Destiny Palmer: Artist, Educator, Rising Star

"Complied," 2016, acrylic and ink on charcoal paper, 19” x 25”.


12 FOR OUR 12TH
DESTINY PALMER WORK ON VIEW IN:
STITCH: SYNTAX / ACTION / REACTION
NEW ART CENTER
61 WASHINGTON PARK NEWTON, MASSACHUSETTS
THROUGH MARCH 24
#SAYHERNAME: WATCH US WERK
VANDERMOOT GALLERY UNIVERSITY HALL 1815 MASSACHUSETTS AVENUE
CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS
MARCH 20 THROUGH APRIL 21
FOR MORE INFORMATION: DESTINYPALMER.COM

by Donna Dodson

Destiny Palmer is a rare artist-teacher. She is someone who loves working with young artists on the cusp of discovering their identities. Boston is lucky to have seen so much of her.

Palmer graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2010. After graduation, she taught at Boston Arts Academy for several years while developing her studio practice. In 2015, unhappy with her artwork, Palmer decided to enroll in graduate school at Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia to gain a deeper understanding of her art. To learn why she makes her work, she went back to basics and restricted herself to drawing for the first semester. In her second semester, she eased back into painting and added fabric to her compositions. Textiles became her color palette. “My ancestors picked cotton so that I can paint on it,” she noted.

Palmer’s great-great-great-grand-mother and three kids were given to someone as a wedding gift. For her, Palmer created a fainting room — akin to the private rooms of the Victorian era that were often used to treat female hysteria — for, Palmer said, “if anyone deserved one, my ancestor surely did.” Palmer started thinking about class and interior décor for her thesis show, “Gained and Gathered,” which opened in the spring of 2017 at the Tyler School of Art. She reworked some of the pieces and brought the show to the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in the fall of 2017 with a new title, “Clenched.”

Currently teaching three courses at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Palmer balances her studio practice with exhibitions and commissions. For Palmer, it is an ideal situation, since research and education inform her practice.

For her current show in the Student Development Office at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, she created a large-scale wall work out of modular component canvases. Palmer installed the paintings in groups of one, two or three, using corners, bright wall colors and careful placement to fill the space. Interspersed with Palmer’s paintings are her sewn and hand stitched canvases of work gloves. These fabric pieces take on independent shapes and dimensionality that the gestural canvases imply. Drawn with pastels, and then painted with acrylics, the pieces reflect Palmer’s exploration of transparency. The most important aspect of her work is the language of color.

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