Artist Spotlight: Katrina Sánchez

May 23, 2021

Abigail Ogilvy Gallery is proud to exhibit new artworks by Panamanian-American fiber artist, Katrina Sánchez. Sánchez is an interdisciplinary, mixed-media artist whose work explores themes of community, healing, and renewal. Her fascination with weaving started with a mending project of darning her partner’s jeans. Sánchez describes this labor-intensive process as an act of rebuilding and inspired her to create giant, magnified versions of the threaded pattern. Sánchez hopes that her work will evoke “a desire to touch and play [as] the familiarity of these textile forms brings a collective sense of intimacy, warmth, and joyfulness.” 


The artist reflects on the importance of tactility in her works, stating: 

“I really enjoy when people can touch the Magnified Weavings I make. Sometimes some spaces insist that people refrain from touching any of the artwork, but it’s often one of the first things I hear from people, “I just want to touch it!” and I think it is really satisfying when they can. It's fulfilling that curiosity, sense of play and tactility, that for me, is important for the work; letting the viewer indulge in that desire to feel and explore the work through another sense. It also breaks a barrier between myself as the artist with the viewer by enabling them to experience the work in a way like I do. The work is plush and flexible, it gets pushed and pulled and even sat on in the studio and it’s not very fragile so I feel like, why safeguard that experience for only myself or some people?”


Buenos Días, Katrina Sánchez

Buenos Días, Katrina Sánchez


Drawing inspiration from the title of her current exhibition, The Consistency of a Sunset, Sánchez writes, 

“The color choices for Lifesource come from the different variations and phases of the sun and surrounding sky, from hot fiery red, sunny yellow and blue sky, to a warm shifting sunset. The sun seems to always be changing, but it is still a constant in our lives and is totally necessary for living. I shifted in this direction for the color theme after the exhibition was named “The Consistency of a Sunset” because I am interested in this idea of cycles. Erin Loree (also on view) and I both created work that is filled with color and highlights our processes of making - coming at this moment where people are starting to go out again, loosening the grip that Covid has had on our lives. So when I think about the title of the show and the work, I think about this gradual ending of a strict COVID phase in our collective experience moving to the next phase, and it’s quite emotional. Nature holds incredible power over our lives and we can only do our best to survive. The Universe moves in cycles, constantly changing, and at any moment anything can happen. That has been proven to us in a way that no one on earth has been able to ignore. I see cycles in the physical work...from the concentric rows of knitting revolving up each tube, to the direction of the weft as it travels down the weaving left to right, left to right, under and over, under and over.”

Along with color and texture, another element incorporated into many of Sánchez’s pieces includes size. One of the biggest works in the show is Lifesource, which the artists reveals is meant to, “...drip down and touch the floor. It's grounding for the work. If it had been suspended up in the air the quality of the piece would not have been the same, similar to how the quality of the sun changes as it moves around us. When it is up, seemingly floating in the sky, it feels ethereal, intangible, and weightless. Once the sun starts to set it touches the horizon, connecting with us and the earth, humbling it’s magnificent presence while it showers us with its breadth of colors as it says goodbye.” 


Lifesource, Katrina Sánchez

Lifesource, Katrina Sánchez


When asked what advice she would give the next generation of artists, Sánchez answers, “I find that it is so important to stay in the loop of what is going on around you in the arts and to create community- from the local artists in your city, the artists in your social media sphere, artists showing in the galleries and places where you would eventually like to see yourself. It's easy to become isolated as an artist. You don't have official coworkers like in most jobs, but the other creatives in your sphere fulfill a similar role. I've found this to be so important. You help support and amplify each other, you give each other guidance, space, inspiration, collaboration, help and much more. Being a working artist means being a part of this ecosystem. If you are just starting out, make it a point to go to all the exhibition openings you can. You will start to see familiar faces and get to know other working artists. Keep making your work as much as you can and share it with others. Nothing in the art world happens with one person. Foster that community and build connections because when we see your work and the time you are putting into your practice there will be people who will want to support and amplify you. Do the same for your fellow artists as well. I'm a firm believer in community over competition. We can influence what our work lives are like as artists so guide it towards the way you would want to live and work.”


Come check out Lifesource and the rest of Katrina Sánchez’s works along with paintings by Erin Loree, on view from now until June 6, 2021. 

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Abigail Ogilvy

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