Karey Kenst

Pronouns: they/them

My artistic practice is an avenue for exploring themes of family, intimacy, homecoming, and the natural world, informed by my experiences as a queer and genderqueer transplant from the mountains of Southern Appalachia to the coast of New England. My work traces back to the East Tennessee landscape, to my mother, a basket weaver, and to the makers in my family lineage who quilted by necessity, as a means of expression, and with great artistry. My creative work is a process-oriented practice that offers a route back "home," a route to mending, transformation, connection, and joy.

My most recent work exists as a dialogue between photography and textile, these media having developed along parallel paths over the years, but recently becoming more integrated. From 2018 through 2019, I documented the changing landscape of the Atlantic coast on daily photographic walks. The project expanded to the creation of a textile from these images, which will be cut and pieced into a quilt. This work explores the fluid co-existence between human bodies and vast oceanic stretches, that which we contain and that which is uncontainable.

​In much the same way that photography involves interpreting light through various lenses and quilting requires piecing fragments to create new stories, my work seeks transformational possibilities in relation to home, families of origin and choice, and our relationships with the land to which we belong.

I also create smaller textile works in playful contrast to the dominant culture of fear-based mass consumerism and inattention to our collective humanity and interdependence.


I hope the individuality of my work is recognized in the imperfections of the maker's hands.

Statement on social location:

I am a white, able bodied, queer, genderqueer survivor raised in the southeastern United States, now living in an urban center in the northeast. I have an advanced degree in public health and full time employment that grants me socioeconomic privilege. I have lived on and benefitted from the stolen lands of the Cherokee, Osage, Miami, Shawnee, Peoria, Ho-Chunk, Sauk and Meskwaki, Sioux, Wampanoag, Massachusett, Narragansett, and Agawam.

I support government and other institution-based reparations for Black and Indigenous communities, as well as redistribution of personal resources toward being in right relationship with others.