May 7, 2010

Designer Profile | Margaret Roach Wheeler

Margaret Roach Wheeler (Choctaw/Chickasaw) worked in fiber arts for several years before creating her first hand-woven garment, which was something to wear to an art opening. This garment was the beginning of her line of unique clothing designs, called Mahota Handwovens.

Merging her fine arts education with her native heritage she weaves contemporary garments based on American Indian costumes. In the 1990s, Wheeler focused her work on creating visionary woven sculptures, effectively combining wearable garments with fabric art to create a unique form of wearable art. She has also created “The Mohotans,” an imaginary tribe where each member is adorned in handwoven robes.

The “Messenger” was created in 2005 for the Museum of Art and Design in New York and was exhibited in the traveling exhibition, Changing Hands- Art Without Reservation 2. Wheeler blurs the boundary between fashion and performance and invites her models to dance in her garments during fashion shows.

Wheeler stated, “I believe that a person is an art form in themselves and in the way they lead their lives.”

(Note: This is an excerpt from my dissertation and is copyrighted material)
(Above left: Margaret Roach Wheeler's Bear)

(Margaret Roach Wheeler's woven jacket)

(Margaret Roach Wheeler's Owl: The Messenger)(Margaret Roach Wheeler's Tribute to Diamond)