Elizabeth Mesa-Gaido, a Professor of Art, teaches at Morehead State University.
Her work has been supported through awards, commissions and grants, including Art Matters, Alternate Roots, the Kentucky Arts Council and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. An actively exhibiting artist, Mesa-Gaido has presented her work in exhibitions for over two decades, including one person, international to regional juried, and invitational. Her pieces have been presented at reputable venues, such as the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Spaces, Indianapolis Art Center, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Three Rivers Arts Festival, Cuban Museum of Arts and Culture, Mexic-Arte Museum, Alexandria Museum of Art , Speed Art Museum, Evansville Museum of Art, Avampato Discovery Museum, Cleveland State University, University of Kentucky, and Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts. Images and critical reviews of Elizabeth Mesa-Gaido’s artwork have been published in books, journals, periodicals and newspapers, including: In the Land of Mirrors: Cuban Exile Politics (University of Michigan); The Latino Studies Reader: Culture, Politics and Society (Oxford: Blackwell); Janus Head: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature, Philosophy, Psychology and the Arts (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University); Fiberart International (Fiber Arts Guild of Pittsburgh); Bound (The Women’s Caucus for Art); Dinosaurs of Distinction (Pittsburgh: Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 2003); Art Miami; The Nation, New Art Examiner, ART PAPERS, and The Miami Herald. She received her M.F.A. degree from Ohio University and her B.A. degree from the University of Pittsburgh.
The Couture Series is comprised of hand-stitched and machine-sewn textiles – each sculpture custom-made. While needle and thread were historically used for functional purposes, for example sewing or repairing clothing or quilts, I utilized the traditionally utilitarian medium to create nonfunctional sculptures. The series arose from childhood memories of my mother, who studied couture designs from magazines, tore out the pages, and constructed garments from scratch. Similarly, I found and removed images from fashion and interior design periodicals, which inspired the construction, details and forms. Referencing children’s stuffed animals, their textures are welcoming – even cuddly, the forms endearing, yet elements are simultaneously quirky or unsettling. These sculptures are intentionally humorous, odd, animate pets; each embodies an anthropo- or zoomorphic characteristic.