Féven Zewdi is an Eritrean-American artist from Asmara, Eritrea. She’s currently based in Sonoma County where she’s wrapping up a stay at Chalk Hill Artist Residency in Healdsburg. Her practice primarily focuses on painting, but in recent years she’s begun public art and mural projects. Find her most recent mural at the Arlene Francis Center in Santa Rosa.
In Her Own Words:
My art is an amalgamation of collected beauty over the course of my life. I was born to a culture of gold adornments on bronze skin, hand-picked cotton lightly woven and layered into full- body wraps, dresses and shawls. I come from ornate textiles, mesmerizing embroidery, unforgettable spice blends and ritualistic coffee ceremonies, from the highlands of Asmara to Ethiopia’s sprawling capital Addis Ababa and eventually to the Pacific Northwest.
One way to describe my style of storytelling is like in a magical scene from the 2001 French film, Amélie, when “a surge of love, an urge to help mankind” comes over her. While on a walk through the city’s market she helps a blind man across the street and then describes close to his ear all that surrounds them. She speaks of the florist laughing with crinkly eyes, the lollipops in the bakery window, sugar plum ice cream, melon slices being passed out in front of fruit stands, the 79-franc exchange for ham at the butcher shop, and the prices of picador and cabécou displayed at the cheese shop’s counter.
In no specific order, I piece together snippets of my observations, auditory perceptions, and the interlacing of perspectives through age and time. My work reflects my African origins through an eclectic range of portraiture and the abstract. I enjoy exploring political and cultural subjects including divinity, class, and Black femininity, and with each project comes new discoveries and a deeper sense of my identity as an artist. My goal is to continue creating works that balance storytelling and stylistic cohesion.
Fzewdi@gmail.com IG: @fevzzz
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