Being in art school, I have attended many lectures, listened to artists speak about their work and why they make it, and look at the work. Of the many artists I have listened to and spoken with, Sonya Clark sticks out the most. Sonya is the chair of the Crafts and Material Studies department at VCU (the program I am currently in). Her work and concepts are incredible and she as an individual is inspiring. Sonya is very confident and well spoken. Any time I have gone to her office with a concern or when I have the "what am I doing with my life?!" freak out, she always encourages me, while challenging me at the same time. She's a great influence and I feel fortunate to have her as the chair of my department. Aside from being amazing, she creates beautiful work and her area of focus is fibers- what a coincidence! She does branch out, however my favorite work of hers entails fabric.
My most favorite project of Sonya's is her Prayer Beads project. This project traveled around the world and held workshops in which people would create these little pouches and place a prayer or worry within the pouches. The people would make two pouches- one for them to keep and one for the exhibition. This project has been in progress over the past ten years and have literally accumulated thousands of pouches. It is truly astonishing to experience as these vibrant pouches containing thousands of people's wishes or dreams cover the walls of a room. Below is a photograph from Sonya's website of a small portion of the pouches. This exhibit is absolutely something to be experienced!
Sonya has a wonderful website that you should absolutely check out! Enjoy!