Artist Denise Yaghmourian Creates Experimental Patterning in Former Upholstery Warehouse in Phoenix

Categories: Personal Space
photos by Thania Betancourt
Behind the front gallery space are two spacious rooms for the couple -- Bertoncino's on the right and Yaghmourian's on the left.

Yaghmourian describes her ideal creative environment to be peaceful and meditative, and, as she says, "an art cave." Though Yaghmourian used to concentrate on one project at a time, she now has several at once.

On the tabletop is a collection of materials and finished artworks, including paper clay figures, studded fiber, balls of yarn, glue bottles, and square boards of gridded threads in resin.

"Something happens where you generate more ideas when you're doing different things," she says.

Overflowing boxes and containers of material line a corner of the room. When asked how she keeps track of all of her supplies, she says, "As I got more things, I got more shelves."

The couple's two daughters, 10-year-old Grace and 7-year-old Vylet, use the kiln in the other corner on their mom's side and also have their own art corner on their dad's side. Yaghmourian admits her daughters use the kiln more than her nowadays.

photos by Thania Betancourt
Across from the tabletop, four strings attach to the corners of a stretch of chicken wire to hold up one of the pieces Yaghmourian is working on for IN FLUX, a multi-city initiative that gives local artists the chance to showcase public art installations. Yaghmourian inserts red felt squares into the chicken wire slots, creating the look of a canopied bouquet of roses (though the final product won't be).

Yaghmourian uses found objects and fibers to create pattern, repetition, and rhythm in her art. Though she is formally trained in painting and received her degree in art education at ASU, she's gravitated more toward fiber art in her career -- an interest she attributes to her grandmother.

"When I was younger she used to sew a lot and had a sewing room, a sewing machine and all these stacks of fabric," Yaghmourian says. "I was always really fascinated by the process."

Behind Yaghmourian's space is another room devoted to photographing work. Yaghmourian says that everything she does now starts with her going out to look for interesting material to work with. Not in a shop always, but in junkyards.

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