The Ohio Artist Registry (OAR) is an exciting opportunity for artists to share their work, connect with the creative community, and establish an online presence—all on a free, virtual platform! The OAR encourages artists working in all art forms, throughout Ohio and beyond,  to create a profile, which allows them to better promote themselves and their work. Being listed in the OAR provides artists with new opportunities to share their work with clients, galleries, patrons, and audiences. For more information, contact Kathy Signorino, artist programs director, at kathy.signorino@oac.ohio.gov or 614-728-6140.

R. Bradshaw

Home 3405 Sagamon Avenue County: Montgomery
Kettering Ohio 45429 United States
Home Phone: 520991-548

Bio

  1. Darden Bradshaw is Associate Professor of Art Education and Area Coordinator for Art Education at the University of Dayton. Holding both a Ph.D. in Art History and Education and an M.F.A. in Fiber Art from the University of Arizona, Tucson, Bradshaw works primarily with the historically rich and labor-intensive processes of wet and needle-felting, quilting, and weaving. She celebrates and draws attention to the often overlooked or unacknowledged. Honoring a familial and ancestral history of women’s handwork, her work comments on the interrelationship of memory and experience in place calling forth specific geographic locations and the people who inhabit those locales. Time exerts an ever-present push and pull both within the content, process, and the medium of Bradshaw’s work.
  2. Bradshaw’s newest body of work weaves together primary source photography, geographic maps, walking, and the literature of place to examine the cultural and social constructs binding and destroying families – through the particular lens of racism and environmental sustainability. Bradshaw exhibits her work regionally and nationally and has works in private collections in Tucson, AZ; San Francisco, CA; Washington, D.C., and Melbourne, Australia. Outside the studio, Bradshaw’s research and teaching center on art integration and visual journaling as a means to explore and navigate the intersections of race, gender, and LGBTQIA+ issues in art education.

Artist Statement

Growing up as a child of a military family my life was one of travel and privilege. While exciting, it impacted my sense of community. Attending 14 different schools in 12 years of schooling, summers spent with my grandparents in rural Virginia were the anchor necessary in my transient life – and became a grounding force. It is where my love for slow, labor-intensive and sustainable processes derives. I learned to sew and respect the process of piecing recycled materials while gathered in sewing circles with my paternal grandmother. Hearing all the news and gossip, I felt the threads of community being woven around my unbearable shyness. My desire to work slowly and tinker methodically was fostered through afternoons working in my paternal grandfather’s workshop, and my love for gardening, the earth, and growing food stems from experiences working the land with my maternal grandfather. These youthful experiences are threads of community and sustainability that intertwine in process, medium, and practice within my work.

 

And, as a white, Queer, cis-gendered woman from a rural Southern family steeped in overt racism, my choice to adopt and raise a beautiful, Black woman shifted everything; especially my notions of community. Forced to examine and see the ways in which racism, heterosexism, and systemic oppression were stitched into the fabric of our family, my work seeks to extricate the manner that generational ideas, values, actions, and unwarranted privilege have as they create a cartography of divisiveness. Like communal bonds, hand-made felt bridges the world of textile and painting; pressure and temperature change work together encouraging airy wisps of wool to bond to one another, creating a non-woven fabric which cannot be torn apart – but can be cut. This medium reflects questions for community and my family. Given the more friction and tension we experience, can we become stronger and more resilient, bonding together in the face of adversity? Certainly not when we stand alone. It is in connection with other individuals, we are strengthened.

 

Felt is a fundamentally labor-intensive, methodical process requiring one to slow down; it celebrates the physicality of touch while simultaneously being a meditation. Over the first 18 months of the covid-19 pandemic, isolated and witnessing rapidly increasing daily death counts across the US and within my community, I was again confronted with the true American pandemic – one of distrust, fear and oppression reflecting years of historically entrenched systemic racism and xenophobia. Included in this proposal are the works from three connected bodies of work [Counting Up; Dayton Stand, and Remembrance] created to honor those who passed and offer the question, who counts and who is counting?

 

Sustainably sourced wool from Ohio farmers signifies my efforts to shift the impact of my making on my surroundings while natural dye processes lessen my environmental footprint and offer a multiplicity of hues. Honoring the land, local farmers, and the history of wool and mills, including anonymous labor, on which our country was founded sustains community. And in my practice, I seek to draw attention to metaphorical and physical bonds we form in or out of communion with one another and the land.  I have begun creating felted ‘meditations’ informed by walking – both on the site of generational trauma and liberation, where in communion with those who have stood before me and those who will follow, I meditate upon how my actions and steps alter, restore, challenge or rectify these relationships?