Artist Statement

Pamela Penney has a three-fold mission. She utilizes her fiber and mixed media art and her process to raise the visibility and value of traditional feminine craft, from spinning yarn to crochet, knit, felting,embroidery and more. Secondly, the focus of much of her work is with the creative reuse and salvaging of old textiles, spinning paper advertisements and plastic bags into the "fiber" of her creations. And lastly, she utilizes her art and process to heal others and the planet with art as therapy and contemplative meditation practice.  

Pam has a desire to balance her solo studio time working on her artwork with the collaboration of fellow artists in the Oak Park and Chicago Area Community. It is important she find time for mentoring and sharing her skills with her students of all ages.  Pam currently teaches through the Oak Park Art League, The Maram MakerSpace as well as working with the Oak Park Education Foundations Art Start Program and other outside teaching opportunities. Pam feels her most important skill in teaching is her unlimited patience.  She strives to create a peaceful respite for her students giving them the opportunity to follow their own interests as she guides them through the creative process, where every mistake is looked upon as either a good learning opportunity or a chance to develop creative problem solving skills.

Pam’s own artwork includes one of a kind art to wear created with salvaged cashmere, woolens and hand-dyed yarns used with knitting and crochet techniques and unique embellishments.  She also creates textile wall hangings that combine mixed media and fiber art techniques. Her current work explores the use of her artwork and yarn spinning as meditation, prayer and spell-casting for the greater vision of creating a better world. For Pam, life is her work of art and her art is her work of life.

Biography

B.A.  Interior Design, Michigan State University 1985

A.A.S. Architectural Technology, Ferris State University 1982

Pamela Penney worked in the field of architecture for many years but gravitated back to her love of fiber in the early 1990’s as she strived to balance career with motherhood.  She has taught knitting, sewing, crocheting and felting for over almost 30 years to both adults and children.

As an active member of her community, Pam currently serves on the board of Directors for the Oak Park Art League.  She was a member of the Visit Oak Park Board of Directors from 2008 to 2014 and served as the Vice Chair from January 2012 – December 2013. As a long time business member of the Oak Park Arts District Business Association, Pam served on that Board for many years from 2005 to 2016 when she move her business back into her home studio location.  Pam is currently working with an active group to establish a MakerSpace and Community Center in Oak Park.