Jean Williams Cacicedo

(#3 in a series of 4)
38" x 76" x 1/8"
"felted" woven wool, stitched,
dyed, appliqué

53" x 79" x 1/8"
"felted" woven wool, stitched,
dyed, appliqué

*"felted" wool also known as a "fulling"
process for wool fabric that has been
washed and shrunk so that the weave
structure of the cloth becomes
Jean Williams Cacicedo received a BFA from the Pratt Institute, New York, in 1970. A recipient of a NEA Fellowship Grant in 1976, she was awarded Artist of the Year from the Contemporary Crafts Committee of the Oakland Museum in 1985. Her work has been featured in many publications, with a cover story in both American Craft and Ornament Magazines.

Based in Berkeley, Jean teaches classes in her studio, and has been a visiting artist at California College of Arts and Crafts, Penland School of Arts and Crafts in North Carolina, and Split Rock Arts Program at the University of Minnesota. In 1977, she lectured on her work at the closing of the American Crafts Museum's national touring exhibition, "Breaking Barriers," NYC, in which her fiber art was featured.

Cacicedo, a nationally renowned fiber artist, was a prime innovator in the Wearable Art Movement of the '70's. Known for her "signature" wool coats, Jean has worked both on the body and off the body, incorporating a special process she developed for wool fabrics. Her pieced and sewn constructions have been exhibited at the Gulbenkian Museum, Portugal, at the Art Ginza Space, Tokyo, Japan, and extensively throughout the United States.

M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, CA
American Craft Museum, New York, NY

The world I see is one of color, pattern, texture, and form. The work I create comes from my desire to make what I experience both visual and tactile.

Cloth is the basic element to the work I create. Cloth has the ability to transform ideas and the power to seduce the eye and the hand. My pieced and sewn constructions in wool are a means to connect art visually as well as physically. Process and content form a base to my work, communicating ideas through a visceral language of color and texture.

Inspired by personal myths and symbolic imagery, my work tells stories about journeys both physical and spiritual.

There is a tremendous diversity within the fiber field today. Considering that tapestry was, historically, the basis of fiber art, we've come a long way. Today creative expression in fiber includes all forms of "wall art", quilts, baskets, sculpture, clothing and installations. Both natural and man made flexible materials are used.

"To come a long way," however, does not mean we've arrived in the art world. We as fiber artists continually confront the bias and confusion regarding our art---that it can be fragile and short-lived. However, fiber art can provide a connection to our lives that other materials cannot. We can "feel" it in ways that go beyond our thinking of what art is or what it should be.

I am an artist who has found meaning in creating objects that embody both the mind and the spirit. For me, utilizing textile materials has not been a means to an end, but rather an extension to my voice.

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