Sami Mark is a Chicagoland based artist. A 2023 graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, they make art stemming from an interest in the beauty of small things. Their art practice is informed both by a background in painting, and a more current love of quilting soft objects. The majority of their inspiration comes from their growing up in the Chicagoland area and their exposure from a young age to the local forest preserves in the area. They most commonly examine smallness through the lens of natural forms, studying insects, fossils, and other patterns and shapes found in nature.

    The idea of spending time with something, whether it be a person, a material, an idea or something else has grown to be the center of my work. My work takes the form of paintings, quilts, and other kinds of fiber art. I feel loyal to an attentiveness to the handmade. My interests in science and nature are often reflected in my art. I make work about the natural world simply because I love it and I am fascinated by the lives in it, and see us as part of it. I see my art as an entry point for people less acquainted with these interests. I’m interested in intimacy and enjoy this act of sharing and creating connection. My material processes often focus on creating a connection between household familiarities and the natural world, and most recently I’ve indulged my curiosity of accumulation and smallness in nature. Filet crochet with its table runner associations shows the image of a microscopic organism, the view through a microscope is turned into a soft quilt, and textile decolorant is used to “excavate” fossils from the quilted stone. I see my pieces as a way to make the small and fragile into something soft and familiar through cloth. Handwork is a large part of my process as a form of meditation, and I find repetition, both in imagery and process, particularly important as a way to spend time with these observations and warm blankets.

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