Mia Cinelli

pennants hanging outside in a lush setting with a green house in the background
pennants hanging outside in a lush setting, one says I am  so sorry and the other says with regret
pennants hanging outside in a lush setting, one says mea culpa and the other says my bad
pennants hanging outside in a lush setting, there are 6 colorful pennants
pennants hanging outside, you can see the backs of them, they face an apartment complex
several pennants being made, one says at fault and one says for but is cut off
Cinelli Pennant progress 1 (Medium)
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Mia Cinelli: Penance

Pennant Place, Gainesville, Florida  January 28-March 6, 2023
Curated by Flounder Lee

How do we admit fault or seek forgiveness? What are the internal territories we seek to establish or defend? In Penance— an intentional play on words— a series of simultaneously humorous and poignant typographic sculptures explore social symbols of flags and their relationship, acknowledging harm or regret. Using recontextualized letterforms inspired by historical collegiate and athletic pennants, these works investigate the identity of apology and which groups or institutions should issue or receive them.

Mia’s practice frequently engages sewn typographic elements to question and expose the methods of recontextualization, public communication, and affiliation. The works are re-recontextualized from their original tediously hand-crafted felt pennants into commercial vinyl pennants. What changes in the work when going from handcrafted dorm room-sized works, reminiscent of college football pennants, to large vinyl works that are now the realm of car dealerships or furniture stores? Do the apologies still seem personal or are they meant to apologize for bigger, maybe universal, acts?

Artist Biography

Mia Cinelli (she/her) is an Associate Professor of Art Studio and Digital Design at the University of Kentucky. After studying Graphic Communication (BFA) at Northern Michigan University, Prof. Cinelli earned her MFA in Art and Design at the University of Michigan’s Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design. From 2014–2017, she was an Assistant Professor at Defiance College, where she established a progressive 2D/3D Design Program and served as the Gallery Director of the Women’s Commission Art Gallery. As a multidisciplinary artist, designer, and educator, her creative works have been exhibited nationally and internationally. Ranging from poetic to pragmatic, these works include discursive and speculative products, sculptures, installations, garments, typefaces, and graphics. Recently, her typographic accomplishments have been acknowledged with Best in Festival for New Work at DesignTO (2020), a Graphis Silver award for typeface design (2018), a Society of Typographic Arts “STA 100” award (2019), and a Communication Arts Typography award (2020). Her first book “Giving Type Meaning: Context and Craft in Typography” will be published in 2023. With an inquiry driven practice, she is passionate about—and continually excited by— the many ways visual communication and human-centered design can engender meaningful interactions and discussions.

Instagram & twitter : @miacinelli