Mallory Feltz is a visual artist originally from Dayton, Ohio who is interested in a wide variety of materials and has always enjoyed building things. She earned her BFA in Sculpture from the University of Cincinnati, Design Architecture Art & Planning, in 2006, and completed her MFA in Sculpture in 2009 at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA.
In October 2007 she was awarded Honorable Mention in the Outstanding Student Achievement Awards from the International Sculpture Center. Her work has been exhibited locally and nationally in various group and solo shows. In addition, Mallory has two permanent outdoor sculptures - in Hamilton, OH outside the “City of Sculpture” offices and in Brookline, NH at The Andres Institute of Art. In 2017, Mallory was chosen as one of 35 international artists to create light-based sculptural installations in the Inaugural Light and Art festival, BLINK Cincinnati. She was selected again to create work for 2019 BLINK Cincinnati and 2022 BLINK Cincinnati. For the month of February 2022 she was an artist in residence at Olive Stack Gallery in Listowel, Ireland.
Interested in themes of domesticity, family dynamics, childhood memories, and place, Mallory mixes traditional sculptural and craft techniques with multiples-based sculptures, participatory art, and installation. She is interested in what people consider to be their homes, how this idea can shift over time, and how we find solace in our environment. Currently, she lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband. Her current position as Director of Exhibitions and Public Art for the Kennedy Heights Arts Center allows her the opportunity to bring out the creativity in people of all ages and backgrounds and to help build community. Kennedy Heights Arts Center focuses on the practice of community engaged art, employing art as a platform for human interaction and connection. The Arts Center creates social change through collaboration with artists and communities in the creation of participatory art.
Home can be the place in which we are most familiar, but also something we don’t fully understand or trust. Objects - especially those found within the home - can take on great meaning and become the physical symbols for rites of passage, memories, and relationships between people and places. My work teeters on the edge of comfort and discomfort - asking viewers to examine their relationship to objects, people, and their environment.
I introduce fabric into my sculptures and 2-d works, reinforcing domesticity – the interaction with the real and tactile. I stress the role that human habits or personal rituals play within a place by carefully wrapping objects in yarn in delicate linear patterns, or by embroidering lines onto canvas. This technique of repetition and routine-like application envelops and highlights each object, nurturing or conditioning these now precious items. I am instinctively protecting them, but also suffocating them. My work evokes a dichotomy of attachment and detachment, as well as both independence and loneliness.
Process is extremely important to me - it can be both labor intensive, but also meditative. Production of many small pieces is significant not only for the overall aesthetic of my work, but also my obsessive process of working. Newer techniques such as applying rubber and tattooing onto fabric refer to the permanence of life decisions or events, traditions, and a need to belong somewhere - even if we don’t fully understand it. Recently, I’ve been creating miniatures based on my surroundings, which brings an intimacy and fragility to my work. Focusing on domestic objects, or symbols of our home environments, emphasizes my curiosity on the gain and loss of the home, and the struggling attempt to create this space elsewhere.