PHOTOGRAPHED BY MARK BERNDT
Samantha Manion-Chavez is a transdisciplinary Latina artist raised in Denver, Colorado and the pastoral countryside of southern Illinois. The psychology of place informs her multimedia practice and acts as the conduit for botanical imagery to emerge. As a first generation college graduate, Manion-Chavez holds a BFA from the University of Colorado, Denver where she was honored as a EUReCA! Fellow and Grant recipient. Manion-Chavez has participated in artist residencies with Art Gym Denver and the Santa Fe Art Institute and was awarded the Fulcrum Grant in 2021 by 516 Arts for her exceptional use of historical mediums.
Manion-Chavez’s practice reanimates the Latin folk art of Colcha Stitch Embroidery which was invented in the rural mountains of New Mexico more than five hundred years ago. Manion-Chavez removes this historic medium and other feminine crafts from the safety of the home and places them into chaotic, organic landscapes. Exposed to the elements of rain, wind, and sun the handmade textiles become an active collaboration between artist and nature. As the fiber object occupies open space of the Natural World it is subject to the will of the elements and chance-- highlighting the vulnerability of Man. These experimental works activated by the forces of nature seek to explore the tension between Man and the Wild, the greatest archetype we’ve ever known.