Loretta Park

MFA ’16 Fine Arts 2D

I sew, braid, paint, cut, and crush objects to create works that are impractical and function-less. In doing so, I build abstract shapes that are non-representational but reference the real world. As the shiny and slippery plastic lacing is woven through soft, tightly braided cotton fabrics, these contrasting textures repeatedly come into contact with each other. This intimate gesture of touching suggests the materials were held and altered by my hands. Knowing anything and everything can be materials, I choose to make with items that are easily found: scrap wood pieces discarded from woodshop, plastic beads found in craft stores, fabrics from clothes I don’t wear, dried up acrylic paint stuck on tupperware. By using materials that are easily accessible, I want to reject the notion of material hierarchy. Teaching in higher education, I see how the school system enforces the hierarchy by discouraging students from using “cheap” materials and encouraging students to find “better”, meaning expensive materials. Who determined that certain materials are better? Why are these materials better and who usually has access to these materials? Also, what is the meaning of better and how has this been measured historically and currently? By using materials that are more affordable, accessible, and are often discarded, I want to be intentional about moving away from this art world/art school notion of material hierarchy.

Loretta Park is an artist and holds an MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and a BA from Bowdoin College. Her work has been exhibited at Dimensions Variable, Miami, FL (2021); Shelter In Place Gallery, Boston, MA (2020); New System Exhibitions, Portland, ME (2019); Ray Gallery, Brooklyn (2018); and Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockland, ME (2017). Loretta currently teaches as a Visiting Assistant Professor at MassArt.