About

Bio

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Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Shana Kohnstamm has always embraced the unusual way she sees the world. Myopic since early childhood, her ability to see forms and faces in “the blur” gave her an innate understanding of color and shading long before developing the skills needed for drawing and painting. Departing from her formal arts education, Shana explored a variety of creative careers, including stained glass design and fabrication, bead and jewelry making, theatrical painting and even briefly apprenticed as an ocularist before turning her attention once again to fine art making.

In 2010, Shana attended a wet-felting workshop that ignited a passion for making beautiful, strange and technically complex wool sculptures. Since then, her work has been featured in fiber arts magazines, juried and invitational exhibitions and has garnered several awards in regional art exhibitions. Her love of the craft was actualized in October 2015 when, as curator, Shana hosted the critically acclaimed international soft sculpture exhibit “Touched” in Nashville, Tennessee.

 

Statement

If you spend any time at all in front of a screen, you know how frightening the world can be. We are inundated by fast information, sensationalized headlines, stomach-churning pictographs and a pervasive sense of dread.

Instead of creating art to reflect, document or comment on the Big Bad, I choose to make art as an antidote to the ugliness.

Making beautiful things in a slow deliberate fashion is my way of restoring faith in humanity and in the future. It staves off the looming existential depression and calms my anxiety. Being able to create “something from nothing” fills me with gratitude, not only for the resources I have to make objects and but for the reception those objects receive.

Soft sculpture, by its very nature, invites more than the eye. It tempts one to touch. My intent is to slow down the viewer by engaging this secondary sense. Perhaps the work will engage your curiosity. It might conjure a memory, a moment of play or provoke feelings of wonder.

 

CV – Fiber Only

Solo Exhibitions

2014 The Wool Sculptures of Shana Kohnstamm, Green Hills Library, Nashville TN
2012 Surface Treat, Nashville’s Smallest Art Gallery, Nashville TN
2011 The Vast Within, Red Line Gallery, Knoxville TN

Selected Group, Invitational & Juried Shows

2016
Best of Tennessee Craft 2016 – Reese Museum, ETSU, Johnson City, TN | juror – Jerry Jackson
Instructor’s Exhibit – Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN

2015
Cretazoa – Flying Solo, Arts at the Airport – Nashville International Airport
Size Matters – Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile AL
Touched: a soft sculpture exhibit – Ground Floor Gallery + Studios, Nashville TN – *Curator
Bricolage – Ground Floor Gallery + Studios, Nashville, TN
Number Inc. Presents Art of the South – Hyde Gallery at Memphis College of Art, Memphis TN | juror – Wayne White
Nashville Collage Collective – Turnip Green Reuse Center, Nashville TN

2014
Fine Contemporary Craft of the Southeastern US – Artspace, Raleigh NC | juror – Stephanie Gerber Darr
Courage Unmasked – OZ Nashville & Sarratt Gallery at Vanderbilt University, Nashville TN
Dubious Expedition – Leanna Lin’s Wonderland Gallery, Los Angeles CA
Figuratively Speaking – Rymer Gallery, Nashville TN | juror – Natalie Dunham
Nexus Sculpture Exhibit – Dogwood Arts Festival. UT Downtown Gallery, Knoxville TN | juror – Leticia Bajuyo

2013
Creative Connectivity – CVTACA, Renaissance Center, Dickson TN
YOUnite Tour – Viridian, Nashville TN
L’innamorato – Potter’s Wife Gallery, Fort Wayne, IN
Artist Directory Showcase: Works in 3D. Metro Arts Commission, Nashville TN
Nexus Sculpture Exhibit – Dogwood Arts Festival. UT Downtown Gallery, Knoxville TN | juror – Durant Thompson
From the Ground Up, Ground Floor Gallery, Nashville TN | juror – Elizabeth Schlatter

Memberships
The Textiles and Fiber Art List
Knotwe – Fiber, Textile, Surface Design Registry
Tennessee Craft (formerly TACA)
American Craft Council
Surface Design Association

Honors/Awards
2015 Arts & Business Council of Nashville – Periscope Artist Entrepreneur Training Program
2014 Award of Merit – Fine Contemporary Craft of the Southeastern US
2013 Merit Award – Nexus 2013 Sculpture Exhibit
2012 Creative Capital – Professional Development Program

Publications
Worldwide Colours of Felt – published by Textile-Art, Germany 2016
Sharply Soft: “Touched” at Ground Floor Gallery in Nashvilleby Joe Nolan for Burnaway – November 2015
Fiber Artists Show Their Stuff in Soft Sculpture Exhibition – Erica Ciccarone for Nashville Arts Magazine – October 2015
In Their Own Words – by Shana Kohnstamm for Fiber Art Now Magazine – Fall 2015
An Interview with Shana Kohnstamm – by Annalisa Chelli for DyeingHouseGallery (Prato Italy) – May 2015
Interview: Shana Kohnstammby Erica Ciccarone for NYCNash.com – April 2015
Shana Kohnstamm and Carrie Alter at Rymer –  by Joe Nolan for ArtsNash.com. May 2014
Needle Felting: From Factory to Gallery by Kate Barsotti for textileartist.org. December 2013
Felter Skelter: Shana Kohnstamm by Zoe Williams for mxstich.com
Artists From Near and Far Herald a New Season with ‘Nexus 2013. Metropulse. April 2013
Growth and Renewal by Elena Rosenberg for Fiber Art Now magazine. Spring 2013
From the Ground Up – Curator’s Statement – by Elizabeth Schlatter for Ground Floor Gallery. January 2013
Change to fibers makes Kohnstamm’s art tangible by MiChele Jones, The Tennessean. September 2012
Artsy Shark – Featured Artist. October 2012

Continuing Education
2010 – Intro to Wet-Felting. Breanna Kincaid. Frist Center for the Visual Arts
2012 – Pods workshop. Andrea Graham. One-on-one web seminar
2012 – Paint a Wild Roving workshop. Jan Quarles. Middle TN Fiber Festival
2012 – Creative Capital – Professional Development Program. Art & Business Council of Nashville
2013 – Crafting Electricity workshop – Leah Buechley. Shakerag
2014 – E-textiles workshop – Lynn Bruning. Arrowmont School of Arts and Craft
2014 – Surface Design Workshop – Fiona Duthie. Web series
2014 – Sculpting the Hollow Form – Partial Felt Density – Lisa Klakulak. Strongfelt Studio
2015 – Periscope Artist Entrepreneur Training Program. Arts & Business Council of Nashville

Teaching Experience
2016 – Unlocking the Wool: Sculptural Felting. Arrowmont School of Arts and Craft. Nov 13 – 19.