Flourishing in an under-appreciated art medium, Amie Kesler is a Green Bay cross-stitch artist hoping to bring positivity into the lives of others with her designs.
As a child, Kesler learned the art of cross-stitch from her grandmother. “When I was really young, I was always around it. I actually still use her book,” Kesler explains. Now, in the over 30-year-old thread book, are bright, fluorescent strings of all colors, used to make cross-stitch pieces for Fluorescent City, a collaborative effort between Kesler and fellow artist Matt Bero.
“It started out with our initial love for color,” Kesler says. The “city” part of Fluorescent City is a shout-out to another driving force behind the project. “I’m from North Carolina [and] he’s from Green Bay, so the idea of ‘how does where you’re from influence what you’re making?’ came in.”
Pursuing the simple goal of spreading joy and positivity through color, Fluorescent City pieces include cross-stitched hoops, spray-painted posters or canvases with stitching details and even a spray-painted skate deck that reads “Let’s Roll.”
Kesler has a diverse background in studio art, graphic design and public relations that influences her work, but she draws inspiration from all over.
“I love to travel so if I’m going to a different city [or] country, I really take in the surrounding areas, looking at clothes that people are wearing,” she says. “Fabrics are a big point of inspiration, [also] nature, sunsets, graffiti [or] blogs.” Ideas from these get narrowed down in an ever-changing creative process that may include an inspiration board, sketches or computer designs. Some hoop designs have no preceding creative process if she is free-handing them!
Recently, Kesler’s large, interactive cross-stitch pieces were featured at an immersive art show, Catalyst. For the future, Kesler is working on now getting more of the Fluorescent City products into the community and in local stores. Visit amiekesler.com to find Kesler’s graphic design work. You can find Fluorescent City on Instagram @fluorescent.city or on Etsy at etsy.com/shop/FluorescentCity.