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Artist Statement

Millicent Kennedy‘s interdisciplinary art practice responds to found objects, chosen places and the history embedded in material. From broken donated tools encased in archival shrouds honoring workers, to window bars and security gates that maintain the thin veil of private property, the items their practice engages are part of the thematic grounding of the work.

A frequent modality of Kennedy’s work is stitching objects into textiles that they have printed with natural dyes. The process of hand sewing around materials creates a fitted but obscured form. The process has a transformative quality, allowing for the possibility to think about broken things differently, or consider how seeing a boundary that is not always visible changes it.



Millicent Kennedy’s (they/them) practice is interested in how we archive a physical world in flux. Through skills both laborious and ancient including book and box making, natural dye and hand stitching, Kennedy connects to the knowledge of generations of unknown hands who worked to hold their world together. Their work as a whole is interested in connecting two or more things that could seem separate or worn away from one another. Like dyeing and mending, the alchemy is in the labor and material itself, that lead to transformation. They received a Bachelor's Degree from Northeastern Illinois University and MFA from Northern Illinois University where they were awarded the Helen Merritt Fellowship.

They’ve received solo exhibitions from Belong Gallery, SXU Art Gallery, Roman Susan and Parlour and Ramp, as well as site specific installations with Charles Allis Art Museum, Terrain Exhibitions Biennial, and Purple Window Gallery. They have received artist residencies with ACRE, Ragdale, Roman Susan, Terrain Exhibitions, Awakenings, Lillstreet Art Center, and the Bridge Program at Hyde Park Art Center. They also serve as the Director at NEIU's Fine Art Center Gallery and teach at Northern Illinois University, their studio is based out of Chicago.

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