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McKenzie Phelps: Silhouettes

A graduate of University of Nebraska-Omaha’s art program and a current artist-in-residence at Lincoln’s Lux Arts Center, McKenzie Phelps explores the relationship between traditional and contemporary conceptions of femininity. “As symbols of womanhood,” Phelps says, “quilts are frequently associated with feelings of comfort, safety and nostalgia. But they also connote an outdated and oppressive version of femininity.” Phelps uses patchwork to express that ambivalence. Her silhouettes are rendered in familiar quilt patterns like “Broken Dishes,” “Log Cabin,” and “Grandmother’s Flower Garden,” in a palette dominated by pink. A collection of dismembered body parts and faceless figures is frankly pretty and pornographic at the same time.