Jamie Lyn KaraMilwaukee, WI
Jamie Lyn Kara
Jamie Lyn Kara was born in the beautiful Hudson Valley, 75 miles north of New York City where she grew up making mud-pies and leaf-burritos. She traveled with her family throughout the Northeast, developing a love for new places and experiences. This led her to pursue a BFA in Fibers from Savannah College of Art and Design where she could express her excitement for the world in a hands-on and visual way. While studying at SCAD, Jamie traveled coast-to-coast absorbing inspiration, collecting materials, and digging in the dirt while working on a few organic farms. This experience helped strengthen her sense of place and shape her work, which includes lots of stitching and the use of many repurposed materials. Jamie also enjoys working collaboratively, dreaming up new ideas and designs.
In a lot of ways traveling is the same as making a quilt; it’s the art of discovery. Every place has its own sunrise, its own landscape and its own colors. When I create I don’t just have a sense of visual purpose in mind, but a sense of place. I want you to feel the watery breeze of the Georgia coast in the summertime, the sun-bleached valleys of Maine in August, the glowing hills and salty air of the California beaches, and the overwhelming scope of Colorado’s gun-metal mountains. Color and texture are crucial for achieving this effect, but those are just a pretty exterior. Your heart, that comes from actually being from your home, surrounding yourself with experiences and materials from your land. Material is what gives the piece heart.
I collect new and old materials from the places I explore. Used is always better. When you create a quilt from all repurposed materials, each piece has its own story. People are always changing, always evolving, always repurposing themselves; they have histories that you might not ever get to know, but you can somehow feel. Materials are the same way. This piece of denim may have once been a middle schooler’s favorite jeans and that scrap of linen might’ve been his grandmother’s summer dress. Materials like these breathe life just like any person, and when they are combined into something greater they become not just a collage, but a community. We are all such small pieces to a collective whole, connecting through feeling going beyond seeing or touching.