Kathryn Shriver is an American painter and fibres artist from Buffalo, New York currently living and working in Montreal, Quebec. Shriver has a BA in Studio Arts from Wells College (Aurora, NY) and an MFA in Painting and Drawing from Concordia University (Montreal). She has also studied painting in New York at the Art Students League and in Paris as a copyist at the Musee du Louvre. Shriver has shown work in spaces across the United States and Canada.
Shriver’s work stems from a marriage of her academic background in painting and drawing and a lifelong investigation of fiber craft, introduced to her during childhood by the women in her family. Pulling from this experience, Shriver makes pieces that vibrate between the languages of Art and various forms of applied arts (craft, design, fashion) in order to frustrate and expose the contradictory and culturally loaded hierarchy of value that separates these categories. Examining the ways Craft and Art are both delineated and intertwined theoretically, materially, and historically, she takes interest in the valuing and politics of function, labor, and the shifting categorizations of different materials, makers, and practices as “minor.”
As her most recurrent material, beadwork has been significant to Shriver's research on the instability of divisive lines between categories of making. The history of beads is heavy with instances of transformation, contradiction, and transition. Linked with histories of colonialism, femininity, labor, and costume, beads upset dynamics of power, identity, value, and taste.