Artist Statement & Bio

Woolpunk..has the hands of a gifted artisan, the soul of a social activist, and the passion of an environmentalist.

--Hildreth York, Curator, Writer, Emeritus Professor


Artist Statement


Philosopher Kant, artists Martha Rosler, Tracey Emin, Faith Ringgold, and my paternal grandmother, who emigrated to America and sewed American flags for a living, have all influenced my material choices and studio practice. I have created art and community engagement that focuses on homelessness, the environment, and economic disparity for over two decades. Most notable, I worked with communities throughout New Jersey to create DIY blankets for the homeless after Hurricane Sandy. Due to my unique stitching process and how I handle fibers, I was able to trademark as the artist Woolpunk®. I make knitted installations, fiber-based sculptures, and embroidered photographs by recombining traditional women’s skills with repurposed materials and objects to create art that has a texture, pattern, and meaning akin to that of obsessive drawings. I consider myself a documentarian of sorts due to the materials and techniques I work with such as found materials, photographs, and text-based stitching.



Artist Bio


WOOLPUNK® is an American artist, born in Summit, NJ in 1971. WOOLPUNK®, inspired by an immigrant seamstress grandmother who sewed American flags for a living, machine knits fiber installations, quilts sculptures, and embroiders photographs to influence social change. She has fabricated site-specific installations for a variety of institutions including the Monira Foundation, the Cathedral of St John the Divine, Hunterdon Art Museum, Lion Brand Yarn Studio, and Knock Down Center. In 2014, WOOLPUNK® founded the Gimme Shelter Project and hosted statewide community stitch-ins to bring awareness of the homeless increase in New Jersey. The stitch-ins created weatherized blankets that were donated to the PERC shelter in Union City, NJ on Global Homeless Day. The project was highlighted at Parson’s School of Design. Her work has been exhibited internationally at the Arts and Crafts Museum, Itami, Japan; Casaterra Residency, Italy; Atelier Turbine Space, Switzerland; and Galerie Kurt im Hirsch in Berlin, Germany. She has received grant awards from Puffin Foundation, Goldman Sachs, and Geraldine Dodge Foundation. Woolpunk’s embroidered photographs are included in the permanent collections of the Zimmerli Museum, Hudson County Community College Foundation Collection, and Montclair Art Museum, among others. 

CV

WOOLPUNK®
www.woolpunk.com


Born in Summit, New Jersey, 1971
Lives and works in Jersey City, NJ


EDUCATION

2001 Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, MFA
2001 Douglas College, Rutgers University, Women’s Studies Certificate


HONORS

2022 Guest Speaker, F.I.T Exhibit Panel, NYC

2022 Guest Speaker, Montclair Art Museum Activism Panel, Montclair, NJ

2022 Guest Speaker, KnittyGrittyJC, Guest Speaker, Jersey City. NJ

2021 Guest Speaker, HCCC Art in Context Series, Jersey City, NJ

2020 Featured in Essential Artist Series, Bravin Lee Programs, NYC

2020 WOOLPUNK® officially trademarked, USA

2020 Guest Speaker, Mana Contemporary, Jersey City, NJ

2019 Sponsored exhibitor at Art & Social Activism Festival, NYC

2019 Guest Speaker, Art & Social Activism Festival Panelist Series, NYC
2019 Sponsored Exhibitor Room, 14C Art Fair, Jersey City, NJ
2019 Invited exhibitor, New Jersey Arts Annual, Montclair Art Museum, NJ

2019 Guest Speaker, Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ

2018 Foundation Collection Advisory Board, Hudson County Community College, NJ
2017 Advisory Board Committee, Jersey City Arts Council, NJ
2016 Director of Dineen Hull Gallery, Hudson County Community College, NJ
2014 Guest Speaker, Jerseyscapes, New Jersey City University, NJ
2011 Woman of Action Award for PSE&G Mural Program, Jersey City, NJ
2011 “Grant Street”, Collection of Hudson County Community College, NJ
2010 “Pacific Court”, Collection of Jersey City/Zimmerli Museum, NJ
2009 _gaia Residency Program, NJ

2009 “Pacific Court” Collection of the Jersey City, Museum, NJ
2008 Invited exhibitor, New Jersey Fine Arts Annual, NJ, Jersey City Museum
2007 Guest Speaker with Paddy Johnson, Jersey City Museum, NJ

2007 Guest Speaker and Curator, Pace University, NYC

2007 Guest Panelist, Lateral Attitudes, Raritan Valley Community College, NJ

2005 New Jersey Public Radio State of the Arts: Artist of the Month
2005 Guest Panelist, Circa Craft, Jersey City Museum, NJ
2005 Invited exhibitor, New Jersey Arts Annual- Crafts, Jersey City Museum, NJ
2004 “Cast” Collection of Casaterra Residency Program, Puglia, Italy
2004 Geraldine Dodge and Fine Arts Work Center Grant Award, MA
2004 Casaterra Residency Program: Nomadic Poets, Ostuni, Italy
2004 Goldman and Sachs Arts Grant Award, NJ
2004 Puffin Foundation Artist Award, NJ
1999-01 Teaching Assistantship, Rutgers University, NJ
1994-95 Teaching Artist, RC Volunteers, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation


SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2022 Walking Palm at Bergdorf Goodman Windows, NYC

2022 Sunflowers & Greffiti'd Sky, Montclair Art Museum, NJ, Gail Stavitsky, Curator

2021 Ocufluent I & II, World Trade Center Tower 2 Lobby, NYC, Presented by Port Authority

2020 MAGA ReDo, Monira Foundation at Mana, Jersey City, NJ, Ysabel Pinyol Blasi, Curator

2019 Rm 820,14C Art Fair, Hyatt Regency, Jersey City, NJ
2015 Gimme Shelter Project, Windows at Columbus, Jersey City, NJ, Eileen Ferrara, Curator

2014 Gimme Shelter Project, Owen Grundy Pier, Jersey City, NJ, Luca Cusolito, Curator

2013-14 Tornado II, South Mountain Conservancy Wildflower Sculpture Park, South Orange, NJ
2011 Love Your River Project, Pierro Gallery, South Orange, NJ, Sandy Martiny, Curator

2010 Interference, Lion Brand Yarn Studio, NY
2009 Waterfalls., Hunterdon Museum, Clinton, NJ, Mary.Birmingham, Curator
2008 Threads, Object and Thought Gallery, Denver, Colorado
2007 Knot Constructs, The Garage, Jersey City, NJ, Margaret Murphy, Curator

2006 Communal Ties, City Hall, Jersey City, NJ
2005 Bound, Jersey City Museum, NJ, Rocio Aranda-Alvarado, PHD., Curator
2003 Shroud Series, Salve Regina Gallery, Washington DC
2002 Re-Form, Brunswick Window, Jersey City, NJ, Roger Sayre, Curator
2001 Knitting Lessons, Mason Gross Galleries, New Brunswick, NJ


SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2022 Journal & Pattern, Fashion Institute of Technology, NY

2021 Montclair Art Museum Annual Auction, Montclair, NJ, Curator Gail Stavitsky

2021 Speedwell Projects Annual Auction, Maine, Curator, Juliet Karlsen

2021 RE:Growth, Riverside Park, NY, Karin Bravin, Curator

2021 Pause Remember Reflect, Treasurer Rm, Rockefeller Foundation, NY, Jen Roberts, Curator

2021 Recent Acquisitions, Montclair Art Museum, NJ, Gail Stavitsky, Curator

2020 Tiny Pricks Project at Culture House, Washington, DC, Diane Newmyer, Curator

2020 A Fractured Sigh, Bravin Lee Programs, NY, Charlotte B. Lee & Chiara Mannarino, Curators

2020 OUTDOORS, Monira Foundation at Mana Contemporary, NJ, Ysabel Pinyol Blasi, Curator

2020 Art Fair 14C, Jersey City, TFLR Contemporary, Brooklyn, NY

2019 New World Water, Seton Hall University, NJ

2019 Art & Social Activism Festival, NYC

2019 Mauled in America, Off Space, Canton Glarus, Switzerland, Fred Fleisher, Curator
2019 New Directions in Fiber Art, Montclair Art Museum, NJ
2019 Ingenious Prospects, Novado Gallery, Jersey City, NJ, Anne Novado, Curator
2018 Morir Sonando, Knock Down Center, NY, Alex Santana, Curator
2018 Maurice Sendak School Art Auction, NY, Chris Bors, Curator
2017 The Matrix, Old SUNY Westbury, NY, Fred Fleisher, Curator
2017 Quantum Overdrive, Hudson County Community College, NJ, Fred Fleisher, Curator

2016 La Storia, Casa Colombo Center for the Arts, NJ
2016 Contemporary Hudson, Hudson Community College, NJ, Laurie Riccadonna, Curator
2015 The Big Show, Art Factory, Paterson, NJ, Matt Gosser, Curator
2015 Threads, Art Factory, Paterson, NJ, Lillian Ribiero, Curator
2014 Jerseyscapes, NJCUniversity, NJ. Midori Yoshimoto, Curator
2012 Perception Shifts, Stockton University, NJ. Heather Gibson, Curator
2011-12 Value of Water, St John Cathedral, NY. Fredericka Foster, Curator
2011 Home, _gaia, NJCU University, NJ. Doris Cacoilo, Curator
2011 Aljira Auction, Aljira: A Center for Contemporary Art, Newark, NJ

2010 Collective Consumption, Dumbo Arts Festival, C. Sexton & C. Vassallo, Curators
2010 Emerging Patterns, Arts Council of Morris, NJ
2010 Natural Selections, Greylock Arts, North Adams, MA
2010 (Re)Fashioning Fiber, Green Spaces, NY, Abigail Doan, Curator
2009 New Look, Same Great Taste, Jersey City Museum, NJ, Rocio Alvarado, PHD., Curator
2009 Uncommon Threads, Seton Hall University, Jeanne Brasile, Curator
2009 Money!, ABC NO RIO, NY, Vandana Jain & Doris Cacoilo, Curators
2008 Your Documents Please, Traveling exhibition: Arts & Crafts Museum, Japan; Galerie Kurt im Hirsch, Berlin, among others. Daniel Georges & Rumi Tsuda, Curators

2008 Of The Cloth, Shore Institute of Contemporary Art, Long Branch, NJ
2008 Sprawl, NJ Arts Annual, Jersey City Museum, NJ Rocio Alvarado, PHD., Curator
2008 Sculptoure, The Shore Institute of Contemporary Art, Long Branch, NJ
2007 Lateral Attitudes, Raritan Comm. College, NJ, Tom McGlynn, Curator
2007 Noah’s Ark, Shore Institute of Art, NJ. Brendan Carroll, Curator
2006 Faculty Exhibition, Newark Museum, NJ,
2006 The Sum of All Parts, The Hogar Collection, Brooklyn, NY
2005 (K)notes, NJCUniversity, NJ
2005 Contemporary Drawing, Brookdale Community College, NJ, Aaron Williams, Curator
2004 Nomadic Poets, Casaterra, Italy

2001 Trapeze, Swinging from the 80’s, Mason Gross Galleries, Rutgers University, NJ

SELECTED PRESS, FEATURES & PUBLICATIONS

2022 Journal and Pattern Continues .., ARTBREAKOUT, artbreakout.com

2021 Ocufluent, World Trade Center, officialwordtradecenter.com

2021 Art Blooms in Nature… Hilarie M. Sheets, New York Times

2020 A Fractured Sigh featured in by Manuela Antonucci, lavocedinewyork.com

2020 Walking Palm featured in Perennial, Hudson County Community College

2019 Out of the Box podcast, Hudson County Community College
2019 I Can’t See the Stars featured @DailyTrumpet, Jonathan Horowitz, Curator
2019 New Directions... Exhibit Catalog, Montclair Art Museum, NJ
2018 Alex Santana: On Curating Morir Sonando..Jasmin Hernandez, gallerygurls.tumblr.com

2018 Morir Sonando, ARTnews, artnews.com
2017 The Matrix Long Island City University Exhibit Catalog
2017 Protest Quilt with Bazooka... Chris Barth, DailySoundandFury.com
2016 La Storia: Mazza, Riccadonna and Vitale, Paddy Johnson, artfcity.com

2016 Michelle Vitale…, ChichpeaJC, chicpeajc.com
2015 As Artists We Protest Everyday...Becky Nickolls, artistscribles.com
2015 Michelle Vitale.., Branding Podcast with Susan Newman
2015 Choosing a Community.., featured at Parsons School of Design
2015 Gimme Shelter Project, Push Pause, Verizon Fios Channel 1
2015 Gimme Shelter Stitch In featured on Channel 12 News
2015 A Stitch In Time Can..., Matthew Speiser, Jersey Journal
2015 Jersey City Artist.., Summer Dawn Hortillosa, Jersey Journal
2013 Colorful Life Returns to Jersey City, Brendan Carroll, Hyperallergic
2012 Value of Water, St John Divine Cathedral, World Policy Blog
2012 Value of Water, St John Divine Cathedral, Vimeo

2010 Woolpunk Extraordinaire, Abigail Doan blog
2009 New Meanings .., Sabrina Gschwandter, Interweave Magazine
2009 Family Skills.., Hildy York, Surface Design Journal
2009 Home Sweet Home, Jessica Hemmings, Embroidery Magazine
2009 Sprawl Exhibition Catalog, Rocio Aranda-Alvarado PHD
2007 This Is That, Patty Johnson, Art F City
2007 Lateral Attitudes Exhibition Catalog, Tom McGlynn

2006 Knots.. New York Times, Benjamin Genoochio
2006 (K)nots Exhibition Catalog, Michelle Vitale
2006 Circa Craft Exhibition Catalog, Rocio Aranda-Alvarado, PHD
2005 State of the Arts, NJN Radio, Peter Shea
2005 Taking Art to The Streets, Jersey City Magazine, Peter Zinsil
2005 Shrouds Series No 2, Featured in Puffin Foundation Catalog