Jennifer York Awarded 2024 Griffith-Reyburn Lowcountry Artist of the Year

Coastal Community Foundation is proud to announce Jennifer York as the 2024 Griffith-Reyburn Lowcountry Artist of the Year. The award supports the creation of new artwork representing the look and feel of the South Carolina Lowcountry’s lifestyle, culture, or environment.

Jennifer York creates art from Tyvek house wrap. She folds the sheets and cuts the imagery, unfolding it like a giant paper snowflake. She then builds intricate, layered scenes into vintage suitcases and mirrors. York says since she moved to Charleston in 2020, the Lowcountry has been her muse. She is inspired to create new pieces as she runs or bikes through the region and observes the local landscape and history.

York has a BFA in Sculpture from the Pratt Institute and an MFA in Fibers from Savannah College of Art and Design. For close to 20 years she produced artistic ladies apparel and accessories through her company Jennythreads Studio in Asheville, North Carolina. Her papercuts have been featured in solo exhibits at the Gibbes Museum of Art, Myrtle Beach Art Museum, Park Circle Gallery, and Museum of Art-Deland, Florida.

“I am absolutely thrilled and honored to be selected for this award!” said Jennifer York. “Two years ago, I made the leap from 18 years of sewing Jennythreads apparel to focus on making art instead. Since then, my artistic goal has been to create clever, thoughtful treasures in paper and ink, to illustrate the stories of one small human’s perspective in her fascinating new home, the Lowcountry. Winning this award feels like major encouragement to keep up the good work, to push my artistic vision and mastery even farther, to explore and observe, draw and cut, and stay this creative course, onward and upward.”

The Lowcountry Artist of the Year award was established at Coastal Community Foundation in 2003 by Mike Griffith and Donna Reyburn. The $6,000 grant is intended to cover the artist’s living expenses during the creation of the piece.

“Mike Griffith and Donna Reyburn illustrate the impact donors can have through endowed giving,” said Darrin Goss, Sr., Coastal Community Foundation’s President and CEO. “They came to CCF with the idea to create an artist-friendly grant. Two decades later, more than $100,000 has been awarded, dozens of pieces of new artwork created, and local artists’ careers propelled forward thanks to the exposure and opportunity this grant provides.”

In the fall of 2024 Coastal Community Foundation will host an event to unveil York’s new piece of art. It will remain the personal property of the artist to keep, show or sell at her discretion.  You can see more of York’s work here.

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