New Orleans, LA
2023-2024 Grant Cocoamo Creates: fabric designs of art and fashion
Courtney Clark is a visual and culinary artist currently focused on textiles and fashion design. She plans to use this grant to design and manufacture uniquely creative articles of clothing. “Coming from a culture of seamstresses, carpenters, and culinary artists in my family, I am deeply rooted in creativity,” she says. Clark’s mother sewed her summer clothing throughout her childhood. Eventually, she learned to sew herself and remembers working with her mother to design, create, and bead her prom dress. Recently, she created a formal dress for her own daughter, a current member of the YAYA artist guild. “I am inspired for me, my daughter and my culture, and what I have learned from my ancestors,” says Clark. She is “using culture that has been passed down for generations of seamstresses and artists in my family that is disappearing not just in my family but in my city.” She is inspired by her daughter and son and plans on collaborating with her daughter Lyric while teaching her to work with textiles.
Clark‘s enthusiasm for sewing was revived during the COVID-19 pandemic when she began making face masks for those struggling to find them. She gave away over 200 masks and began selling them when the demand subsided. Clark has plans to create her own fabric and turn it into wall-art and/or screens. Her ideas involve size-inclusive garments like dresses, hoodies and men’s suits incorporating the bead work that she learned from her mother and has lended to Mardi Gras Indians by helping to sew patches and detailed designs on their Mardi Gras suits. Her most recent creations include a beaded christening gown and funky hoodie.
Clark is a mother, teacher, and advocate for physical and mental health. She studied Fine Art and Visual Communications at Delgado Community College. She also studied culinary medicine at Tulane University Goldring Center and traveled to Italy with the nonprofit Slow Food in 2016.
Courtney Clark was a YAYA inaugural artist in 1988 and joined the YAYA Guild in 1990.
All works are copyright of the artist.