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Dr. Portia Marie York is a fiber artist with a Master of Advanced Crochet Stitches and Techniques certification from the Crochet Guild of America and a PhD in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Portia describes her creative journey as the most important aspect of her life. Over the years, the magical and artistic practices of crocheting and sewing have positively impacted her, stemming from her love of fibers and to create art since age 10. Portia is an educator and artist with research and practice in culturally responsive pedagogy, arts integration, and STEAM. Find out more about Dr. York at York Creative Education Group.
She has always expressed a desire for working with soft textured and natural materials, as they present flexibility, flow, positive energy, freedom, and peace during the creative process. Portia has taught many crochet sessions to young people and adults around the world in an effort to express that crocheting draws on both the concrete and creative sides of the brain. Within her group sessions, she talks about how the process of transforming yarn into beautiful objects is magical for her and leaves her with a sense of accomplishment and integrity. It is also a vehicle for translating her inner vision to outer reality. The repetitive nature of this work frees her to explore different colors, textures, designs, and stitches through an organic process.
In addition to being a professor teaching fiber arts courses at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte and Lenoir-Rhyne University, teaching crochet sessions at a children’s home in Nassau, Bahamas, a school in Antigua, Guatemala, summer camps in Charlotte, and the Teen Health Connection in Charlotte, Portia also exhibits her work throughout galleries regionally and started a crochet club for 6-12th graders at The John Crosland School. Traditionally, crochet is an artistic medium primarily used by women; however, Portia has used the craft as a valid form of expression by moving beyond the creation of functional art to exhibiting and discussing contemporary and fine art.
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