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Grant Recipient

Olivia Van Oot

Windgate-Lamar Fellowship


Artist Statement

Assembling dyed wood and veneers disguised as various quilt fabrics, I’m exploring the intersection between wood and textile craft through the constructs of masculine and feminine materials and their traditional craft processes. There’s a fluctuation between dichotomies of hard and soft, masculine and feminine, movement and stillness, security, and vulnerability. Based in an obsessive nature of making, each piece fits with each other to create an object with complex visual illusions of pattern and movement–these are objects that strive for perfection. I’m rearranging, trimming, and making patterns fit and click together into larger panels that shift micro-making into macro-imagery. Quilts are objects that hold cultural memories. We associate them with familial security and the safety of childhood. As a child, my grandmother often quilted and sewing was something she was able to pass down to me. Through my work, I juxtaposed these connotations of safety and childhood commonly associated with quilts, with imagery that represents my life as a young person today. I often represent my current identity through my use of video and performance with my wooden objects. While quilts function as a security blanket my work confronts themes of vulnerability and identity. By using comforting and familiar patterns in a new material I remove them from their context and I am able to create an object that sits somewhere between familiarity and the unknown.

Bio of the Artist

Organization Background

Olivia Van Oot is a woodworker based in Portland, Maine. She attended Maine College of Art & Design in the Woodworking and Furniture Design program and completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in May 2024. Her work utilizes American Pieced Quilt patterns, evoking feelings of comfort, safety, and home. This quilt imagery exists beside work about hyper-femininity and coming of age as a young woman. By making work out of wood, a stereotypically masculine material, she questions the notions of gendered disciplines within the craft community and what it means to be a woman and a woodworker.


Kingston, RI





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