Shana Kohnstamm

Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Shana Kohnstamm has always embraced the unusual way she sees the world. Myopic since early childhood, her ability to see forms and faces in “the blur” gave her an innate understanding of color and shading long before developing the skills needed for drawing and painting. Departing from her formal arts education, Shana explored a variety of creative careers, including stained glass design and fabrication, bead and jewelry making, theatrical painting and even briefly apprenticed as an ocularist before turning her attention once again to fine art making.
In 2010, Shana attended a wet-felting workshop that ignited a passion for making beautiful, strange and technically complex wool sculptures. Since then, her work has been featured in fiber arts magazines, juried and invitational exhibitions and has garnered several awards in regional art exhibitions. Her love of the craft was actualized in October 2015 when, as curator, Shana hosted the critically acclaimed international soft sculpture exhibit “Touched” in Nashville, Tennessee.
If you spend any time at all in front of a screen, you know how frightening the world can be. We are inundated by fast information, sensationalized headlines, stomach-churning pictographs and a pervasive sense of dread.
Instead of creating art to reflect, document or comment on the Big Bad, I choose to make art as an antidote to the ugliness.
Making beautiful things in a slow deliberate fashion is my way of restoring faith in humanity and in the future. It staves off the looming existential depression and calms my anxiety. Being able to create “something from nothing” fills me with gratitude, not only for the resources I have to make objects and but for the reception those objects receive.
Soft sculpture, by its very nature, invites more than the eye. It tempts one to touch. My intent is to slow down the viewer by engaging this secondary sense. Perhaps the work will engage your curiosity. It might conjure a memory, a moment of play or provoke feelings of wonder.

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