From colorful wool coats to quirky hats, Ann Clarke, a textile artist and educator, masters the artistic process by cycling themes and stories throughout her artwork. Most of her designs stem from personal life events or memories. Clarke’s extreme use of color mixed with geometric and abstract designs produce stories of nature, family, poetry, and world news. For example, Clarke challenges herself and her students to create designs that mirror images from the natural world, including sand, grass, and even road kill. Influenced by her mother and older sister, Anne Clarke began her career by translating her large paintings into textile form, using stitching as a drawing technique. Interested in the effects of color and design within knitting, Ms. Clarke quickly began producing a line of one-of-a-kind woven garments that she soon began to exhibit in galleries.
This collection of hats owned by Evelyn Staudinger, Associate Provost and Associate Professor of Art History, exemplifies Ann Clarke’s unique style of textile art. Each hat is created from remnant fabrics saved from Clarke’s larger clothing designs and often represents a blueprint for many of her ideas. All of Ms. Clarke’s hats are produced from textiles that she designs and creates herself, of which are knitted and felted wools. In each hat, Ann Clarke strives to generate certain emotions, and her works are often contemplative, festive, humorous, or even silly. Although many of her hats are extravagant and outrageous, others invoke calmer emotions. Ms. Clarke’s exclusive hat designs add a new dimension to contemporary textile artistry.
Ann Clarke is currently Dean of the College of Visual Arts and Performance at Syracuse University in New York where she also teaches textile artistry.
Brittany Whynot, Class of 2012