Sonya Yong James: The Eye of a Needle

April 22 - June 25, 2022

“Cloth and fiber can sometimes hold the gift of memory. Textile art can provoke a desire to touch, thus awakening multiple senses at once. Color and texture can be heard like a sound while the desire to experience art by physically touching it is using the eyes of the skin.” – Sonya Yong James

Repurposed cloth and thread are the mediums of choice for artist Sonya Yong James who works with these materials to examine the intersection of our shared cultural mythologies and domesticity. She meticulously manipulates the materials, combining techniques like weaving, knitting, spinning, dyeing, felting animal hair and sewing, juxtaposing these with ceramic and found objects. Her wall sculptures move beyond traditional storytelling woven into textile arts such as quilts, creating new environments that explore the roles that sexuality, memory, and death play in the development of our personal relationships. What do your eyes tell you to smell? If you could touch the work, what do you think you would feel? Can you almost hear something from your memories? Our sensory experiences often directly tie to past experiences and relationships with an object, shape, or texture evoking emotion or memory. Lose yourself within this installation, and you might find the influence that textiles hold in our collective memories, and the power a needle and thread have in what they create.

Sonya Yong James lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. She received a BFA in Printmaking from Georgia State University where she focused on etching and sculpture. She was the recipient of the Artadia Award in 2019 and the Idea Capital Antinori grant in 2021. James has exhibited in galleries and museums such as the Zeitgeist Gallery, Nashville; Whitespace Gallery, Atlanta; Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia; Atlanta Contemporary; Ogden Museum of Southern Art; Albany Museum of Art, Albany, GA; and the Zuckerman Museum of Art; Kennesaw, GA. She was formerly a resident at the Studio Artists Program at Atlanta Contemporary and is represented by Whitespace Gallery.

Featured Above: Images courtesy of the artist

Youth Art Education Policy

Outside of tours, family days, and open house events, individuals who are not enrolled in a class are not allowed in WMA classrooms except by written permission of the Executive Director. Parents may not join children in the classroom during instruction times in order to ensure an atmosphere conductive to creativity. It is important to limit the number of adults to keep the focus on the kids, their learning, and to accommodate limited seating in the studio. Parents are welcome to stay in the museum during class but must remain outside of the classroom during instruction time.

Museum educators are experienced in creating positive learning environments for all ages and are required to go through a background check to ensure the safety of our students. Parents and guardians are encouraged to visit the studio at the end of class to see what their child has created. All docents and volunteers working with children are also required to go through background checks.

Thank you for understanding our policy and priority on the safety and well-being of participating students.

Refund Policy

The Wiregrass Museum of Art may cancel any class with insufficient enrollment; students will be notified and given a full refund. If a student withdraws at least 1 week before the class begins, he/she will be refunded for the full cost of the class. If a student withdraws 24 hours before the class begins, he/she will be refunded for half the cost of the class. There are no refunds after the start date of class, and membership fees are nonrefundable. Students are not enrolled until complete payment is received.

Terms and Conditions

The Wiregrass Museum of Art reserves the right to photograph and reproduce chosen works publication, publicity, and educational purposes. Participation in this exhibition shall be an agreement on the part of the artist to these conditions. The museum reserves the right to exclude works submitted without appropriate preparation (documentation, mounting hardware, suitable frame/mat, etc.), or which are damaged or incomplete. The museum is not responsible for the safekeeping of any works left in its care ninety (90) days after the close of the exhibition.

Oops! We could not locate your form.

Mask Policy

WMA asks that all campers ages 5 and up wear a mask during their museum visit, including classes and camps. If you don’t have a mask, we can provide one for you. Exceptions can be made for those with documented respiratory or sensory issues. We thank you for protecting your fellow visitors and our staff!

Wishlist 0
Continue Shopping