Kara Patrowicz

MFA ’11 Fine Arts 2D

Through my work, I seek an authentic experience of beauty amidst the distractions and messes of daily life. My artwork focuses on family scenes, room interiors and still life to create intimate views into one’s interior realm. The restorative, embodying aspects of blending tactile fiber materials are also central to my practice. I love the process of slow-looking and developing layered, nuanced surfaces as a form of active contemplation. But I also thrive on the speed, playfulness and unpredictability of techniques like wet felting.

My approach to fibers is informed by my background in oil painting, with a focus on wool felting and tapestry weaving. My materials include wool sourced from local sheep farms, and domestic detritus like dryer lint and clippings of my children’s hair. I also felt pieces in my washing machine with laundry loads, to acknowledge and make seen the “invisible”, slow labor that accompanies my role as full-time caregiver and homemaker. I want to treat mothering as a serious subject for art-making, and expand the maternal lens beyond its carefully curated forms found on social media. 

While caring for my two young children, these pursuits have found expression in my depictions of the tender rituals and pandemonium of parenthood. Through subjects like messy playpens, doodling children or wedding rings, my work hints at the intersection of ritual and play, monotony and delight in fundamental human relationships.

Kara Patrowicz is a fiber artist based in Maynard, MA. She has had solo exhibitions at ArtsWorcester and in the Wayside Gallery at Fruitlands Museum. Honors include a Fulbright Painting Grant to Ireland, and a Finalist in Crafts for the MCC Artist Fellowships Program. She has shown her work throughout the U.S. and abroad, including the U.S. Embassy in Geneva, Switzerland. She has taught at the collegiate-level and as an Artist-in-Residence at Boston Children’s Hospital.