Dixon Gallery and Gardens / 4339 Park Ave. August 9, 2016 - October 15, 2016

Mary Jo Karimnia

Mary Jo Karimnia is an artist, arts administrator, curator, and arts activist in Memphis. Influenced by her travels and affiliations with artists from Bolivia, she currently works for Crosstown Arts doing creative, community-based projects. Much of Karimnia’s work is steeped in the feminine, often stemming from her choice of media (beading, embroidery, fabrics such as pillow cases and aprons) that have traditionally domestic connotations. Particular ideas may be realized in intensely bright, beaded panels or embroidered onto small vintage linens. Karimnia purposely omits the faces of figures in her work, preferring the anonymous nature of costumes. Costumes, including those from cosplay conventions, dancers in Bolivia, or the Catrina figure at a local Day of the Dead Festival allow viewers to explore personae, look back to a specific heritage, or toward a fantasy.

The exhibition, Fold, is based on simple origami shapes–paper cups, houses, boats, stars, hearts, pinwheels, and birds. Karimnia photographs eye-catching patterns from various sources, folds them into origami, photographs them again, and then builds them in her desired media. Fold includes embroidery and prints on vintage fabrics and seed-beaded panels of anonymous figures in fancy dress costumes that take on a sense of magic through their embellishment.