Last Glance: Shenequa Brooks

Shenequa Brooks

In August 2014 Kansas City artist Shenequa Brooks travelled to the village of Anloga, in Ghana, West Africa, where she went to learn the art of “kete” weaving on the African traditional loom.

The trip was made possible by a 2014 Windgate Fellowship from the Center for Craft Creativity & Design in Asheville, North Carolina.

After three months of daily weaving and tutoring, Brooks felt she just scratched the surface of the intimate, tightly woven structure that characterizes the “kete” style.

Her own custom-fit traditional loom, built for her in Ghana, hand-carried and re-assembled in KC, shares space in her studio with a wall of vivid photographs that weave a rich reminder of her experience in Anloga.

Opposite, a growing collection of recent, small woven pieces display the intricate intersections of tight patterns and exploding strands that have resulted from her kete inspiration.

Brooks, who graduated in May 2011 from the Kansas City Art Institute with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in fiber, has been accepted at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to pursue a Master of Design in Fashion, Body & Garment. To help fund her travel and living expenses, she has launched an online campaign to raise $6,500. Donors perks include small drawings, kete necklaces and cloths, scarves and other items.

Brooks is also known for her work with woven and braided synthetic hair. “As an artist I am fascinated with unifying the African-American versus African hair culture, Ghanaian textiles, and African patterns,” she writes in her artist statement.

To learn more go to www.shenequaabrooks.com and click on Windy City, Here I Come.


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