About Griffin Nordstrom
Following in the traditions of the Feed Sack quilts of the Great Depression, and Appalachian folk resourcefulness, my art transforms the perceived worthless plastic shopping bag into complex quilt and textiles pieces. I use sewing techniques and careful fusing of the plastic to create wearable garments, quilt-like hangings, and a host of other objects like plush charms and embroideries. Throughout this process, I place an emphasis on experimentation; exploring a new material that doesn’t follow rules of an already defined art medium offers a host of challenges, and I’ve completely restructured my way of addressing the media numerous times since starting this work in 2020. Through applying heirloom craft processes with single use plastics, a dialogue is created about the true environmental impact and lifetime of damage these objects exert before decomposing. A hope is offered too; that through thoughtfulness and individual action, a better balance can be reached in how much of our daily routine ends up in landfills and pollution.
I grew up in northern West Virginia where I was exposed to both traditional and folk arts by my grandparents. In high school I participated in public arts projects and youth advancement programs, working on clay murals that were displayed at a local park and campus grounds. I graduated in the spring of 2022 from West Virginia University with dual majors in Sculpture and Art History and minors in Printmaking and Engineering in Society. At WVU my work focused on the forms of reliquaries and the usage of recycled plastic bags to make textile products, such as quilts, garments, and consumer goods. I also participated in the WVU Summer Undergraduate Research Experience, where I conducted creative research exploring West Virginian history and contemporary art movements in the form of sculpture. My art history research focused on pre-columbian ceramics, Spanish art influenced by the Inquisition, and contemporary internet-based art movements. My work has been shown at the West Virginia Cultural Center, Berkeley Arts Council, and several locations in Morgantown and Pittsburgh, including an independent exhibition ‘Plastic Fantastic’ on show in April 2022. I am currently pursuing a Masters of Public History at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.
Other Creative Skills
Folk/Traditional Crafts and Visual Arts