Sarasota Art Museum Debuts First U.S. Solo Museum Exhibition by Jamaica-based Textile and Fiber Artist Katrina Coombs

SARASOTA, Fla. (May 5, 2022) – Sarasota Art Museum presents I M(O)ther: Threads of the Maternal Figure, the first U.S. solo museum exhibition of Jamaica-based textile and fiber artist Katrina Coombs, open May 22 – October 2, 2022. Co-organized with the Miami-based Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator (DVCAI), this exhibition will feature 12 fiber artworks including large-scale installations and intimate sculptures that reference the artist’s personal experiences, as well as experiences of other maternal figures in her life.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to present Katrina Coombs’ dynamic, multifaceted work at Sarasota Art Museum,” said Virginia Shearer, executive director of Sarasota Art Museum. “The themes of womanhood and the search for identity in her work align strongly with our commitment to celebrating diverse perspectives in Sarasota Art Museum’s exhibition program. We look forward to offering our audiences a chance to experience Coombs’ creative genius.”

On view in the Museum’s John & Charlotte Suhler Gallery from May 22 – October 2, 2022, I M(O)ther: Threads of the Maternal Figure illuminates the range of fiber arts techniques Coombs uses in her practice, including the laborious technique of finger-knitting the works with various fiber materials. Coombs’ works are inspired and guided by a quest to deepen the spiritual, emotional, and psychological understanding of the numerous conflicting roles that have been attributed to women in contemporary society.

Katrina Coombs, Oshuns Glory, 2020
Katrina Coombs
Oshun’s Glory (detail)
Finger-knitted mixed fibers
Dimensions variable

Courtesy of the artist
Photo: Katrina Coombs

While the use of fiber is central to her work, Coombs skillfully weaves and stitches cowrie shells, amethyst stone, mirror, and beads into tactile and large-scale forms. These non-fiber elements are used to communicate conceptual ideas of identity, the maternal figure, wealth, ancestry, and security.

“The artworks in this exhibition invite us to enter a world of wonderfully constructed fiber forms, created over several years in response to a number of personal experiences, reflections, and observations,” said Guest Curator Rosie Gordon-Wallace. “Each piece in this exhibition makes a contribution to our collective appreciation of Coombs’ oeuvre, as well as of the range of visual possibilities that can be attained when working with natural and synthetic fibers.”

The works in this exhibition span over a range of time (2015-2020), referencing a number of the artist’s personal experiences, as well as experiences of other maternal figures in her life. Coombs’ work communicates a range of ideas in pieces that are intended to physically envelope the viewer in some instances, and in other instances keep the viewer at a distance.

“My work is governed and guided by my emotions as I attempt to understand and search for the woman that I am. Each artwork represents a part of me that is hidden from myself and others. They embody my hidden voice,” said Coombs, “The artworks I create depict my experiences with birth, death, love, heartbreak, corruption, entrapment, destruction, joy, happiness, and freedom.”

Related Programs

Artist Talk: Katrina Coombs and Rosie Gordon-Wallace
Saturday, May 21, 2022
1 pm
Free for members, $20 not-yet members
Location: Sarasota High School Alumni Auditorium

Join Sarasota Art Museum for a special conversation with featured artist Katrina Coombs and Guest Curator Rosie Gordon-Wallace. The two will discuss Coombs’ new exhibition, I M(O)ther: Threads of the Maternal Figure. The talk will explore the various techniques Coombs uses to realize her fiber creations, as well as the relationship of the works to women’s roles in contemporary society.

Curator Talk: Emory Conetta
Thursday, June 9, 2022
6 pm
Free for members, $20 not-yet members
Location: Sarasota High School Alumni Auditorium

Get an introduction to Sarasota Art Museum’s newest exhibitions, Daniel Lind-Ramos: Las Tres Marías and I M(O)ther: Threads of the Maternal Figure from Assistant Curator Emory Conetta.

About Sarasota Art Museum

Sarasota Art Museum is a catalyst for appreciation and understanding of the art of our time. As a platform for exposure, education, and experimentation, the Museum inspires new ideas and new ways of being through an endless rotation of transformative, relevant, and pioneering exhibitions and programs designed to elevate and empower all by cultivating discerning visual thinkers and ethical citizens.

Sarasota Art Museum is Ringling College of Art and Design’s dynamic laboratory for the exploration and advancement of contemporary art. Sarasota Art Museum shares the Ringling College Museum Campus with Ringling College’s Continuing Studies program comprised of the non-credit Studio and Digital Arts program and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Ringling College.
Located in the historic Sarasota High School, Sarasota Art Museum opened to the public in 2019 in the beautifully reimagined building by K/R Architects. The new Museum is comprised of 15,000 square feet of dedicated exhibition space, a plaza court, the Great Lawn featuring temporary sculpture and site – specific installations, Bistro, and SHOP.
As Sarasota’s only museum solely focused on contemporary artists and their work, Sarasota Art Museum offers visitors a place to see thought-provoking exhibitions and participate in education programs that start conversations and amplify the city’s creative spirit.
SHOP, located in the Museum’s lobby, features an eclectic collection of exhibition-related merchandise, art and architecture books, contemporary jewelry, and gifts.

Bistro at Sarasota Art Museum is located on the Museum’s campus in Paul Rudolph’s Sarasota School of Architecture 1959 Vocational Shops building. The Bistro fare is inspired by Florida’s regional fruit stands and farmer’s markets and emphasizes local produce, healthy proteins, and artisanal specialty items brought to you by Executive Chef and general manager Kaytlin Dangaran.

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