January 10, 2023 – February 26, 2023

Jenni Barry uses a technique derived from a Japanese art called Kimekomi. Assorted, often sentimental, fabric from all over the world is cut together with a small blade into foam-core insulation to form fabric mosaics. Jenni’s mission is to spread warmth and kindness with every piece of original artwork. Her work reflects an inclusive nostalgia and combines the painterly quality of Impressionism with the warmth of complex quilting. She does not sew or glue.

Artist Biography:

Jenni Barry was raised in the South San Francisco Bay area, before it became known as Silicon Valley.  Her mother was a diverse artist who enjoyed sewing and her father was an inventor. Jenni suffered from a head injury at the age of fourteen that was the initial cause of some partial seizures and memory issues later in her life. She attended Sierra Nevada College, where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in painting in 1995. Jenni had two children and moved from Northern California to Northern Idaho. Her interest in textiles began in 2010. It was Christmas time, and while in her living room, she noticed an ornament on the tree.  It was a foam ball with little pieces of fabric tucked into it, giving the appearance of having been quilted.  It inspired her to create two-dimensional art using this technique but in her own unique style. She did not know it at the time but this technique is called Kimekomi.

Jenni Barry’s work has since evolved and she creates a lot of animals in her work. She finds fur, feathers, and fish scales to be challenging and fun. Jenni loves creating pieces that commemorate people and the things people love.  

For the longest time, she felt invisible as a painter in a sea of painters. However, the culmination of her life’s events has been the catalyst for her to create/re-invent an art form that honors the memories of loved ones. Jenni Barry’s primary objective with her art is to utilize the sentimental, stored fabric of our lives, and transform it into art you enjoy for the beauty, and the warm memories it elicits.  Her new form of Kimekomi is modern art with a nostalgic heart!

Kimekomi History:

Kimekomi was created in the middle of the 18th century (1736-1741). The Kamigamo Shrine’s resident artist, Tadashige Takahashi is said to have made a doll from leftover willow boxes from shrine festivals. Then, he cut grooves into them and tucked fabric pieces recycled from the priest’s kimono robes.  Originally, they were called Kamo dolls for the Kamigamo Shrine in Kyoto (the capital of Japan at the time).  Traditionally Kimekomi used no glue. Pieces of fabric were simply tucked into the grooves cut into the fibrous modeling material called `paulownia’.  Paulownia is made of sawdust and wheat starch paste which was used to create both dolls and later, spherical ornaments. Modern Kimekomi is applied to Styrofoam balls (often with glue) to create ornaments with a quilted appearance.

To learn more about her work, visit her website and follow her on Instagram or Facebook.

Reception Date: 1/15/2022 from 3 – 5 PM, on-site.