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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Heather Kerley

Biography

Heather KerleyHeather Kerley studied art at the Columbus College of Art and Design before earning degrees in literature and gender studies. She is a painter, printmaker, mixed-media, and textile artist. From 2009-2011, she lived and exhibited her work around the Washington, D.C. area and was a 2011 visiting artist at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia. From 2012-2019, she lived in Ramstein, Germany where she collaborated with German artists and continued to produce and show work. Currently, she lives in the Baltimore area.

Among other things, Kerley creates unusual embroideries using found fabric, primarily vintage kimono silk scraps. Every work is improvisational, with designs "riffing" on and transforming the existing cloth pattern and using an eclectic mix of different yarns, flosses, beads, and an array of different stitches. She has also created embroideries stitched on top of transfer images of mixed media collages. Kerley recently began studying quilts and quilt-making in an effort to expand her fiber art practice.