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Akron Art Library

Christi Birchfield - Tip of the Iceberg - 2018

Christi Birchfield - Tip of the Iceberg - Batik on muslin 20 x 16 in.

About the Artist

Christi Birchfield
American, born 1983, Cleveland, Ohio;
Lives Seattle, Washington

Tip of the Iceberg can be understood as an abstract representation of a floating, icy, blue form and on another level suggests something new is starting to take shape within my practice,” says Christi Birchfield of this work. Through the exchange of additive and reductive methods, batik dyes add color and build form while bleach reveals what is hiding beneath or obliterates the information altogether. This back and forth working method reminded Birchfield of the use of idioms and how the meaning of these phrases can shift between the literal and the figurative. Think of phrases like: “break a leg” or “the elephant in the room.”  Through a collective understanding, meaning is ascribed to an otherwise nonsensical phrase. When taken literally, these phrases serve as a framework for the creation of images and objects that toy with this duality - like the tip of a blue iceberg emerging from a swirling sea of orange and magenta hues.

Christi Birchfield received her BFA in printmaking from The Cleveland Institute of Art and her MFA in visual art from Columbia University. She is the recipient of a 2016 Creative Workforce Fellowship and the 2017 Cleveland Arts Prize in the emerging artist category. Her work is part of the permanent collection at the Cleveland Museum of Art. She has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally throughout the United States, Germany and China.

To view more work from Christi Birchfield, visit: or follow on Instagram @christi_birchfield

Tip of the Iceberg appeared in I Speak in Idioms, a series of sculptures and dyed textiles Birchfield created during her 2018 Akron Soul Train residency, exhibited at Project Three Gallery in Kenmore. Akron Soul Train is an artist residency program connecting and empowering the community and artists by granting fellowships that provide resources for all creative disciplines, thereby fostering a more vibrant downtown Akron. To learn more about the residency program, visit: