FIDM Instructor Nicki Voss's Textile Art Featured on Saatchi Art Website
New FIDM faculty member Nicki Voss's textile art piece, California Poppy Quilt, was recently featured on Saatchi Art’s home page in their “New This Week” curated collection. She described the piece on their website. “The California Poppy Quilt was inspired by a photograph that I took of California Poppies, the Official State Flower of California. The piece is meant to reflect the neon colors and vibrant hue of the bright orange native plant.”
Sewing since the age of five, Nicki is in her first quarter at FIDM teaching two classes of Industry Sewing. She holds M.F.A. and B.F.A. degrees from CalArts (Program in Art) and a Design and Technology Diploma in Art and Design from the UK.
In early 2021, Nicki founded Textilepop, an artist manufacturing studio of contemporary art quilts inspired by landscapes and the outdoors. Her design work is currently focused on the California landscape, both urban and rural, and the products are locally made in Los Angeles County.
While currently based in Los Angeles, Nicki was born in London to German parents, and moved frequently throughout her childhood due to her father’s work as a writer and foreign correspondent. “That experience of frequent moving, relocation, and travel,” she says, “helped shape my fundamental appreciation for, and interest in how people around the world live, create, and work.”
We caught up with her to learn more.
Your textile art was recently featured by Saatchi Art! Congrats! Can you give us more details and tell us how that came about? Over the summer I was accepted to exhibit as an artist at The Other Art Fair LA. This event, which featured the work of over 100 artists from around the world, was held September 22-25 at The Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, CA. The Other Art Fair is presented by Saatchi Art, and their curators were present at this event, circulating amongst the artists who were showing their work. I had several really great, positive interactions with their team. In mid-October they reached out and let me know that my work (as well as the work of other artists) had been selected by their Chief Curator to be featured on their website home page for the week of October 24. During the duration of The Other Art Fair I had previously heard from several patrons that textile art was beginning to work its way into the contemporary art arena. In looking at the work of the other artists selected by Saatchi Art, I noted that I was the only one whose primary medium was exclusively textiles, and not a mixture of fabric elements collaged with other media. I was very gratified to see my textile work highlighted by Saatchi Art on their prominent contemporary art site, and made visible to a broad, global audience.
You recently joined FIDM as faculty. What are some things students will learn in your classes? Students in Industry Sewing learn the basics of garment making and the safe use of the industrial sewing machine. By the end of the ten weeks, they will also have each produced a unique shirt using the same pattern. Watching the skill set of students develop, as they turn flat pieces of basic muslin into three dimensional recognizable garment-shapes is incredibly rewarding. It’s magic, but it’s also revealing the steps that enable the magic to happen.
You also run a business called Textilepop. Please tell us about it! Textilepop is an artist manufacturing studio of contemporary art quilts inspired by landscapes and the outdoors. My design work is currently focused on the California landscape, both urban and rural, and the products are locally made in Los Angeles County. I am mindful of issues pertaining to the environment and the carbon footprint, and as a small business owner, I believe I also have an opportunity to make a difference. To that end, Textilepop has been a business member of 1% for the Planet since the business launched in 2021. Additionally, a percentage of the sales revenue is committed to directly supporting environmental initiatives. Textilepop is a Los Angeles County registered Community Business Enterprise – Women Business Enterprise, and received the State of California Small Business certification in 2022. I’m passionate about businesses that are woman-owned, and as an artist I am equally excited to bring my creativity to an operational and organizational business structure.
What do you love about textile art? I love cloth. If I were a cultural historian, I would happily study all things fabric-related. I have an avid interest in the very origins of early garment making as tied to sheer necessity, status, and economics. With textile art, the audience may interpret a work by considering aspects of design, composition, and fabrication. With my textile work, I am intentionally choosing to use the quilt as a contemporary art form in which to also explore someone’s unconscious (or preconceived) notions about women’s labor and women’s craft. How might one move this narrative in a new direction? Issues of “craft” versus “art,” when viewed through the lens of textile art, are of profound interest to me.
Anything else you’d like to share? I hold M.F.A. and B.F.A. degrees from CalArts (Program in Art) and a Design and Technology Diploma in Art and Design from the UK. For years, art and textiles have held an equal fascination for me so it’s been really fun to see the two interests merge with my current work. Also, I’ve been sewing since the age of five and have never stopped; next to making things in my own practice, teaching others how to sew and fabricate their own hand-work is the best thing!
Explore Nicki’s work on Instagram @Textilepop_studio.