KOTTAVEI' S BIO:
I am a free spirited, creative person who is passionate about art in all forms.
I attended the N.C. School of the Arts for high school and graduated with a degree in visual arts. I then attended Virginia Commonwealth University and received a B.F.A. in fashion design. I completed my master’s degree in art education at Kennesaw State University. Opportunity has allowed me to teach both art and fashion on a professional level. After a brief stint teaching art in the Peace Corps, Ghana, I returned to the states and had several careers in product design, art instruction, costume design, quilting, fashion design and more recently my fine arts roots. I am mompreneur of five wonderful sons ages 15-23. My daily joy comes from creating new artwork, writing poetry, baking, reading, traveling, coffee and a mean game of Scrabble. It is my intention to be an ambassador for joy.
Inspired by childhood and womanhood I have been telling the visual narrative of women and girls as seen individually and perceived by others. I loudly bear witness to what path women are directed to simply by being born female. What does it mean to have others claiming that a sole item dictates what it means not only to be a girl or woman but specifically a diasporic Black Girl or Woman. So rarely will the diasporic Black Women figures I portray be in conjunction with another. I attempt to divulge who we are in our solitary moments, inside our own skin, inside our own minds and deep within our psyche. I attempt to expose the unrevealed portions of our inner workings that we rarely serve up to others an to show Black Women and Girls as we are in spirit. Offering understanding the dynamics of a solitary figure in relationship to very little or nothing at all creating iconography in celebration of everyday women. For the majority of my life I have pursued my visual art talents and somewhere along the line found I have the gift to alchemize simple materials into something phenomenal others want to see. The process of making for me is a wish, a meditation and a prayer all rolled into one. My current work consists of art quilts which are essentially vertical hanging altars. I take the everyday Black Woman and elevate her to the status of deity. Black Women in all our multifaceted diversity are literally the walking embodiment of god. I use a simple material muslin and I don't cut it. I like using whole cloth because who am I to cut up and reduce an altar to pieces. All vertical altars are hand stitched with intentional meditations thoughts and ideals embedded in the works then embellished to enhance the narrative. The work is meant to be interactive and the viewer is entice to leave something as an offering to honor the deity being presented to them and what that particular Black Woman represents.