Take it Away, Keep it Together

New work by Kate McCammon and Noah Steinman, graduates of PAFA’s MFA program and recipients of the 2016 Faculty Exhibition Award

Through Kate McCammon’s unweaving of silk, and Noah Steinman’s reimagining of found texts, both artists explore construction, deconstruction, exposure, and concealment.

Take it Away, Keep it Together showcases altered books and fabrics that share common threads of intimacy and fragility. McCammon and Steinman embrace the reclamation of familiar objects and materials into new and tactile objects, and create an intimate experience for viewers.

The artists graduated from PAFA's Master of Fine Arts program. As recipients of the 2016 Faculty Exhibition Award, they were invited to return to PAFA one year after graduation for a museum exhibition of their recent work.

Kate McCammon received her MFA from PAFA in 2016 and her BFA in Painting from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2012. She has been awarded a number of residencies, including the Starry Night Residency Program in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico; the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice, Italy; and the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont. Currently she lives and works in Philadelphia, where her studio practice involves the making of objects out of fabrics, mesh, lace, and other media. Calling on painting as a framework, her deconstructed fabric pieces with their revealed threads and iridescent surfaces mimic the strokes of a paint brush and the light within a landscape.

Delving into her process, McCammon states: “With a tack, I scratch into and pull at the threads of various fabrics to reveal what lies beneath; I stiffen cloth with paint to appear as folded sheets of metal; I cut and weave painted mesh into aged textile-like forms.  The process begins with an obsessive curiosity about the material and the need to dig into it.” 

Noah Steinman graduated from Oberlin College in 2013 with a BA in Studio Art and Art History, and received his PAFA MFA in May 2016. A passionate artist and art educator, Steinman currently works at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum as the Education Programs Assistant, and lives in Norwalk, Connecticut with his partner and his cat, Blueberry.

He says, “As a Queer, Jewish person, the books that I choose to alter (for example, selections from the Eugenics Publishing Company) hold great personal significance to me, while simultaneously serving as a socio-cultural artifact illuminating the dark corners of American history. Through my process of reclaiming and transforming these barbaric and alarmingly recent texts, I aim to shed light on the oppressive foundations of American culture while exposing the ways in which these types of systems and rhetoric persist today."

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