Artist Spotlight

Artist Spotlight: Stephen Towns

Header Image: "The Baptism of Ethelred T. Brantley", 2018. Natural and synthetic fabric, nylon tulle, polyester and cotton thread, metallic thread, crystal glass beads, acrylic paint, acrylic fiber medium, resin buttons.

Before we wrote down our history on paper, we immortalized them in fabric. That is but one of the reasons artist Stephen Towns chooses to incorporate fabric in his work. Based in Baltimore, Maryland, Towns create works about American history and how it influences our current landscape. Though he started his career in painting, he began experimenting with fabric as another way of telling the stories of labor and slavery.

"The Revolt", 2016. Natural and synthetic fabric, nylon tulle, polyester and cotton thread, crystal glass beads, metal button.

Towns graduated with a BFA from the University of South Carolina. Born in Lincolnville, South Carolina, Towns often reflects on his upbringing in the South, of the idyllic, picturesque scenes with a dark history behind them. “My work is in direct response to issues permeating African American culture, issues such as loss of ancestral roots, slavery, class, education, skin tone, and religion. I want to create beauty from the hardships in life.”

"The Gift of Lineage #4", 2018. Acrylic, Bristol board, metal leaf, natural and synthetic fabric, polyester and cotton thread on wood panel.
"Sunken: The Cargo", 2017. Acrylic, fiber, and copper leaf on paper.

View more of Stephen Towns works on his website and Instagram.

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