Kentucky-based artist Crystal Gregory sees herself as a builder, often pairing construction materials with handmade textiles in her contemporary work.
The artist: Gregory grew up in Huntington Beach, CA, and earned a BFA from the University of Oregon and an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Gregory lived and worked in New York for 10 years before moving to Lexington, KY, where she was an assistant professor in fiber arts in the University of Kentucky’s school of arts and visual studies.
The studio: She works in a large private studio with great windows and exposed brick on the third floor of the university’s art school. She has a loom and access to the school’s fiber facilities.
The art & materials: Handwoven textiles embedded in cement or altered with cast metals. Other building materials, like drywall and glass, are often used with textiles which are woven.
What’s popular: Woven concrete and knit pewter series in which she embeds textiles, like handwoven lace, into concrete slabs ($800 to $9,000).
“These works are material paintings that hang on the wall,” Gregory said. “And invite the viewer to experience them as an abstract painting.”
Fun, special or unusual commissions: Seven 30 feet by four feet weavings spanning six stories of a commercial building in San Antonio. In the work, she uses brightly colored cotton with stainless steel woven into the bottom of each piece.
The installation, Gregory’s largest yet, will take place later this year.
- Architecture and the built environment. Even construction sites.
- Artists, including Anni Albers, Anne Wilson, Leonore Antunes, Carol Bove.
Claim to fame: One of Gregory’s pieces is hanging in the U.S. Consulate in Sri Lanka.
Awards & honors: Many including:
- Joan Mitchel Foundation Painters & Sculptors grants nominee, 2020.
- Albers Foundation Artist in Residence, 2019.
- Leonore Annenberg Fellowship for the Performing and Visual Arts, 2013-15.
What’s new: Working with natural dyes, which speak of place, including where they were grown and the environment where they survive.
What’s next: American Craft Council’s Atlanta/Southeast Craft Week. Online, Sept. 20-26. In person, Sept. 23-25, at Atlanta’s Buckhead Village. For details, visit: craftcouncil.org/show/season/atlantasoutheast-craft-week
Where to buy: Several galleries, including the Momentum Gallery in Asheville.
Get social at:
- Instagram @crystalirenegregory
- Website: crystalgregory.org