189 Crystal Stokowski


It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties that I knew what a gallery was or even an artist or an art exhibit. I grew up in Chicopee, Massachusetts in an immensely destructive household that was completely out of touch and disconnected, especially to a world of art-making and creativity. I had run away from home, off and on, for years, and was finally able to move out at fifteen. I eventually lived with friends, on my own, and even on a farm in Maine, always doing the hustle-and-bustle to keep myself completely independent so I wouldn’t fall back to the dysfunction I came from. By 19 I had found myself living in Philadelphia. It wasn’t until then that friends, or friends of friends would come over and see the things that I had been creating all these years. I never in my mind thought of it as art or something I would hang in a gallery, mostly because I didn’t even know what that meant. I always made stuff for friends or carried around things I made in case I met someone I could give something to. In this 4x4x1 walnut box is a silk screened sewn zine I made at space 1026 in Chinatown. I taught myself how to surf a few years ago and since then it’s completely taken over my headspace, hence the he’e nalu in the centerfold. This zine is just a small example of something I would carry around to give to new and old friends. Hopefully our paths will cross so we can share the things we make and hear the stories that need to be told.