Mirrah Johnson is an artist and educator from Middle Tennessee. She is a dyer, sewer, and weaver, working with natural fibers and dyes. In 2017, she completed her BFA in Fibers at the Appalachian Center for Craft, where she worked in various disciplines including non-ferrous metals and woodworking. The following summer, she worked as intern in the Community Collaborations Department at Penland School of Crafts in order to further her skills related to education and community involvement. This past spring, after six months working full-time as a seamstress at Elizabeth Suzann, she realized it was time to focus more completely on her personal work as an artist and educator. She is currently a traveling artist, based in Middle Tennessee. As a recipient of work-study scholarships, she is taking classes at Penland and Haystack Schools this summer. She is currently Fiber Artist in Residence at STARworks Center for Creative Enterprise in North Carolina. During August and September she will be leading several workshops for the Frist Museum and in collaboration with jeweler Lindsay Walker.
Charlene Lachicotte - As an artist, I am drawn to rebelliousness and unconventionality. As a non-traditional student, I have learned to trust myself and follow my own instincts above all else. As a lifelong learner and maker, I am inspired by philosophy, Buddhism, absurdism, abstractions, science, exploration, and adventure. This body of work was born out of a need to be authentic and happy. I had to take a step back for a minute to think about the work that I make, and in doing so I realized that I am truly happy when I have the opportunity to experiment with material and see what happens. I am inspired by random objects (found or made), techniques that I have a strong desire to try, materials and how they can be manipulated, and form. There is something innate within me that wants to tinker, explore, and experiment. My challenge comes in creating finished works from these experimentations. I find a powerful sense of joy when I complete a piece and it possesses a sense of balance and harmony between the elements of play, experimentation, and craftsmanship. I love working in the small scale that is jewelry. I view the body as a portable gallery, and I feel that adornment should be thought of in terms sculpture. The pieces in this show are made from the materials that I enjoy working with the best; mainly metal, wood, vitreous enamel. I also love to incorporate found objects, mementos, and unconventional materials that I pick up as I move through life. This show is meant to convey the sense of joy that is quintessential to my practice of making. If that joy is not present, then what's the point? I simply follow that sensation and let it guide my instincts. It is through this practice that I have learned to trust myself and find that place of authentic happiness. I put these works out into the world with the hope that others will find the same sentiments.