For textile collage artist Elaine O’Neil, life is a collection of experiences that inspires her the way that breathing new life into found fabrics does.
Elaine's self-proclaimed "idyllic childhood," her love for her ancestors, and her desires to serve the simple joys in life are key elements of her art which focuses equally on personal narrative and local culture. Growing up on the family farm in rural Maine, Elaine and her older brother and younger sister spent their time among gardens, the greenhouse, chickens, and with a constant sound of the sewing machine. Elaine’s fondest memories were learning to sew with her mother, a home economics teacher, and her beloved grandmother, the daughter of a lighthouse keeper in Maine. Today, this nostalgia is indeed its own lighthouse, keeping Elaine steadfast in her medium and constantly guiding her toward the heart of the stories she wants to tell.
Elaine attended college at the University of Wyoming and then later at the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science.