Meet Maris VanVlack, Jumpstarter Recipient

Meet Maris VanVlack, Jumpstarter Recipient

Posted on Dec. 14, 2023

Congratulations to Maris Van Vlack (@marisvanvlack), one of the two recipients of the latest Craft Innovation Jumpstarter Grant! She received seed funding ($3,000) to advance her efforts to re-envision the use of craft tools, materials, or a special project.

Van Vlack is an interdisciplinary fiber artist and painter who grew up in Massachusetts, surrounded by the historical textiles practices in the Boston area and the quiet beauty of the New England forested habitats. Her work combines weaving, knitting, painting, and drawing practices to investigate the way that landscapes evolve and hold the histories of previous forms they have held.

“This funding will allow me to pursue my dream of taking my weaving in this new direction by allowing me to access the equipment needed. I want to take my artistic practice in this direction because the landscapes and buildings that inspire my work exist at architectural and geological scales, and I want to reflect that through the scale of the pieces I make. Weaving at a monumental size would allow viewers to draw connections between the work and the inspiration, experiencing the textile in a similar way to how they would experience a natural space or an architectural structure.”

Van Vlack plans to take her practice in a more sculptural and architectural direction by stretching her tapestries within freestanding frames made of wood and metal. This goal would involve the commissioning of custom-made large-scale wood and metal structures, requiring the assistance of local woodworkers and metalworkers to assist with the production of these parts.

From the jurors: “Of particular note is how the artist combined screen printing/digital media with weaving. The textile work seems to live between painting/sculpture and can address the overlap of art & craft.”

In 2022, The Society of Arts + Crafts announced the inaugural winners of its Craft Innovation Jumpstarter Grant. The Jumpstarter is part of the SA+C’s commitment to directly support makers/artists.  The Craft Innovation Jumpstarter grant is given to two makers, twice a year. The next entry deadline is in June. Learn more here.