, a chemical process that eats away at cellulose fibers, I paint images on velvet with a rayon (cellulose) pile, and a silk (protein) base; the chemical eats away at the pile to reveal the silk base, and through this process of destruction the image becomes visible. Rather than a crisp, clear image, the lines are a bit muddied and the effect of white on white forces the viewer to work to discern the image, just as one has to work when trying to recall a certain memory. I also work with embroidery as a way to draw and am interested in how drawing is transformed as it becomes stitched. Because of the labor, care, time, and loaded history of the medium, the embroidered image holds a unique level of intention and weight. The portraits of the conjoined people are intimate declarations that explore togetherness and attachment. Thinking of the body as a vessel, what does it mean to share your body? Everyday fabric surrounds us and we use it to cover our bodies. The white linen becomes the skin of these bodies, while also functioning as paper with ink. These figures question the boundaries of identity, intimacy and the body.
MW: Right now I am working on continuing my series of work in both embroidery and devoré, along with a new series I have just started using lacemaking to create small portraits.
B: Why did you want to give an artist talk at MAP? What do you plan to discuss?
MW: I find it very exciting to be able to share my work and what I do with others. This is a wonderful opportunity to share my work with a larger/different audience. I am planing on discussing a few bodies of my work, how I make it, and why.
B: As a visual artist, why are speaking opportunities valuable? What does speaking professionally about your artwork add to your practice?
MW: Not only is this speaking engagement a chance to share my work with a larger audience, but it is an opportunity to talk about the ideas behind the work in depth. As a fiber artist, I find it especially exciting to be able to share and talk about my work with people who may not have been aware of the medium. I find that each time I talk about my work, I learn something new about it. Speaking engagements for artists are wonderful opportunities to engage with the public in a different way. I work alone in my studio, and when my work is on view I am not constantly present. This is an opportunity to directly interact with my audience and have the chance to hear their responses.
B: Sometimes, it seems that the art world values youth and is enamored with the ‘next best thing.’ Is right now a good time to be an artist ‘under 30’? Which seems to be a better position to work from – being an artist over or under 30 and why?
MW: I think that there are advantages and disadvantages to being a young artist. The art world does value youth when looking for ‘the next best thing,’ but at the same time younger artists are not always taken as seriously as older and more established artists.
THIRTY: 30 Creative Minds Under 30 kicks off Wednesday, March 27th, 6pm at Maryland Art Place
THIRTY is a series of monthly talks featuring thirty emerging Baltimore artists under the age of thirty. All of the participants use a diverse range of creative practices, from visual art to performance, curatorial, community art, design, film, photography and technology to create visual experiences. Participants of THIRTY were selected by the THIRTY committee and MAP staff through either open call or by invitation.
Talks on March 27, 2013 will feature Emily C-D, Mia Weiner, and Ashley Minner
To see more of Mia Weiner’s work, click here.
1. Untitled (holding hands). 2012. Linen, thread. 48 x 47 inches
2. Untitled (reach). 2012. Linen, thread. 25 x 46 inches
3. Untitled (armless). 2012. Linen, thread. 28.5 x 48.5 inches
4. Sasha with detail and side view. 2012. Devoré on linen. 47 x 62 x 4 inches
5. 40°80’59″N 73°96’17″W. 2011. Linen, cotton, nylon, wool. 24 inch hoop