Artist Statement and Biography
My art is rooted in the feminine traditions of quilting and embroidery traditionally thought of as “women’s work.” Using fabric as my primary material, I establish an immediate connection through shared experience. Drawing from this rich history of creating functional objects intended to provide warmth and comfort, I create fiberart using time-honored methods, recycled materials or referencing tradition with mixed-media installation, as a platform to present ideas about current events.
I began working with newspapers because I am greatly concerned that the visual impact of photojournalism is diminished with the ongoing shift of news delivery from holding the newspaper to viewing a screen. Thinking about the way photographs inform our introduction to specific events I began to make a hand cut daily collage from the NY Times using only photographs or advertising. The title of each collage is a headline from that day that references the visual theme. I am compelled to reimagine and confront viewers with often uncomfortable realities that they might otherwise avoid with just one click.
Penny Mateer is an award-winning artist whose work has exhibited widely including The Carnegie Museum of Art, The Andy Warhol Museum, the Society for Contemporary Crafts, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Woman Made Gallery and The Textile Museum. Penny’s work was selected for a solo exhibition in the prestigious World of Threads Festival Toronto, Ontario. She has received numerous awards including Best of Show, Fiberart International 2016. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Pittsburgh Public School system. Her public art experience includes co-director of Knit the Bridge a community-made fiber art installation on the Andy Warhol Bridge, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Currently she is a full-time studio artist in Pittsburgh. Mateer graduated with a M.S.W. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1988 after receiving a B.A. from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA.