Piper Shepard (Baltimore, MD) holds a BFA in Fiber from the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, and an MFA in Fiber from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. Her work has been shown at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City; the Baltimore Museum of Art; the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI; the Delaware Art Museum; the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, the Textile Art Centre, Chicago, IL; the David Richard Gallery, Santa Fe, NM; the Helen Drutt Gallery and the Snyderman-Works Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; and the Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery in Birmingham, England. Publications include Fiber Arts Magazine, Surface Design Journal, and American Craft Magazine. Telos Press has published a monograph on her work. She has received four Individual Artists Awards from The Maryland State Arts Council in Crafts. She is a 2016 Japan-US Friendship Commission, National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Arts Exchange Program recipient. She is a 2016 United States Artists Distinguished Fellow in Crafts. Her work is in the collections of the Baltimore Museum of Art and The Museum of Arts and Design, New York. Since 1994, she has taught in the Fiber Department at MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art).
Cloth holds history and memory. It is both fragile and enduring. For over a decade, I have cut cloth into lace-like filigree patterns, a method I liken to drawing with empty space and one that reveals the mark of a human hand. I have extended my practice to include how handwork and more current technologies inform each other, and how the intimacy of making can translate using new materials and methods.
I conjure sources such as lace, wallpaper, or remnants of pattern and ornament. It is through constructing and deconstructing, that I seek to find a delicate and sensorial connection to textile. I coax out the physical tolerance and qualities of material, considering cloth, as skin, as membrane, with its capacity to absorb and sustain both history and memory.
Inherent to textile are its delicacy and fragility. I link patterning and natural phenomena which speak to such qualities. Textile, as an object we interact with on a daily basis, seems most appropriate to convey these ideas. In this work, I hope to elicit qualities of a most ephemeral nature. I look to quietly amplify textiles physical and tenuous qualities.