Mary Zicafoose
Nine New Moons, 2017
44 in x 88 in

Mary Zicafoose
Mountain for the Buddha: Chroma, 2017
54 in x 68 in

Mary Zicafoose’s Artist Statement

The over-and-under manipulation of individual fibers into cloth is neither a heroic nor precious activity.  It is a simple repetitive process, which, when plied with thoughtful intention, artistic vision, and inspired craftsmanship, becomes the agent for textile objects of legend.  For three decades, I have been creating woven tapestries that are as visually compelling as they are narrative.  My image-making is based on geometric and metaphysical symbols, saturated with color frequency, and technically layered using a complex ethnic textile process called ikat.  My blending of the archetypal and the innovative results in textiles spans centuries of artistic tradition and situates them squarely within the contemporary visual lexicon.   

I enjoy creating large dramatically scaled tapestries reflected in my recent architectural commissions, which, like all of my work, are designed within a series.  Recent work belongs to a series entitled: Mountain for the Buddha and Fault Lines.   

The classic and powerful metaphysical triptych of the trinity expressed as a mountain, pyramid, triangle, and temple is the visual metaphor for the Mountain for the Buddha series.  My intention is to not only reference landscape but geometry and sacred space, as well, through a total of 13 diptych ikat tapestries and 36 collographic monoprints spanning 5 years.  The Fault Lines series is thematically driven by politics, human relationships, and land movement.  Technically and visually, I take inspiration from modern abstractionists and draw upon their influence in my signature large, bold color fields juxtaposed against the toothy edge of weft ikat.

Mary Zicafoose
Capricorn Plate, 2017
60 in x 70 in

Mary Zicafoose’s Biography

Nebraska artist Mary Zicafoose’s distinctive work in contemporary tapestry has been represented in the International Triennial of Tapestry, Lodz, Poland; Museo de Textil, Oaxaca, Mexico; China National Silk Museum, Hangzhou, and in over one dozen United States Embassy collections abroad.  Zicafoose also produces editions of works on paper as collographic monoprints.  Her BFA is from St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN, with graduate studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Nebraska.   A two-time USA Artist Fellowship nominee, Zicafoose is co-director emeritus of the American Tapestry Alliance, a founding board member of Omaha’s Union for Contemporary Art, and formerly on the board of GoodWeave, an international NGO dedicated to the eradication of child labor in the Southeast Asian carpet industry.  Extensive exhibitions, teaching, and lectures include the de Young Museum, San Francisco; Houston Museum of Fine Art; Penland School of Craft, Penland, NC; Arrowmont School of Craft, Gatlinburg, TN.  2017 public art commissions include the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, Omaha, NE, the 10th Street Capital District Omaha Marriott Hotel, and the Women’s Center for Advancement, Omaha NE.