Visiting Artist Katrina Majkut Shares Her Message
By Emily Thibodeau Contributing Writer
Artist and activist Katrina Majkut recently visited UMF’s Emery Art center to share her art that “explores social traditions and their impact on civil rights.”
Majkut’s work is on display in the Mantor Library and can be found on the Mezzanine. The series is made up of birth control methods, as well as other products associated with feminism. This is part of a series Majkut has been working on since 2010.
Majkut specializes in cross stitching, a form of sewing in which X-shaped stitches are formed into a picture.
“Cross- stitch is considered a low-end art, which is an unfair stereotype in contemporary art,” Majkut said.
Majkut was picked out of over 40 applicants from to be part of the “Art on Campus” program. Ann Bartges, chair of The Art on Campus Program committee said Majkut was unanimously chosen by the
committee as “she does not try to get a specific response, but her goal is to get the conversation going,” as well as the fact that she can publicize “something such as a tampon in her art.”
Majkut got into cross-stit
ching when her mother taught her around age eight because “she was teaching me a part of my Ukrainian heritage.” Part of Majkut’s heritage is to learn skills to run a household at a young age.
“Those roles are extremely physical,” Majkut emphasised. Majkut uses cross stitch as a comparison and to representative to the physical labor expected from women.
Majkut has spent hours, even years working on each cross stitch piece. Majkut’s goal is to be “Intersectionally and medically honest” with her work, adding that, “if I don’t understand an object [medically] I refer to [Doctors].”
One piece discussed in the art talk was a Rape/ Sexual Assault kit cross stitch. “The rape kit opened up my eyes to how violent the process [of filing a report] is,” Majkut said. “I think this is the work that is just a response to who I am as an artist and person.”
A question from the audience was if Majkut had any advice for upcomin
g graduate art majors. Majkut said to “create a defined schedule for art, block time, start to build an art resume now, get used to talking to people. Rejection is high in this field and the art world is a numbers game.”
Avery Boucher, a freshman at UMF, attended the talk as a requirement for a digital imaging class. Boucher commented, “I think what she is doing is definitely new and different. I think as a feminist she has quite a unique way of expressing herself.”
After her talk, Majkut held a workshop where students could learn how to cross stitch. Bartges said, “Students were surprised by how long it takes” to create a cross-stitch pattern. This gave students an idea on how much work and labor is put into each cross stitch piece.
Majkut has recently written a book called The Adventures and Discoveries of a Feminist Bride: What no one tells you before you say ‘I do’. Majkut’s goal with this book was to “create dialogue around what it mean to be a woman.” The book invites readers to join Majkut’s personal journey through experiences with weddings and opinions on wedding traditions.
For more information on Katrina Majkut, please visit katrinamajkut.com.