Artist Biography

Destiny Palmer  is a current MFA candidate at Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Palmer is a graduate of Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Destiny was co-founder of Traditions Remixed, an artist collective whose goal is to create a supportive community for young artists, especially artists of color, encouraging collaboration and networking. Palmer has been exploring and investigating what it means to be an artist and advocate for the arts. Palmer served on Boston's Arts and Culture Team under new elected Mayor Marty Walsh. Palmer has also worked with organizations like Discover Roxbury, Dorchester Arts Collective and TLC Arts and Sciences Foundation, while  also participating in exhibitions at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Museum of Fine Arts. Prior to moving to Philadelphia, Palmer was a faculty member at Boston Arts Academy. As an educator her  goals are to  mentor  students  as they develop as young creators, especially in preparation for college and as artistic professionals.

 For more information on Destiny's work, to get in touch regarding employment opportunities, or to just say hello, feel free to get in touch.

Studio Review by Michael J Carroll

There is an elegant, poetic thread that runs throughout Destiny Palmer’s paintings and fabric works. Fabric is implicitly tactile. We clothe ourselves in fabric and cover our furniture in it to further our comfort. Yet, fabric is cut, torn and pierced with a needle in order to stretch and contort the woven cloth into a wearable form or a cover for the armature of a chair. Palmer’s hand-sewn fabric assemblages are foiled by her vibrant paintings that encapsulate the inter-sectional, complex nature of life and its obstacles.  By pairing her fabric works with these paintings, the latter are foiled by the subtlety of fabric. However, the delicacy of the sewn pieces is deceiving given the artist’s process of violently hand-sewing the materials together with a sharp needle and thread.

Behind the production of materials like fabric or furniture exists artistry, craft, labor, tradition and a social history that may or may not be readily apparent. For Palmer, her family’s unwilled past in South Carolina spurs her preoccupation with the invisible labor of slaves that has been omitted from history. Palmer’s interest in disregarded labor inspires her research-based process of dismantling the multi-faceted narratives of laborers, both historical and contemporary, and the systems that enabled their omission from public consciousness.

One way in which Palmer connects her artwork to the material’s background is her selection of primarily second-hand fabrics. By working with used fabrics, the artist re-contextualizes the history woven into the cloth and constructs conceptual fibrous sculptures. Palmer associates cotton with the slave labor, the people who historically would have picked the crop in the United States. She then extrapolates on this idea by using cotton materials as a signifier of the invisible labor behind the material. To do this, she pairs the cotton fabric with patriotic panels of red, white and blue starred fabrics to assail the United States’ exploitation of slave labor from its founding to its continued historical erasure.

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