Utilizing collected fabric waste and debris Kelly Hickey creates social activism quilts, textile assemblage and art installations which address issues concerning the environmental impact of textile manufacturing, overconsumption and pollution. Focused attention on body language and animated communication has been an important part of how she reads materials and uses them as a medium. Working with previously owned fabrics and clothing she looks for the evidence that nature or the body has worn into creases, pockets, torn hems and chewed necklines that can provide details of unspoken habits or lived experiences. Through a combination of hand and machine techniques she intentionally reveals these patterns and imprints them with her own marks adding to the storied layers of material history. Kelly’s artworks are created in her home studio and often go through a series of outdoor weathering for many months before being fully realized.
Kelly Hickey is a textile artist from the Mid-Atlantic and living in Vermont.
Kelly’s artwork speaks to the environmental impact textile waste and overconsumption has on our planet and brings attention to the value clothing plays as part of the human condition. Kelly is a graduate of the University of Delaware in Apparel Design and has worked extensively in all areas of clothing production and retail. As the owner/designer of edie&glo, a vintage fabric up-cycle business, her expertise in textile reuse has positioned her as an environmental advocate and social impact leader. Her work has been shown at the Southern Vermont Arts Center (2019), Bristol Museum of Art (2022), San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, Ca(2022) amongst others. Kelly was an artist in residence for embroidery at Arquetopia, Oaxaca, Mexico 2017 and Driftwood Studios, Eastern Cape, South Africa (2020).
1988 B.S. Textiles, Design, Consumer Economics - University of Delaware
1989-90 CE in Textile Manufacturing & Supply Chain Management- Philadelphia Textile
2015 200 hr Registered Yoga Teacher Certification - Marianne Wells School of Yoga
Art Awards/ Recognition / Shows
1988 1st Place “Belt Design” Category Ginny Johansen National Design Competition
2017 Featured Artist ‘The Elegy Project’, www.naturestrikesback.com
2017 Artist in Residency in Embroidery, Arquetopia, Oaxaca, Mexico
2018 Chandler Art Gallery ‘Abundance/The Art of Mental Health’ group show, VT
2019 S.P.A.C.E. Gallery, ‘All The Feels’ group show, Burlington, VT
2019 Southern Vermont Arts Center, ‘Unusual Threads, the Future of Fashion’, Dorset, VT
2019 National Arts Strategies, New England Creative Community Fellow
2020 2Creative Community, ‘Not My America’ group show, Winooski, VT
2021 The Beyond Gallery, ‘Repurposed’ group show, Bennington, VT
2022 Bristol Art Museum, ‘Putting the Pieces Back Together’ National group show, RI
2022 San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, ‘Radical Regeneration’, California
2023 d’Art Center, ‘Merged’ 3rd National Exhibition of Collage & Assemblage, VA
2023 Mad River Valley Arts, ‘Design Made Visible’ group show, VT
Art Related Employment/Service
1986-1988 Flapdoodles Pattern Maker, Production Asst. - Children’s Clothing