Jennifer York (née Jen Swearington) grew up in rural Indiana, drawing since she was little. Mentored by her artist aunt Kelly Hoernig, she knew by age 12 she would become an artist. She studied fine art and art history, earning a BFA in Sculpture from Pratt Institute in 1997 and MFA in Fibers from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2000, spent a year as Artist in Residence at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, and then settled in Asheville, NC. In 2003, she started sewing original apparel pieces and printing her illustrations on them, founding Jennythreads Studio, by which she made an independent, creative living for 20 years. In 2013, her comprehensive how-to manual, “Printing on Fabric: Techniques with Screens, Stencils, Inks and Dyes” was published by Lark Crafts.
Beginning spring of 2018, York traveled abroad for several month-long art residencies in Bulgaria, Mexico, Finland, and Greece. On these adventures abroad, she filled sketchbooks with drawings and created collapsible carousel pop-up books that could travel back in her carry-on suitcase. In March 2020, York relocated to Charleston, SC to continue her creative journey on the coast, where she has retired from sewing Jennythreads to focus on her fine art full-time. She developed her papercut illustrations from books to intricate dioramas built in vintage suitcases and mirrors, as well as large-scale papercuts from tyvek house wrap, with impressive solo exhibitions “New Histories” at the Gibbes Museum of Art in 2021, “Estuary Blues” at the Burroughs Chapin Art Museum in Myrtle Beach, SC and “Constructed Realities” at the Museum of Art-Deland (Florida) in 2023.
Outside the studio, York is an avid trail runner and SC journeyman beekeeper whose small apiary on James Island, SC produces Jennybees honey.
© 2016 Franklin G. Burroughs • Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum
Myrtle Beach’s Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum strives to be one of the finest visual arts museums in the Carolinas. With 11 galleries that change throughout the year, Myrtle Beach’s only art museum offers exhibitions featuring paintings, textiles, sculpture, photography, video, ceramics, assemblage, collage and more. A visit to the Art Museum’s exhibitions can be enhanced by its lively programming, including artist receptions, tours, lectures, workshops and classes for both adults and children.