Getting to Know Artist Eliza Fernand

You may already be familiar with Eliza’s work, whether it was her “Equity Not Equality” banner pieces on the Ladies Literary Club during ArtPrize 2017, her “NO” quilts at UICA, or even her ceramics that she calls “gems” because of the geometric patterning outside and the rich colors inside.

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We talk to Eliza about her geometric mural based on quilt designs, on North Division just past the overpass. She describes her work generally as “large scale patchworks,” and explains that she does installation, sculpture, and video work, though the main medium she works in is recycled fabric.

We talk about the process of translating process from one medium to another, and the concept of “ugly beautiful” work. 

“There’s a lot of merit in making something that’s ugly,” she insists. “I’m not really interested in just making beautiful things.” We unpack what she means by that in our conversation, and talk about the strong statements in her work, whether they’re political, about women’s work, consent, or a variety of social ills.

Eliza currently works as a teaching artist, and her work can currently be found at the Muskegon Museum of Art’s Contemporary Art Exhibition, and you can also follow her along on Instagram or delve deeper into her practice by exploring her website or visiting her archive of ceramics.

Images courtesy of Eliza Fernand and Walker Esner.