Shana Kohnstamm, born in 1970, was raised in Nashville, Tennessee and now lives in Bethesda, Maryland. She attended both the Art Academy of Cincinnati and the University of Tennessee before pursuing employment in a variety of art careers, including stained glass designer, bead-maker, scenic artist and even briefly as an apprentice ocularist.
In 2006, she created and curated the “Model Artist” show, which featured the works of 22 Nashville artists portraying each other in a variety of medium. Following a wet-felting workshop at the Frist Center for Visual Arts in 2010, Shana’s primary focus has been exploring the versatile medium of wool.
Felting actually takes my process of painting into a purer form. I start all my paintings loose and energetic and as I build up layers, the image starts to form, tighten up, take shape. Working with wool, I approach each piece the same way. Loose fibers slowly become a tight, hard bundle, taking shape with every stab of the needle. It’s methodic and still fluid. Monotonous, yet surprising.The shift from painting to felting has been easy and natural. In so many ways, the feltwork has become an extension of the work that was already happening… only augmented by the joy of discovery of this versatile medium.