Rachel Chambers is a Fibers Artist from Philadelphia, PA. She received a B.F.A. in Fiber Arts from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, an M.F.A. from Tyler School of Art/Temple University, and an M.Ed from Keene State College. Her teaching career began as an artist in residence at Kutztown University, then she went on to head the Fibers Department there as a sabbatical replacement for 2 years. Rachel has been a first grade teacher, a special education tutor, and a K-5 art teacher in Keene, NH. Rachel's work has been exhibited at the national and international level, and she received a NICHE Award in 2006. At Walnut Hill School for The Arts, Rachel teaches Weaving, Sculptural Fiber Arts, and Apparel Design.
The only emotion I’m really looking for is joy. Laughable, lovely, silly, joy. I’m searching for textures and colors that are probably the most attractive to a child. With my sense of humor, this makes complete sense.
My most current work is about collecting and reworking toys from years ago, when children had their faithful characters from Mattel and Hasbro. I find items in thrift shops, on the street, and sometimes from friends that are cleaning out their childhood homes.
We all want to see our toys live on in a dignified way. We had a relationship with them, something that deserves a trophy. I am using contemporary basketry in wire, found objects, and disjointed memorabilia to create my own versions of a trophy. Elongating, twisting, changing the form of the toy. But the toy is now a sculpture and gets to live another life, one that is cherished within the "white box", and no longer simply the "toy box".
The scenes in which I place these trophies or characters are landscapes of my own making. Stuffed fabrics are rolling hills. Woven surfaces are vast fields. Dinosaurs are roaming these lands that exist on the wall or the floor or the ceiling. With site specific installations, they can go anywhere. And the entire time, the Jurassic Park song is playing in your head.