During the second to last weekend of our month long curation of Ace Hotel New York’s Artists-in-Residence, the Flatiron destination hosted Carrie Morrissey, founder of New York based jewelry design house ISLY NYC.
We first connected Morrisey after her heartfelt Instagram post that proudly announced ISLY as an MFTA materials donor. The caption read, “Did you guys know about Materials for the Arts? They’re an amazing organization that helps get unused art supplies to people who would otherwise have none. ISLY is a proud donor of excess supplies, a thing that on its own puts a smile in our hearts, knowing that these items will get used, but occasionally we get letters in the mail saying where things have gone and how they’ve affected other people’s lives. From young to old, people have been able to enrich their lives with art, give more meaning, new perspective, and a deep sense of pride an accomplishment from making things with their hands. ISLYNYC would like to thank MFTA for giving us the opportunity to share and receive love through the arts.”
We were so touched by Morrisey’s understanding of our mission that we reached out to invite her for a tour of our warehouse. A few weeks later, Morrisey came with a fresh donation in tow and left with inspiration for even more items and fabrics that ISLY NYC could continue donating to MFTA. Given Morrisey’s relationship to our program, we thought it’d be great to get her on the creative reuse side of donating via our partnership with Ace Hotel New York. We caught up with her after her residency for a more in-depth discussion.
Friends of Materials for Arts: How was it?! Exciting and a little overwhelming at first! There were so many things I wanted to make sure I didn’t go too crazy grabbing things that were just cool and not really useful for what we were trying to make.
When did you first hear about MFTA? My friend Anneliis Beadnell, a director at PPOW Gallery, first recommended MTFA when I was moving my studio and wanted to donate things.
As a longtime donor, what was it like being on the receiving end? Did you find you had a greater understanding of where the materials came from? Yeah, it was really cool getting to go through all of the stuff and see all the kinds of things that get donated. As I was getting inspired I was also thinking about what I’ll be able to donate next!
How does creative reuse play into your work? How do materials affect your inspiration? Well the [one night residency] was really perfect for using a lot of our scraps and waste that would otherwise get tossed. Usually, although the cut pieces are very cool looking, we have to toss them because it just takes up so much space. It was really awesome to combine our scraps with the donated stuff we grabbed from MTFA.
What’s next for ISLY NYC? We are working on our spring 2016 collection and are planning on presenting during New York Fashion Week.
Learn more about Carrie and ISLY NYC here.