Abigail Kokai was the first resident of 2015 and offered work that is at once future-looking, firmly rooted in the present, and informed by the past. As a modern quilter who uses her medium to create “tactile illustration” that “preserves the mundane visual moments” of everyday life, Kokai aims for her work to preserve history, including her own participation in it as an observer.
From Georgia, Kokai has a degree in Industrial design and Fibers.
During her time at Surel’s Place, Kokai hosted two events. The first was a workshop titled “TACTILE IDENTITIES: SELF PORTRAITS IN FABRIC”, where she led participants to create self-portraits using tactile media. They used abstract elements (symbols, shapes, found objects) to assemble a mini-quilt that constructed an image representing their own personality. The second event was an exhibition and art talk titled “GARDEN VARIETY CITY.” This was a tactile collection of experiences that constructed a visual identity of the community Kokai encountered during her residency. The exhibited work included drawing, painting on fabric, sewing, and quilt construction and offered an installation that invited viewer participation by contributing themselves.