Ali Printz

Region: South


City / State: Shepherdstown, WV

 107 My work investigates the intersection between the contemporary and the past to give agency to forgotten people, places, and cultural schisms. I incorporate discarded items like photos, thrifted clothing, and found objects from my life into the medium of painting. My paintings act as caretakers of these mementos, imbuing the work with a sense of bittersweet nostalgia through a combination of paint, sewn fabric, and collage fastened to canvas. In reusing found elements, I breach ecocriticism and throwaway culture, guaranteeing that each reclaimed memento is once again active.

In recent years, I have embraced my Appalachian heritage—showing the world what the region has contributed to American society through history and culture—in order to combat negative stereotypes. I constantly strive to pay homage to Appalachians who do not speak for themselves, from miners to snake charmers to folk craftsmen, musicians, and shamans. Through the traditions of Appalachian folk art and craft combined with traditional portraiture pulled from photos of forgotten people, culture, and events, I hope to reconstruct the importance of the storytelling that permeates society.