• Caitlin Correa

Artist Stacy Scibelli

Updated: Feb 14


Stacy Scibelli is a textile and clothing artist and designer interested in the transformative nature of cloth and costume. Her work looks to subvert the industrial fashion practices by creating objects which challenge and alter consumer behavior. Stacy’s experience participating as an Artist in Residence at Mass MOCA, Otis College of Art, the Boston Center for the Arts, and Intercultural Odysseys in Costa Rica, has generated a vested interest in communal art making and residency programming. Additionally, as an original founding member of The Shirey in Brooklyn, Stacy has cultivated a passion for collective art spaces and the connections made through sharing the sacred space of intentional making and meaningful work. Stacy travels with students internationally regularly, facilitating service learning through institutions and companies such as Rustic Pathways, sharing her passion for exploration and learning through positive action and responsible education. She is a recipient of a Mass MOCA Assets for Artists grant, a Franklin Furnace Grant, and a project grant from Possible Futures in Atlanta GA. Stacy has exhibited at Field Projects, Proof Gallery, Present Company, and The Parlour Bushwick in Brooklyn, the Danforth Art Museum, and the Torrance Art Museum in Los Angeles, in addition to performing at Dixon Place, the Slipper Room, and various other venues. Stacy was most recently Artist in Residence at Arts, Letters, and Numbers in Averill Park NY, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Santa Fe Art Institute as part of the Feb/Mar Labor Residency cohort.


I am investigating the transformative nature of cloth and clothing as it pertains to the

natural world, the body, and the psyche. This work examines value and function while

attempting to deconstruct and deprogram consumer behavior and uses speculative design

practices to generate objects which cross categorical boundaries and promote inclusivity. Much of my research and work revolves around drawing out innovative and alternative forms of engagement. I am expanding upon a recent project entitled Garb, a series of modular textile components that assemble in various ways as clothing, costume, accessories, shelter, and art objects offering an alternative to the garment industry, reconfiguring our understanding of functionality and reframing our role as consumers, designers, and participants in a destructive industry, cultivating meaningful and creative interactions with clothes. These pieces are created with the following social and environmental impacts in mind: zero waste pattern-making, upcycled or natural materials and dyes, creative agency, gender neutrality, size inclusivity, and non-attachment therapy. This praxis requires a sense of ignorance and leads to a deeper understanding of energy, physics, and process and which provides viable solutions for progress and change. Naiveté is the knife that pierces the heart of dogma. Riding these waves of energy and using the natural processes of the earth as a model for new technology and engineering solutions will allow us to move away from destructive practices and towards a more productive role on this planet.


1: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background in the arts.


I am originally from the Hudson Valley in upstate New York, I went to undergraduate school in Boston at the Massachusetts College of Art and to graduate school in NYC at the School of Visual Arts. At MassArt I studied Fashion Design because I wanted to learn a skill that I did not know and was looking to apply my creative tendencies towards an industry I could work in. I worked in costume design in New York for a while and decided I wanted to teach higher education and went back to get my MFA. I have taught in Fashion Design programs in both state and private colleges including SUNY, Rutgers, and Parsons. My work has hovered pretty consistently in between the realms of design and fine art and explores concepts of value and function therein, and our relationship with the categorization of objects and purpose.

2: What kind of work are you currently making?


I have been investigating the transformative nature of cloth and clothing as it pertains to the natural world, the body, and the psyche. This work examines value and function while attempting to deconstruct and deprogram consumer behavior and uses speculative design practices to generate objects which cross categorical boundaries and promote inclusivity. Much of my research and work revolves around drawing out innovative and alternative forms of engagement. I am expanding upon a recent project entitled Garb, a series of modular textile components that assemble in various ways as clothing, costume, accessories, shelter, and art objects offering an alternative to the garment industry, reconfiguring our understanding of functionality and reframing our role as consumers, designers, and participants in a destructive industry, cultivating meaningful and creative interactions with clothes. These pieces are created with the following social and environmental impacts in mind: zero waste pattern-making, upcycled or natural materials and dyes, creative agency, gender neutrality, size inclusivity, and non-attachment therapy. I am still interested in this project but have lost a lot of momentum through the course of the Covid crisis. I am shifting my focus towards a more practical project of obtaining land and building an Earthship (https://earthshipbiotecture.com/). I am interested in practicing agency in creating alternative living spaces and lessening our impact on the environment, and discovering how this can become an accessible pathway for anyone interested in doing so. As an educator it is important for me to experience what I teach and I think this is a very important skill for future generations to access.


3: What is a day like in the studio for you?


Lately my objective has been to set myself up to get into the flow state, so I usually prepare some tea, smoke some weed, turn on the heater and get settled into a repetitive task. Covid has made it harder for me to make decisions so I have been working on projects that are about creating modular units, usually identical in many aspects, so that I can use the repetition to ease into a meditative state, usually listening to music or an audiobook. I sometimes do some stretching or yoga in the studio around 3 or 4pm. I often have different stations of various types of projects (drawings, or other experiments or samples, dyeing projects, etc) that I can skip around to in case I need a break or don't want to make decisions when I complete the repetitive tasks.


4: Tell us about the residency you created: All Is Leaf


All Is Leaf is a project I started in June of 2019 in order to test the waters of interest around an ecological artist residency program. I had been looking for land to create a permanent space for this, but before committing I wanted to gauge the interest and a friend of mine suggested just renting property before buying. I had wanted to stay at an Earthship in Taos and so this facilitated a way to rent a large property as well as connect with other artists interested in these spaces and exploring alternative human dwellings. I ran this program in June 2019 and had a subsequent program in Williamstown MA in the Berkshires during the fall. I had two programs arranged for the spring of 2020, one at the Earthship again and one at a geodesic dome in the old growth forest of Mt. Hood Oregon, but both were cancelled due to Covid. I am still interested in this concept of a nomadic program and would be interested in pursuing the permanent residency program, but am focusing on a smaller scale version first I think.


5: What are you looking at right now and/or reading?


I always have a few books going at once, and an audiobook or two. I have been listening to Silent Spring by Rachel Carlson about the use of pesticides and the impact they had on the environment written back in the 1960s. I have been cherishing the Bhagavad Gita because of its insight on action and inaction, discipline and devotion, and death and purpose. Over the summer I read How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi which was very informative and I highly recommend everyone read this book, I found it especially helpful as an educator. I have also been reading The Coming of Wizards, a book by Michael Reynolds, the Earthship guy, which talks a lot about concepts of choosing ways and processes that align with currents of energy rather than resistance or control of these forces, namely natural forces and elements. Also reading the Humanure Handbook by Joe Jenkins and Against the Machine by Nicols Fox about the legacy of Luddite tradition.


6: Where can we find more of your work? (ex: website/insta/gallery/upcoming shows)


My website: http://www.stacyascibelli.com or http://www.all-is-leaf.com

or my Instagram: @scibbs or @all_is_leaf or @pants_pantry





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