Clements, Katy

Shirley Chisholm-Courage Exemplified

Woven Tapestry, 2023

30″ x 42″

Gift of the artist

Katy Clements has been a lifelong fiber artist, and a Brooklyn resident since 2005. From 2014 to 2020, she worked as a photographer for the City of New York. It seemed to her a natural progression to bring together fiber work and portraiture. Her works are exhibited in galleries and private collections across the United States. She won the Handweavers Guild of America Award of Excellence at the 2023 Mid-Atlantic Fiber Association Conference. 

This woven tapestry was made with a hand loom that has a specialized addition called a shaft-switching device that allows much more detail than is possible with a standard loom. The materials used are New Zealand wool and linen for the weft, polyester for the warp.  “I wanted to weave a picture of courage, and Shirley Chisholm came to mind. She has always been an inspiration to me.”

Shirley Chisholm, a 1946 Brooklyn College graduate, was an American politician who, in 1968, became the first black woman to be elected to the United States Congress. Chisholm represented New York’s 12th congressional district, a district centered on Bedford–Stuyvesant, for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. In 1972, she became the first black candidate for a major-party nomination for President of the United States, and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party’s nomination.

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