Photographed by Mark Berndt
Samantha Manion-Chavez is a transdisciplinary Latina artist from Denver, Colorado and the pastoral countryside of southern Illinois. The psychology of place informs her multimedia practice and acts as the conduit for botanical imagery to emerge. As a first generation college student Manion-Chavez holds a BFA from the University of Colorado, Denver where she was honored as a EUReCA! Fellow and Grant recipient. Manion-Chavez has participated in residencies with Art Gym Denver, the Santa Fe Art Institute, and the Acequia Madre House/Women’s International Study Center. She was awarded the Fulcrum Grant in 2021 by 516 Arts for her exceptional use of historical mediums.
Manion-Chavez’s practice reanimates the Latin folk art of Colcha Embroidery that was invented in the rural Española Valley of New Mexico more than four hundred years ago. Manion-Chavez removes this historic medium and other feminine crafts from the safety of the home and places them into chaotic, organic landscapes. Exposed to the elements of rain, wind, and sun the handmade textiles become an active collaboration between artist and nature. As the fiber object occupies open space of the Natural World it is subject to the will of the elements and chance highlighting the vulnerability of Man. These experimental works activated by the forces of nature seek to explore the tension between Man and the Wild, the greatest archetype we’ve ever known.
© 2021 Samantha Manion-Chavez