Alyssa Ackerman

Region: Midwest


City / State: Milwaukee, WI

 I embrace distinctly “soft” aesthetics and subject matter, which have historically been dismissed as feminine and frivolous. Moments of intimacy and vulnerability are where my particular interests lie, as it is in these moments that we reveal ourselves. I illustrate these moments through embroidered images of skin, embraces between loved ones, portraits, and the like. My art often involves embellishments, lace, and lots of pink. In this way, my work is intentionally “girly,” to reclaim femininity as a source of strength and pride rather than a weakness.

My work straddles the arbitrary divide between “crafts” and “fine art” to highlight the beauty, complexity, and breadth of historically undervalued craft materials. I meticulously hand-stitch thousands of individual threads to create portraits that read as paintings. My art is a unique blend of the traditional and contemporary, using time-honored embroidery techniques in a novel way. In doing so, my goal is to pioneer new ways of using embroidery and bring a medium that has historically been dismissed as “women’s work” deeper into the fine-art world.