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Arts in Milwaukee

A Public Service Of Milwaukee Artist Resource Network

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  • “Detroit Dreams”Detroit Dreams

    Framed fabric portrait, 8" x 10", available for purchase.

  • “The Sea Witch”The Sea Witch

    12" x 12" acrylic painting of the Sea Witch. Available for purchase through SWAN Day MKE.

  • “Sharon”Sharon

    Fabric portrait of Sharon Jones, 2019. Part of the Supreme Tones series. 30" x 24", available for purchase.

  • “Nina”Nina

    Fabric portrait of Nina Simone, 2019. Part of the Supreme Tones series. 30" x 24", available for purchase.

  • “The Future”The Future

    Fabric portrait of The Future, from the People's Church series, 2018. African wax print fabric and custom frames. 12.5" x 18". Available for purchase.

  • “The Dreamer”The Dreamer

    Fabric portrait of The Dreamer, from the People's Church series, 2018. African wax print fabric and custom frames. 12.5" x 18". Available for purchase.

  • “The Maestro”The Maestro

    Fabric portrait of The Maestro, from the People's Church series, 2018. African wax print fabric and custom frames. 12.5" x 18". NFS.

  • “The Mentor”The Mentor

    Fabric portrait of The Mentor, from the People's Church series, 2018. African wax print fabric and custom frames. 12.5" x 18". Available for purchase.

  • “The Mother”The Mother

    Fabric portrait of The Mother, from the People's Church series, 2018. African wax print fabric and custom frames. 12.5" x 18". Available for purchase.

  • “The Revolutionary”The Revolutionary

    Fabric portrait of The Revolutionary, from the People's Church series, 2018. African wax print fabric and custom frames. 12.5" x 18". Available for purchase.

  • “The Bone Thrower”The Bone Thrower

    Fabric portrait of The Bone Thrower, 2018. Received cash award for the 2018 Bronzeville Arts walk. NFS.

  • “Sister Rosetta”Sister Rosetta

    Fabric portrait of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, 2018. Part of the Supreme Tones series. 30" x 24", NFS.

  • “Ella and Louie”Ella and Louie

    Fabric portrait of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, 2018. Part of the Supreme Tones series. 24" x 30", NFS.

  • “Bille”Bille

    Fabric portrait of Billie Holiday, 2019. Part of the Supreme Tones series. 24" x 30", available for purchase.

  • “Aretha”Aretha

    Fabric portrait of Aretha Franklin, 2018. Part of the Supreme Tones series. 30" x 24", NFS.

  • “Make It Work”Make It Work

    Wonky string pieced patchwork stars; denim and African wax print fabric. 2017. NFS.

  • “Linoleum Blocks”Linoleum Blocks

    Collection of hand carved linoleum blocks, 2016- present.

Rosy Petri

  • Art
  • Literature
I am an Art Professional I am a Literary Professional

Support This Artist
Contact Info
Paradise Home LLC
424 E Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53202

thisisparadisehome@gmail.com
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artist bio

Rosy is a wife, mother, fiber artist, print maker, writer and chef. She is the 2019 Pfister Artist in Residence. Learn more at www.thisisparadisehome.com

artist statement

Using traditional techniques in unconventional ways, I am a self taught multimedia artist with a focus on textile portraiture. Each portrait is meant to capture and pay homage to the humanity of individuals in reverential essence. As a self-taught artist working with fabrics of the diaspora, it is important for me to acknowledge that these artist ancestors are the descendants of the survivors of the middle passage. As a daughter of diaspora who has been historically disconnected from those origins, I seek to explore my own ties to the African continent and diaspora.

The African wax print fabrics themselves are a result of colonialism: enslaved Africans were brought to Indonesia by the Dutch during occupation. Here, traditional batik-making became the foundation for mechanized reproductions created by the Dutch. Further evolution of this journey led to Africans creating fabrics inspired by the failed reproductions, coupled with block printing styles and patterns more reflexive of communities on the continent. To this day, the fabrics are a cultural symbol of various African regions as well as children of the diaspora worldwide.

Each image was created with reverential consideration of the historic, spiritual and cultural significance of the materials and process. For me, the fabrics are symbolic of my own connection with the ancestors, known and unknown. Using wax prints in an improvisational manner, I apply them to my fabric portraits through a traditional quilting technique called raw edge applique. This technique allows me to utilize even the smallest scraps in my work, which I save from production of my other projects. Inspired by the stained glass windows and icons of churches and cathedrals, I want to celebrate the sacredness of life through iconographic images of culture created in the folkways of my community.

proficiencies