Bryana Bibbs: Numb

Opening: Friday, Apr 7, 2023 5 – 9 pm
Friday, Apr 7 – May 6, 2023

3816 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Numb is an exhibition highlighting the fast and slow navigation of past and current experiences through the use of intricacy, color, and form.

Telling stories of trauma and mental health is not always easy, based on the stigmas in our society, which is how it became a central motivation in my practice. There are parallels between the slow navigation of personal experiences and the rhythmic textile techniques of hand-carding, hand-spinning, and handweaving, both of which are a form of transformative repetition. While working between traditional and experimental processes, my large-scale pieces navigate past experiences in what I consider to be "chapters." Whereas small-scale works are similar to journaling, channeling day-to-day observations.

With ongoing tactility and material investigation, the works inspire an internal space that is externalized through the play of intricacy, color, and form, often inspired by the fluidity of mark-making and tone associated with painting. As I want my works to speak to people, their display—especially in juxtaposing scale and texture—invites intuitive engagement and consideration of the viewers' own physical and conceptual association within the pieces. As an extension of this intention, I also create environments for people to express their experiences. Through building community, artworks, and conversations together, I hope to support others in creating transparency around their stories of trauma and work towards ending the stigma.


Bryana Bibbs (b. 1991)  is a Chicago-based artist who works at the intersection of  textiles, painting, and community-based practices. Bibbs earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the founder of “The We Were Never Alone Project - A Weaving Workshop for Victims and Survivors of Domestic Violence” and serves on the Surface Design Association’s Education Committee. 

Recent exhibitions include Power Trip, ARC Gallery, Chicago, IL (2020); Evanston Art Center Faculty Exhibition, Evanston Art Center, Evanston, IL (2020); Intrinsic Color, The Wayback, Chicago, IL (2021); HATCH: I Sense Something Has Changed, Chicago Artists Coalition, Chicago, IL (2021); Cotton: Raw Material & Precious Metaphor,  Room482, Brooklyn, NY (2021) Fluffy Crimes #6, Fluffy Crimes, Chicago, IL (2022); Black Creativity Exhibition, Museum of Science & Industry, Chicago, IL (2022); Art of Surface, Robert T. Wright Community Gallery of Art, Grayslake, IL (2022), Embedded, Praxis Fiber Workshop, Cleveland, OH (2022); Layer, Mark, Repeat, Chicago Artists Coalition, Chicago, IL (2022); (un)disclosed, 1100 Florence, Evanston, IL (2022); Carrying the Thread, The Merchandise Mart - Chicago Textile Week (2022); In the Fray, Bolivar Art Gallery (2022). Recent awards and residencies include the Chicago Artists Coalition HATCH Residency (2021/22); The Lunder Institute for American Art Residential Fellowship, Waterville, ME (2022); and Surf Point Foundation Artist Residency, York, ME (2022). Recent commissions include The Art Institute of Chicago and The Design Museum of Chicago. Collections include Delta Airlines, Inc. and various private collections.


Instagram: @bryanabibbs, @thewewereneveraloneproject



Image credit: Alone Against It All, 2022. 5.5’ x 5.5'. Hand-felted wool, handwoven hand-spun wool, angelina fiber, bamboo fiber, silk, and recycled sari silk.