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title: Stay Home artist: Naomi Elson materials: Fabric and yarn (handmade face masks) dimensions: Full window coverage location: Chicago, IL

During quarantine I made over 50 face masks as a means of necessity and way to explore another means of wearable art. Some of them reflect aspects of COVID-19, through wording stitched into the face masks. The most prominent mask in the center reads, “Stay Home”, encouraging everyone to stay home if they can to prevent the spreading of COVID-19.

Naomi Elson was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. She received her MFA from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Illinois. Following graduation, Naomi moved to Chicago, where she has shown at several galleries, including GIFC at Western Exhibitions, Nightlight Gallery and Studios, ARC Gallery, Rubberneck Gallery, Bucktown Gallery, and Zhou B Art Center. Naomi Elson is currently a 2019-2020 HATCH artist-in-residence at the Chicago Artist Coalition and will be exhibiting at Heaven Gallery next month in the group exhibition Relic, Ritual, and Remedy (August 7 - September 13) curated by Purple Window director Lauren Iacoponi.

More on Naomi Elson's practice

Naomi Elson’s work combines several mediums including, sculpture, fibers, and fashion,

approaching them from a painting perspective. She creates tactile environments in space that

take advantage of walls, floors, and ceilings, that move beyond traditional painting. She strives

to create an interactive experience for the participants, like the process of painting itself.

Working with discarded materials, thrown out, abandoned on curbs, or found in dumpsters,

allows her the freedom to escape from the preciousness of art and throw any preconceived

rules out the window and just play, deconstructing these materials and restructuring them.

Elson’s materials include carpets, rugs, couches, chairs, found fabrics, and mistint latex paints.

Her work builds off each other, taking cut off remnants from past work to generate ideas; where

each color, shape, texture, informs another. Follow her on Instagram: @naomi_elson

Window installation: Stay Home by Naomi Elson (click arrow for more images)

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