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Xenobia Bailey

Combining a range of cultural and experiential influences—including her mother’s skill of upcycling found materials into home décor and her own education in industrial design—Xenobia Bailey has become well known for her large-scale crocheted mandalas. In these works, she embraces the aesthetic of funk and its associations with the social movements of the 1970s.

Bailey earned a BFA in industrial design from Pratt Institute, after which she began to make and sell colorful crocheted hats that have been featured in fashion magazines and films including Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing. Her large-scale mandalas, such as Trilogy, draw on skills she learned from Bernadette Sonona, a needle arts teacher at Greenpoint Cultural Society, as well as on her interests in ethnomusicology and African, Native American, and Eastern philosophies.

Xenobia Bailey
born Seattle, WA 1958
Cotton and acrylic yarn crochet with plastic beads, 2000
84 × 60 inches
Sheldon Museum of Art, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Robert E. Schweser and Fern Beardsley Schweser Acquisition Fund, through the University of Nebraska Foundation, U-6398.2013