Leading up to the next Finder Quigley show, we are sitting down with each participating artist to share her work and her story. Itshanapa Dail Chambers is up next in this multi-part series. Listen to her story then get a ticket to the exhibition.
Dail Chambers is an artist currently working out of Ferguson, Missouri. We're super excited to be working with her, exhibiting a quilt she has produced for the latest show. She was kind enough to share a write-up about herself and her work—excerpts from that have been included below. A quilt she created is included in the latest Finder Quigley exhibition happening on March 26th in the August Wilson Center. Learn more about FQ and enjoy streaming the conversation with Julie and other participating artists.
Dail creates quilts to honor a cultural tradition that is many times overlooked. She enjoys utilitarian art—treasuring the reminder of the elders who taught her how to quilt. A big fan of the Pittsburgh art scene, she appreciates the city's myriad artists with innovative energy.
Itshanapa Dail Chambers was born Dail Chambers in southern California to two creative parents. Growing up as a military child, in a single parent home, the artist expressed herself through dance, music, poetry, and drawing. While traveling as a young person, she gained a strong sense of cultural expression and the importance of genealogy at a young age.
Her mother dedicated her name as an acronym for “destined achiever in life,” a title to which she lives up. Family members Delbert Chambers, Darnell Chambers and John Chambers are also active Midwest artists working in diverse mediums. The four artists are a part of a legacy of creators.
Saint Louis is the focal site for the artist’s body of work many reasons. Chambers is inspired by the cultural history of the city. She has lived a great portion of her life in Saint Louis, Missouri. Although she is well traveled within the U.S., the city has been her grounding base throughout her lifetime. Saint Louis has a long history of African American accomplishment in the arts. However, the magically pertinent aspect of the area is it’s relationship to the Mississippi River.
Her maternal lineage is rooted in Clarksdale, Lyons and Drew, Mississippi and spans to Chicago, Memphis, Saint Louis, Columbus Ohio, Pontiac Michigan and afar. Observing and learning from these women taught her the skills of macrame, crochet, quilting, sewing, baking, basic documentation and archiving, bibliomancy, dream interpretation, herbalism, gardening, photography and organizing. Each Great Aunt and close relative plays an integral part in her development.
Dail Chambers looks forward to a just and healthy future. The artist uses healing practices to enhance her ambition and creative vision. She serves others in her immediate community and professionally. Her journey in art takes many paths to expand the concept of identity and traditional representation.