Katelyn Odenheimer


student bio

Katelyn Odenheimer will be graduating this spring with a B.A. in Art History. Odenheimer is currently interning at the Emmanuel Gallery, assisting with administrative and creative tasks. She is particularly interested in process-based art that uses art as a means for meditation and self-connection. 

thesis description

Stitching Forward: Feminism, Craftivism, and Contemporary Art

Abstract: In 1918, the architect Le Corbusier and artist Amédée Ozenfant famously wrote, there is a hierarchy in the arts: decorative arts at the bottom, and the human form at the top. Because we are men.” The attitude held by these famous men of arts demonstrates Western culture’s general patriarchal disregard for decorative handicrafts associated with the domestic realm.

Throughout the twentieth century, feminist activists have attempted to destabilize this patriarchal hierarchy by elevating handicraft to the realm of fine art. Despite more than a century of supposed progress, contemporary feminist artists continue to assert the importance of craft by using it as an outlet for activism. Coined by Betsy Greer in 2002, Craftivism refers to the confluence of craft and political activism.

This paper examines the art of Zoë Buckman, Elaine Reichek, and Ghada Amer through the lens of Craftivism in order to shed light on how these artists explore intersectionality. I argue that these age-old practices of craft are ultimately redefining what constitutes as fine art by appropriating text and images through craft. These artists are redefining the conversations in our socio-political climate while providing a movement forward for women worldwide.