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Laura Ann Schroeder

About the Artist

Laura Ann Schroeder is an emerging artist working and teaching in Johnson City, Tennessee. Her current sculptural work examines memories and personal experiences using technical garment construction and reclaimed textile materials. Laura earned a bachelor’s degree in design with a concentration in fashion from the University of Cincinnati in 2018 and is pursuing her MFA at East Tennessee State University.

Artist Statement

Textiles are intimate. They are in constant contact with our bodies as clothing or bedding, but I have an especially close relationship to textiles as a material. My grandmother taught me to sew at an early age and sewing clothing became a way for me to express myself as I grew up in a religious culture that caused me to develop a turbulent relationship with my body.

At one time, I aspired to be a fashion designer, seeing fashion as the ultimate form of personal expression. However, my experiences in the textile industry revealed a system that focused more on capitalist goals than consideration for feelings or the environment. As I cultivated my artistic practice, I left the fashion industry behind, but I did not leave the clothes behind.

Clothing has always been a powerful form of expression for me. In my work, garments are vessels for memories and emotions. My work utilizes discarded garments and textiles as material and I am captivated by the way a particular garment or texture can represent a specific person or place to me. When these objects trigger memories or emotions, they become artifacts within my works that represent the past.

How do you interpret ‘Ready to wear’ in your work?

At one time, I aspired to be a fashion designer, seeing fashion as the ultimate form of personal expression. However, my experiences in the textile industry revealed a system that focused more on capitalist goals than consideration for feelings or the environment. As I cultivated my artistic practice, I left the fashion industry behind, but I did not leave the clothes behind.
“Ready to wear” calls me back to my time in the fashion industry. It reminds me of the plethora of garments created each year, season, and week. These garments in the fast fashion industry are often worn only once and are then discarded. This creates an abundance of abandoned garments, all with their own stories, that are “ready to wear.”
I use these garments, and their emotional energy as a powerful material in my practice. My current body of work examines my identity and past experiences both through the body and through clothes as vessels of emotion.

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