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GoLocalProv | Fiber and Fashion with Artist Andrea Pascual

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

 

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PHOTO: Michael Rose

 

 

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The worlds of fashion and the visual arts have always enjoyed a special connection. Crossovers between these two disciplines often produce exciting work and for emerging artist Andrea Pascual, the creation of wearable art is central to her practice. A hardworking creator whose hands are constantly at work crafting items for her brand Make Me Feel Better, Pascual is a young artist to know.

 

Pascual’s preferred medium is crochet and using a variety of hooks she crafts items like bags, sweaters, dresses, and more. She initially developed an interest in the practice during the pandemic and learned both from her sister as well as from teaching herself utilizing tutorials online. While her sister helped get Pascual interested in crochet, she also cites her mother as a key inspiration in the development of her practice, stating that her mom’s entrepreneurial acumen and skill in the clothing industry propelled her forward.

 

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PHOTO: Michael Rose

 

Raised in Massachusetts, Pascual relocated to Providence just a couple of years ago but has already immersed herself in the community. She regularly shows her work at the Providence Flea and was also selected for WaterFire Accelerate, a professional development program for artists under 30. Through her association with WaterFire, she created a series of two-dimensional fabric artworks that were featured in the organization’s Small Works Show in 2023.

 

When talking to Pascual about her work and her experience sharing it, it is clear that the personal connections she has developed with patrons are a key element of her practice. She has found success vending at the popular Providence Flea, making new contacts in the process. Asked about what her participation in the Flea has meant to her, Pascual answers, “Being a vendor in such an encouraging community as Providence has helped me so much with networking! Turning my hobby into a business has forced me to acknowledge and practice sales approaches and I’ve learned that creating and maintaining personal connections with clients and people you meet is even more valuable than a sale!”

 

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PHOTO: Michael Rose

 

The name she has given to her work, “Make Me Feel Better,” comes from the dark period of the pandemic and continues to indicate the positive effect she seeks to elicit with the fiber works she is creating. The pieces she makes are labor intensive and require a quick hand as well as a sense for timing in addition to an eye for materials, color, and form.

 

A passionate craftsperson, Pascual is focused on creating objects by hand and on improving her skills and techniques. Asked what she hopes viewers experience when seeing and wearing her work, Pascual says, “Personally, when I shop from small businesses or handmade pieces, I value the objects so much more! There is a sense of individuality that comes with something that can only be replicated by hand. I hope individuals who use my pieces experience the same!”

 

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PHOTO: Michael Rose

 

In the WaterFire Accelerate studio in the ground floor of the Graduate Hotel, Pasqual exhibits some of her wares, makes works, and is hosting workshops where she shares her passion for handmade fiber work with the community. On a recent visit, newly finished garments were on view and Pascual was at work on a heart-shaped bag. She was also preparing notes for workshop students and planning future projects.

 

Describing what she enjoys about being part of WaterFire’s Accelerate program for young artists, she focuses on her peers, saying, “I feel so genuinely lucky to share space and time with the members of my cohort. I love seeing the multiple disciplines we all practice, and the range of skills, and how we all appreciate what each of us brings to the group. It was initially super intimidating to be surrounded by so much talent, but now I just feel very proud!”

 

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PHOTO: Michael Rose

 

Looking to the future, Pascual has many projects on her plate. An active studio artist, she continues to produce new pieces of her own as well as commissioned objects. She will participate in a group show with her WaterFire Accelerate peers later this spring at the WaterFire Arts Center and she is planning to launch her latest body of work, her “East Coast Collection” sometime in March.

 

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PHOTO: Michael Rose

 

As a young artist, designer, and craftsperson who is working diligently to develop her audience and voice, Pascual has much to be proud of. Through her consistent creative efforts, she has quickly accrued a following and plaudits for her talents in shaping yarn and ribbon into hand-made fashions that patrons are rapidly snapping up.

 

Learn more about Andrea Pascual and follow her crochet work and studio practice via Instagram at @makemefeel.better

Michael Rose is a multi-talented fine art professional based in Southern New England. Since 2014 he has served as the gallery manager at the historic Providence Art Club, one of the nation’s oldest arts organizations. Through his current freelance work he advises collectors and artists, provides appraisal services, teaches, and completes curatorial projects.

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