Textile news

NOVEMBER 2016

November 1st, 2016

  Book of the Month

aaa_textile-collage

Textile Collage: Using Collage Techniques in Textile Art by Mandy Pattullo, 2016, 128 pages with color illustrations throughout—yet another stimulating publication from Batsford, a fiber-friendly U.K. publisher. Pattullo begins her introduction with a quotation from collage artist Kurt Schwitters, situating her book within an art milieu. Encouraging artists to repurpose antique and vintage textiles, including old quilts that have seen better days, the author discusses materials, techniques, and storage, and shares advice about making portraits, garments, and artists’ books. If you are finding yourself stalled in your studio, I highly recommend Textile Collage to help get your creative engine started again.

http://www.mandypattullo.co.uk/

 

 

 

 

Hurlyburly by Orly Genger

Monumental organic forms comprise Hurlyburly, Orly Genger’s installation in Austin, Texas, on view until the end of February.     Genger, a New York-based artist, takes the domestic art of crocheting to a powerfully dynamic level, using only her hands to construct loops of thick, rough lobster rope into gigantic strands. Industrial rope became available for communities beyond fisherman several years ago when floating lines for lobsters had to be replaced by sinking rope to protect the rare right whale. This artist’s involvement with repurposed material resonates with the productions of environmental artists, and her landscape art embraces an aesthetic closer to works like the curvilinear installations of the Finnish artist and architect Marco Casagrande, notably his woven willow Sandworm on the Belgian coast. Orly Genger successfully mediates between painting and interactive sculpture, managing to create appealing constructions on a very human scale, in tune with both nature and art.

Orly Genger, Hurlyburly (detail, 2016); recycled lobster rope and paint. Dimensions variable. Presented by the Waller Creek Conservancy in collaboration with The Contemporary Austin. Installation view, Waller Delta, Austin, 2016. Artwork copyright Orly Genger. Courtesy the artist. Image courtesy The Contemporary Austin. Photo by Brian Fitzsimmons.

Orly Genger, Hurlyburly (detail, 2016); recycled lobster rope and paint. Dimensions variable. Presented by the Waller Creek Conservancy in collaboration with The Contemporary Austin. Installation view, Waller Delta, Austin, 2016. Artwork copyright Orly Genger. Courtesy the artist. Image courtesy The Contemporary Austin. Photo by Brian Fitzsimmons.

http://www.thecontemporaryaustin.org/exhibitions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Touch: The Expressive Magic of Judith James

Textile artist Judith James passed away in 2015, leaving an impressive body of work still being discovered by her husband, quilt artist Michael James. As a tribute to his wife, James has created a web site documenting her work, and is helping to assemble pieces for a solo exhibition at the New Bedford Art Museum, January 6 – March 19. Judith James describing her process: “The stitched resist dyeing techniques that I’ve been using often produce soft, slightly out-of-focus effects. These sometimes result in a kind of luminosity, or a kind of hazy glow, that suggest to me the first light of dawn or the waning light of late afternoon. This kind of light lowers visibility and softens the landscape. There’s an intimacy to even the broadest landscape in these moments. For me this connects with the intimacy of the processes and materials I use in creating these textile constructions. Throughout their making I have moments of awareness of their strength and their fragility, of their responsiveness and their resistance to those manipulation processes, and of my flip-flopping roles as both the maker and recipient of their own spontaneous and often accidental metamorphoses.”

Judith James, Folio (2004), 15.5 x 22.5 in.; screen printed, dyed, and discharged cotton, silk and Hindumoni paper; hand stitched and embroidered.

Judith James, Folio (2004), 15.5 x 22.5 in.; screen printed, dyed, and discharged cotton, silk and Hindumoni paper; hand stitched and embroidered.

http://judithjamestextileart.com/

http://newbedfordart.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quilts=Art=Quilts

This annual juried exhibition has become well known for the variety and quality of quilts selected. Like Quilt National, Quilts=Art=Quilts has no theme, allowing the jurors a free hand in selecting quilts for the show. The 2016 show includes works by Liz Axford, Betty Busby, Elizabeth Busch, Shin-hee Chin, Jette Clover, Judy Langille, and Janet Steadman. At the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn, New York, the exhibition closes on January 8. The jurors were Terry Jarrard-Dimond, Valerie Goodwin, and Judy Kirpich, who chose 65 quilts from 185 submitting artists. Goodwin shared these thoughts about jurying the show: “Judy Kirpich, Terry Jarrad-Dimond and I were honored to be selected to jury an amazing and varied array of contemporary art quilts. In the age of the Internet, the jurying process can now be done virtually while jurors are located in their respective spots on the globe. We found this new way of seeing and discussing artwork to be engaging and almost seamless. We were able to talk about color, detail, and artistic vision as if we were all in the same room. We began the jurying session after reviewing the work individually. Armed with our own thoughts and notations, we felt that an interesting discussion ensued. As we talked and became more comfortable with the process and one another, I think that we were able to select a good balance of work with strong intent, masterful craftsmanship, and aesthetic appeal.”

http://www.schweinfurthartcenter.org

Judy Langille, Ancient Composite 1 (2015), 56 x 36 in. On view in Quilts=Arts=Quilts. Photo by Peter Jacobs.

Judy Langille, Ancient Composite 1 (2015), 56 x 36 in. On view in Quilts=Arts=Quilts. Photo by Peter Jacobs.

 

 

 

 

Hope Wilmarth, Urban Cathedral (2016), 45 x 44 in. On view in Breakout: Quilt Visions 2016. Photo by Rick Wells.

Hope Wilmarth, Urban Cathedral (2016), 45 x 44 in. On view in Breakout: Quilt Visions 2016. Photo by Rick Wells.

Breakout: Quilt Visions 2016

Quilt Visions, a theme-based biennial juried exhibition, challenges the jurors as well as the artists to focus on a specific concept. For 2016, the jurors were artists Elizabeth Busch and Katie Pasquini Masopust, along with Marci Rae McDade, editor of Surface Design Journal. In response to my email inquiry, McDade had this to say about her experiences as a juror: “It was fascinating to hear how each juror was drawn to different works of art for various reasons. Months later, seeing the physical pieces in person at the opening was magical; only so much of their merits can be appreciated from photos. It was also an honor to hear so many of the artists speak about their work in person at the gallery tour. I am always keen to learn about their methods of making and inspirations compared to my preconceived notions or assumptions based on the limited information I have to judge the work. Speaking to everyone at the panel discussion about the jurying process was flattering and fun. I think everyone was pleasantly surprised by my candor when I explained that my approach to choosing provocative new works that challenge and expand the definition of a studio art quilt often hinges on figuring out if a piece is ‘edgy’ or ‘crappy’.” Amen to that! Breakout is the 14th Quilt Visions exhibition, produced by the Visions Art Museum: Contemporary Quilts + Textiles (VAM). The exhibition can be seen at the Museum in San Diego, California, until January 8.

http://www.visionsartmuseum.org

 

 

OCTOBER 2016

October 2nd, 2016

Book of the Month: Something Different

Preprints: Material in Motion, 10th North American Textile Conservation Conference (2015), with CD of articles and images. Texts in both Spanish and English, $30.

Preprints: Material in Motion, 10th North American Textile Conservation Conference (2015), with CD of articles and images. Texts in both Spanish and English, $30.

If you do not work with 3-D objects, knits, or feathers, this book is probably not for you. But since many of us are becoming interested in three-dimensional creations and odd materials, I want to share the extremely informative articles in this publication. The most surprising text explains the amount of stretch and actions for recovery of Patrick Kelly’s knit dresses displayed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. For textile and fiber artists thinking of installing any type of shelter-like structure, you will learn a lot about support systems in the article on movable architecture, including Ottoman tents and George Washington’s field tent. If you are using feathers, beware of flying! An article on protecting 3-D objects during transit reveals that in airplanes the shafts of feathers can quickly become dehydrated and crack. Advice is given on how to protect them. In addition, should your work suffer damage from muddy water, an article gives professional advice on cleaning textiles in the aftermath of such a disaster.

http://www.natcconference.com/images/2015_media_files/2015_toc.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Genius of Ann Hamilton at Work in Philadelphia

Ann Hamilton: habitus installation at Municipal Pier 9, Philadelphia.

Ann Hamilton: habitus installation at Municipal Pier 9, Philadelphia.

Cloth making, among the oldest forms of human cultural production, provides inspiration for Ann Hamilton’s multi-venue project, habitus, located at three sites: The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Municipal Pier 9, and on social media. habitus weaves text, textile, and image together as mediums for an imaginative and tactile exchange between artist and audience. The museum’s galleries display Hamilton’s selection of historical objects—including literary commonplace books, textile sample books, dolls, and needlework portfolios—borrowed from Philadelphia museums and public collections. In the vast space of Municipal Pier 9 on the Delaware River, visitors propel a field of gigantic cylindrical curtains to billow to atmospheric proportion. Hamilton’s multi-venue exhibition invites us to touch and be touched by the fabric of human experience. She is an extraordinary artist whose work I have admired for decades, especially her ability to work from small to large scale with great aplomb. The pier installation closes on October 10, and The Fabric Workshop exhibition on January 8.

http://www.fabricworkshop.org

 

 

 

 Textile Dialogues at the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art

Donna Sharrett: Love and Affection (2013), 36 x 36 in.; neckties, necktie interfacing, upholstery fabric, jewelry, trimming, guitar strings and ball-ends, dirt, bone beads, buttons, synthetic hair, and thread. Photo by Margaret Fox.

Donna Sharrett: Love and Affection (2013), 36 x 36 in.; neckties, necktie interfacing, upholstery fabric, jewelry, trimming, guitar strings and ball-ends, dirt, bone beads, buttons, synthetic hair, and thread. Photo by Margaret Fox.

The Thread You Follow: Debra M. Smith and Donna Sharrett explores the work of two fiber artists who employ eclectic practices that bridge the conventional divide between crafts and fine art. Both artists repurpose found fabric in their compositions, which is painstakingly cut and stitched together to form compatible, yet distinct, bodies of work. Sharrett employs a sculptural approach to explore memory and symbolic ritual in her circular assemblages. Smith takes a more painterly interest in the arrangement of her fabric scraps, and concentrates on the formal language of shape, color, and texture in rectangular arrangements that yield a cubist-inspired graphics. Sharrett explains that her works in the show “are meditations on memory; where flowers, music and belongings serve as its repository, and are arranged within a numeric cadence inspired by the sacred geometry of Gothic cathedral rose windows, religious prayer beads, nature, and music. Guitar strings, for example, are used as a dedication to my brother, Scot Sharrett (1961-2001), as are the song titles chosen to name the works.” The museum is located in Sedalia, Missouri, and the exhibition runs until December 20.

http://www.daummuseum.org/event/the-thread-you-follow-debra-smith-and-donna-sharrett/?mode=current

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reuse of Textile Waste Celebrated by the Cooper Hewitt

Luisa Cevese Riedizioni: Bag, Large Basket (2014, textiles since 1996); silk selvedges, polyurethane. Courtesy of Luisa Cevese Riedizioni.

Luisa Cevese Riedizioni: Bag, Large Basket (2014, textiles since 1996); silk selvedges, polyurethane. Courtesy of Luisa Cevese Riedizioni.

Offering creative, alternative approaches to confronting textile waste, Scraps: Fashion, Textiles, and Creative Reuse presents the work of three designers who put sustainability at the heart of the design process: Luisa Cevese, founder of Riedzioni in Milan; Christina Kim, founder of dosa, inc., in Los Angeles; and Reiko Sudo, managing director at NUNO in Tokyo. Each designer’s practice involves innovative and sophisticated reuse of textile materials and resources, while engaging in preservation of local craft traditions. Through more than forty works, the exhibition explores key facets of sustainability, such as the efficient use of materials and resources, the preservation of local craft traditions and the integration of new technologies in the recycling process. Amazingly, these designers are finding that reusing textile scraps can be financially viable. Their ingenuity is impressive. On view in New York until April 16.

http://www.cooperhewitt.org/channel/scraps/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you believe that the “Summer of Love” happened nearly 50 years ago?

Therese May: The Spirit of the Dream (1999), 71 x 71 in.; studio art quilt. Photo by Richard Johns.

Therese May: The Spirit of the Dream (1999), 71 x 71 in.; studio art quilt. Photo by Richard Johns.

 

The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles (California) brings us The California Art Quilt Revolution: From the Summer of Love to the New Millennium, with more than 40 works. In the final decades of the 20th century, California quilt makers charted new territory in the art form, leading the nation in creativity and innovation. During the 1970s and 1980s, California artists were among the first to embrace the quilt medium as their primary means of expression. More traditional quilters also expanded their horizons, creating original designs based on traditional quilt patterns. This exhibition includes works by pioneers of the art quilt movement, including Therese May, Jean Ray Laury, Yvonne Porcella, and Joan Schulze, who pushed the boundaries of what could be called a quilt, and highlights late 20th– and 21st-century artists working in contemporary quilt art. Therese May recalls that summer: I loved the “Summer of Love!” That was in 1967, the summer we moved from Wisconsin to California so my husband could teach at San Jose State University. Being in the San Francisco Bay area at this time was both inspiring and mind blowing! I met many artists, such as David Gilhooly, who made breakthrough art in ceramic sculpture, and Maija Peeples, whose paintings were colorful, funny Funk Art. I was innocently working in the cloth medium, not knowing what a big deal it was until much later!” Organized by Nancy Bavor, Curator of Collections, this exhibition opens on October 7 and closes on January 15.

http://www.sjquiltmuseum.org/upcoming-exhibitions/

 

 

 

 

As many of you know, I am the curator for the Texas Quilt Museum, involved with exhibitions and educational programming. To celebrate our FIFTH YEAR(!) we have launched a fundraising campaign via the Generosity platform of IndieGoGo, in which the Museum receives all funds donated. It would be so very nice if you could donate a little to help raise funds for our educational programming. This blog has 700 subscribers, and $5 from each of you would nearly reach our goal! (Thanks once again to those who have already donated.) The web site for our campaign is:

https://www.generosity.com/education-fundraising/educational-programs-from-the-texas-quilt-museum–2

 

 

 

September 2016

September 4th, 2016

BOX_BP pub coverBook of the Month

This publication documents an important fiber exhibition (see below) premiering this month at the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Commissioned by Lloyd Cotsen for his extraordinary collection, the exhibition features 36 artists who were challenged more than ten years ago by Cotsen’s longtime curator Mary Hunt Kahlenberg (d. 2011), to create a three-dimensional work that would fit into a smallish, shallow box. His current curator, Lyssa Stapleton, remarks that the project “is about challenges—asking weavers who work in two dimensions to conquer three-dimensional space, requiring artists making art on a grand scale to work in miniature, and inspiring sculptors, painters and designers to create something with fiber.” Available from the Fowler Museum, 336 pages.

 

 

Nancy Koenigsberg, September Harvest, 2008. Photo by Bruce M. White, copyright Lloyd Cotsen, 2016.

Nancy Koenigsberg, September Harvest, 2008. Photo by Bruce M. White, copyright Lloyd Cotsen, 2016.

The Box Project: Uncommon Threads

Artists in the exhibition include Ana Lisa Hedstrom, Helena Hernmarck, Ai Kijima, Gerhardt Knodel, Nancy Koenigsberg, Cynthia Schira, and Richard Tuttle. In his essay for the exhibition catalog, Bruce Pepich (Racine Art Museum) notes that Nancy Koenigsberg’s piece “relates to her work at the time that suggested an interest in, and also a departure from, basketry techniques and forms applied to the unconventional use of metal wire.” Considering the project as a whole, Pepich concludes: “The degree of thoughtful analysis that went into each Box Project is indicative of the ongoing positive influence of these artists on the fiber field at large.” The exhibition opens at the Fowler Museum on September 11 and continues until January 15. It will travel in spring of 2017 to the Racine Art Museum, and then to The Textile Museum at George Washington University in autumn of 2017.

http://www.fowler.ucla.edu

 

 

Allyson Allen, African Ladies, 1998, 92 x 89 in.

Allyson Allen, African Ladies, 1998, 92 x 89 in.

 

African-American Quilts and Textiles by Allyson Allen

With sixty quilts on view, Allyson Allen’s solo show at the African American Performing Arts Center in Albuquerque presents a broad array of her talents as a quilt artist, ranging from 1992 until this year. She creates quilts in traditional as well as contemporary styles in a cross-disciplinary approach to the medium. Allen refers to her works, mostly consisting of narratives and story telling, as “information art.” Many of these quilts include text highlighting various events in Black history. The exhibition can be seen through October 22.

http://kuumba421.wix.com/quilts421

 http://www.aapacnm.org

 

 

 

Judith Content, installation photo of Labyrinth, 2015, 64 x 81 in. At the near left is a work by Jill Norfords Clark (U.S.A.); the piece to the far left is by Quiglin Wu (China).

Judith Content, installation photo of Labyrinth, 2015, 64 x 81 in. At the near left is a work by Jill Norfords Clark (U.S.A.); the piece to the far left is by Quiglin Wu (China).

Exterior of The Central Museum of Textiles (Lodz, Poland). Photo by Judith Content.

Exterior of The Central Museum of Textiles (Lodz, Poland). Photo by Judith Content.

15th International Triennial of Tapestry (Lodz, Poland)

California artist Judith Content is among the five participants from the U.S. invited to exhibit in the 15th International Triennial. She created a piece specifically for the exhibition (see image) and attended the opening celebrations. 136 Artists from 46 countries are participating in the main exhibition. In a related exhibition at the museum, the Young Textile Art Triennial introduces the fiber and textile works of students in 21 art schools from Bucharest, Chicago, Helsinki, Prague, Tokyo, and several other cities. Closing on October 30.

http://muzeumwlokiennictwa.pl/1-triennale/1/534,15th-international-triennial-of-tapestry-lodz-2016.html?lang=en

 

 

 

 

VALYA, detail of Speechless Scroll II, 2012, which includes industrial felt and newsprint paper among the materials.

VALYA, detail of Speechless Scroll II, 2012, which includes industrial felt and newsprint paper among the materials.

California Fibers: Eclectic Threads

The Oceanside Museum of Art (Oceanside, California) is hosting California Fibers: Eclectic Threads, which includes two- and three-dimensional pieces in a wide range of materials: silk, bamboo, wool, wire, paper, etc. California Fibers, founded in 1970, supports artistic growth and professional advancement for contemporary Southern California fiber artists. The Ukrainian-American artist VALYA has a piece in the exhibition addressing the “human hunger to know of one’s origins, the concept of identity, and the visual exploration of memory.” This exhibition runs through October 9.

http://oma-online.org/exhibitions-oma/

 

 


AUGUST 2016

August 2nd, 2016

Book of the Month

FAbric Manipulation

While my blog does not feature any how-to books with patterns, I am happy to recommend well-illustrated publications with information on new techniques and processes. Ruth Singer’s 2013 Fabric Manipulation (published by David & Charles, UK) teaches pleating, gathering, stuffing, cording, layering, and more–techniques that can be applied to fiber art in general as well as to fashion and costume.  The author has degrees in both Medieval Studies and Museum Studies, and her work has been inspired by hands-on experience with vintage and historic clothing. Her 150 techniques in this book will get your creative juices flowing, and no special machinery is required.

http://www.ruthsinger.com

 

 

 

Natasha Kempers-Cullen, Mandala Meditation (2004), 57.5 x 36 in.

Natasha Kempers-Cullen, Mandala Meditation (2004), 57.5 x 36 in.

Reflections: Old Work and New

Those of you lucky enough to escape to Maine from the summer heat have the chance to see a solo show by Natasha Kempers-Cullen, quilt and collage artist, at the Fellowship Gallery in the Unitarian Universalist Church in Brunswick (1 Middle Street).  I have admired this artist’s work in textile art since the 1990s for her love of color and graphic sensibility. The exhibition is open until August 12. Textile and fiber art are flourishing in Maine, with statewide support from Maine Fiberarts and a vibrant network of makers.

http://www.folio.mainefiberarts.org/kempers-cullen

 

 

Ann Liddle, Waters (detail).

Ann Liddle, Waters (detail).

Fiber National 2016

Jennifer Lindsay juried Fiber National 2016 for the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Virginia (southwest of Alexandria, near the Potomac River).   She selected approximately 50 pieces by 34 artists, fewer than one-third of the number of works submitted. Techniques include quilting, weaving, felting, crochet, beading, embroidery, basketry, crochet, as well as digital and screen-printing on fabric.  The juror comments, “The works on view demonstrate these artists’ mastery of form, material, content, process, and design, and reveal highly personal, imaginative, historically thoughtful, and courageous approaches to fiber’s immense transformational and healing power.” This show, well worth a trip if you are in the D.C. area, runs through August 21.

 

 

 

 

Texas Quilt Museum, in La Grange.

Texas Quilt Museum, in La Grange.

On the Fringe: Innovative Art Quilts from California and Nevada

This exhibition of twenty art quilts exemplifies some of the more interesting work being done today by members of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) who belong to the northern California and northern Nevada regional group. Premiering in summer of 2016 at the Texas Quilt Museum, On the Fringe features the unique character of the West Coast in a variety of diverse materials, subjects, and surface design techniques. Connotations of “fringe” include areas on and near the Pacific Rim, looking toward Asia; the geography and topography of California and Nevada as western limits of the continental United States; and, artists pushing the boundaries of their medium, in the spirit of “fringe” festivals worldwide where art challenges and provokes the imagination.  I had the pleasure of jurying this exhibition as Curator of the Texas Quilt Museum. The quilts can be viewed until September 25.

 http://www.texasquiltmuseum.org

JULY 2016

July 2nd, 2016

Book of the Month

Juliet Martin, I Would Wear That and Other Lies (front cover), 2015.

Juliet Martin, I Would Wear That and Other Lies (front cover), 2015.

 

Having found the precision of traditional weaving impossible for me many years ago, I would buy this book for the title alone.  Martin published it herself via CreateSpace (available through Amazon.com), the design firm that I have used since 2010 to produce a dozen publications. The quality of illustrations is fairly good, and the current price of $17 is reasonable enough for 116 pages of inspiration and entertainment.  This author applies the Japanese philosophy of SAORI, a Zen-like immersion in the creative effort of free-style weaving, achieving a handmade look in textiles. Her subtitle for the book is “A Self-absorbed Study in Non-functional Weaving.”

 http://www.julietmartin.com

 

Elizabeth Elliott, TriangleSex 1.0, 2012.

Elizabeth Elliott, TriangleSex 1.0, 2012.

 Quilts Derived from Computer Coding

Canadian textile artist Libs Elliott has a small but intense solo show at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum (Lincoln, Nebraska). Elliott explores the possibilities of intersections between contemporary technology and handmade craft.  For her quilts in the exhibition Quilting with Code, she collaborated with technologist Joshua David, using the “Processing” programming language for her code framework. After deconstructing her composition to select fabrics for each quilt, Elliott executes each piece with exacting handwork.  On view until July 17.

http://www.libselliott.com

 

Yoshiko Koshi, Burning Sky (detail), quilted textile. 12th Quilt Japan (National Quilt Museum).

Yoshiko Koshi, Burning Sky (detail), quilted textile. 12th Quilt Japan (National Quilt Museum).

 National Quilt Museum Hosts the 12th Quilt Japan

Located in Paducah, Kentucky, the National Quilt Museum is exhibiting 32 quilts selected from more than 300 submissions by members of the Japan Handicraft Instructors’ Association residing in Japan and in countries along the Pacific Rim. Of the 12,000 members of the Association, 6000 identify as quilters, and this group organizes the world-famous Quilt Nihon Exhibition every two years.  12th Quilt Japan closes on August 9.

 http://www.quiltmuseum.org

Mark Adams, Flight of Angels, woven 1962 by M. and Mme. Paul Avignon, wool and cotton tapestry. Creative Crossroads (Denver Art Museum).

Mark Adams, Flight of Angels, woven 1962 by M. and Mme. Paul Avignon, wool and cotton tapestry. Creative Crossroads (Denver Art Museum).

Creative Crossroads: The Art of Tapestry at the Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum has a reputation as being supportive of textile art, and this exhibition of some two dozen works reflects the curatorial expertise of the department of Textile Art & Fashion, a collection boasting more than 5000 pieces.  This panoply of tapestry ranges from historical European atelier-produced hangings to modern collaborations to artists who weave their own designs. The exhibition includes several sculptural works, as well as smaller tapestries on display in the Nancy Lake Benson Thread Studio.  Through August 7.

 http://www.denverartmuseum.org

Beaded neck ornament, South Africa, Zulu, 19th to early 20th century. Worlds on a String (Textile Museum of Canada).

Beaded neck ornament, South Africa, Zulu, 19th to early 20th century. Worlds on a String (Textile Museum of Canada).

 More Than 100 Beaded Objects at the Textile Museum of Canada

Worlds On a String: Beads, Journeys, Inspirations highlights “the significance of glass beads in the ongoing reimagination and reinvention of global traditions.”  Summarizing  the history of global trade in which beads have served as currency and provided identity and status in addition to ornamentation, this exhibition provides a comprehensive picture of how these tiny objects have helped to shape material culture and creative imagination. The show closes on October 23.

Many of you may not recognize the source of the exhibition’s title, a 1932 song titled “I’ve Got the World on a String” introduced by Cab Calloway and Bing Crosby.  Here is Frank Sinatra singing it, giving you a chance to move around for a few minutes:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cPG1t52GgI

 http://www.textilemuseum.ca

What about YOUR work? Don’t forget to send notices of any major solo exhibitions and publications by July 25  for possible mention in the next blog. My interests include all contemporary artwork in textile and fiber. Email: sandrasider@mac.com

JUNE 2016

May 30th, 2016

Book of the Month

Front cover of Dave Hickey, The Invisible Dragon, Revised and Expanded: Essays on Beauty (University of Chicago Press, 2009).

Front cover of Dave Hickey, The Invisible Dragon, Revised and Expanded: Essays on Beauty (University of Chicago Press, 2009).

 

In 1993, Dave Hickey published The Invisible Dragon, a virtual slap in the face regarding much of contemporary art criticism. This expanded edition includes a lengthy essay “American Beauty” (pp. 69-119). While not directly concerning textiles, his thesis on the efficacy of beauty in art, on his belief in art as “a ravishing and poignant visual experience,” validates this unabashedly object-based medium. Hickey concludes, “… the utility of beauty as a legitimate recourse resides in its ability to locate us as physical creatures in a live, ethical relationship with other human beings in the physical world.”

[Caution: Some readers may find a few of the images in this book offensive.]

 

  

 

 

 

Sublime Lace Paintings by Mark Flood

Mike Flood, detail of Drama in the Forest (2016).

Mike Flood, detail of Drama in the Forest (2016).

Mike Flood, partial view of Drama in the Forest (2016).

Mike Flood, partial view of Drama in the Forest (2016).

 

The reason why Dave Hickey’s book is featured in my June blog is that his Essays on Beauty influenced Houston artist Mark Flood, best known for his punk rock sensibility, to begin creating lace paintings more than a dozen years ago. I happened to be in Houston recently and walked into the Contemporary Art Museum without any idea of what was on view. Monumental lace paintings, achingly beautiful, took my breath away. The canvases, thick with pigment, hold patterns and imagery from lace peeled away after Flood has painted the surface. His process seems to be like a dance, where one false step could ruin the entire piece. The effect is both ethereal and powerful, an unbeatable combination in visual art. On view until August 7.

http://camh.org

 

 

 

 

Deborah Weir, partial view of the Chroma series (2012-2015), eight panels, each 80 inches high.

Deborah Weir, partial view of the Chroma series (2012-2015), eight panels, each 80 inches high.

 Deborah Weir Explores Color in the Chroma Series

Deborah Weir has taught deaf students for more than thirty years, making her extremely aware of the problems in translating sensory experiences. In her new series Chroma, the artist investigates color in her mixed-media textile art via weaving, printing, painting, dyeing, hand stitching, burning, foiling, applique, lamination, etc., on materials ranging from leather to bamboo coffee filters, from antique lace to plastic. Weir prefers to work in a series extending over several years, developing different aspects of her theme. Chroma, along with other textile pieces by Weir, can be seen until June 29 at the Alpert Jewish Community Center in Long Beach, California.

http://www.deborahweir.net

 

 

 

Star Wars and the Power of Costume

If you are near New York City, the current Star Wars exhibition would be an entertaining diversion for anyone interested in costume and textiles. With seventy costumes hand-crafted for the first seven Star Wars films, the show emphasizes how artists creating the costumes followed George Lucas’s vision to build each character for his narrative. What would Darth Vader be without his mask, Obi-Wan without his hooded robe, Queen Amidala without her regal gowns? And let’s not forget Princess Leia’s infamous bikini. They all can be better understood and appreciated at Discovery Times Square through September 5.

http://www.discoverytsx.com/star-wars-exhibition

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

MAY 2016

April 30th, 2016

[All images copyright by the individual artists.]

Front cover of Beverly Gordon, Textiles, The Whole Story: Uses, Meanings, Significance (New York: Thames & Hudson, 2014 paperback). Detail of printed Kanga cloth, Tanzania, 2002. Collection of the British Museum.

Front cover of Beverly Gordon, Textiles, The Whole Story: Uses, Meanings, Significance (New York: Thames & Hudson, 2014 paperback). Detail of printed Kanga cloth, Tanzania, 2002. Collection of the British Museum.

 

Book of the Month

First published in 2011 by Thames & Hudson, Textiles, The Whole Story: Uses, Meanings, Significance appeared in paperback in 2014. The author is Beverly Gordon, Professor Emerita from the Design Studies Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a past president of the Textile Society of America. Spanning centuries and many cultures worldwide, this comprehensive publication includes chapters on aesthetics, the social meaning of textiles, and the spiritual significance of cloth. 304 pages, with 318 of the 380 illustrations in color—an inspiration to any artist working with fiber and textiles.

 

 

Susan Lenz installing Threads: Gathering My Thoughts (2016) at the Mesa Arts Center near Phoenix, Arizona.

Susan Lenz installing Threads: Gathering My Thoughts (2016) at the Mesa Arts Center near Phoenix, Arizona.

 

Detail of Susan Lenz, Threads: Gathering My Thoughts (2016).

Detail of Susan Lenz, Threads: Gathering My Thoughts (2016).

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Solo Exhibition of Fiber Art by Susan Lenz

Inspired by grassroots yarn bombings, South Carolina artist Susan Lenz turns her attention to yarn, the most basic material of fiber art. Threads: Gathering My Thoughts is a site-specific installation inviting visitors to explore a labyrinth of threads and baskets that hang from the ceiling and dominate the space. Associations and entanglements created in the installation visually represent the complexity of the human mind. The exhibition runs until August 7 at the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, Arizona. This fiber-friendly venue is known for exhibiting innovative work.

http://mesaartscenter.com/index.php/museum/art/exhibits/threads-gathering-my-thoughts

Jette Clover, Metropolis 1 (2013), 45 x 44 in. Photo by Pol Leemans.

Jette Clover, Metropolis 1 (2013), 45 x 44 in. Photo by Pol Leemans.

Conversations with the Makers

Glenys Mann, who runs the workshop organization Fiber Arts Australia, has posted interviews with 42 fiber and textile artists internationally, inquiring into their aesthetics and ways of making. We learn, for example, that Belgian quilt artist Jette Clover “was interested in art, and I was weaving and spinning and knitting early on, but I always wanted to be a writer. I got a degree in journalism and worked at a daily newspaper in Copenhagen, and a lot of my writing was about art and artists. Later when I moved to America, I got a degree in art history and took studio classes in painting and printmaking and became more and more interested in surface design and fabric.” I find it fascinating to discover how various artists arrive at textiles as their medium, and to learn about their studios and work habits.

http://conversations.jigsy.com

 

Charlotte Ziebarth, Half Moon Bay detail (2015), overall size 35 x 51 in., one of the quilts in Fiberart International 2016. Photo by Ken Sanville.

Charlotte Ziebarth, Half Moon Bay detail (2015), overall size 35 x 51 in., one of the quilts in Fiberart International 2016. Photo by Ken Sanville.

    Fiberart International 2016

This 22nd iteration of Fiberart International was juried by Chunghie Lee, Arturo Alonzo Sandoval, and Tali Weinberg, and can be viewed until August 21 in two venues, the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and the Society for Contemporary Craft. Featuring a wide range of approaches to fiber, including sculptural pieces, this exhibition presents stimulating and provocative works from artists worldwide. The opening reception is May 6, 5:30-8:00 p.m., with free shuttles between the two venues.

http://fiberartinternational.org/

Quilts in the CQA show pictured left to right are Cavern by Bonnie Bucknam, River of Light by Janet Kurjan, and Tumble by Bonnie Bucknam.

Quilts in the CQA show pictured left to right are Cavern by Bonnie Bucknam, River of Light by Janet Kurjan, and Tumble by Bonnie Bucknam.

Contemporary Quilt Art Association’s 30th Anniversary

Studio art quilts are alive and well in the State of Washington! This year the Contemporary Quilt Art Association celebrates its 30th anniversary with a stellar exhibition of 69 works by Washington makers. Cutting Edge: Art Quilts of Washington will be open until August 21 at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma. I had the good fortune to view this exhibition last month, noting that Washington now includes Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry among its art quilt luminaries since she recently moved there.

To view images of all 69 quilts in the show:

http://www.contemporaryquiltart.com/ExhibitFiles/CuttingEdge.html 

Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry, Watch Master (2008), 53.5 x 53.5 in., in the CQA show.

Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry, Watch Master (2008), 53.5 x 53.5 in., in the CQA show.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creativity Workshop in September

Spaces are still open for my week-long Creativity Workshop: Art Quilt Inspirations, September 25-29, 2016. For more information and to register:

Stony Point Center

Please note that while Stony Point is an interfaith center, there is no religious component to my workshop. The ambiance is quiet and idyllic, and the new Art Center is fabulous, with abundant space, light, and power outlets. All food served is organic, much of it grown in the Stony Point gardens.

 

 

 

APRIL 2016

March 31st, 2016
Patricia Malarcher, ed. Wings of a Ragtag Quest (2015, Sans Serif Studio), a limited edition of 150 copies on the work of Neil Sonnemann.

Patricia Malarcher, ed. Wings of a Ragtag Quest (2015, Sans Serif Studio), a limited edition of 150 copies on the work of Neil Sonnemann.

Book of the Month

Patricia Malarcher, former editor of the Surface Design Journal, has dedicated several years to editing a book by fiber artist Neil Battle Booker Sonnemann (d. 2004), an important mentor for Martin Puryear and other contemporary artists.  During the final three decades of her life, Sonnemann traveled the world to collect and study appliqued textiles.  Her collection of 500 examples from 30 countries is housed at the Gregg Museum at North Carolina State University, Raleigh. Titled Wings of a Ragtag Quest and published in 2015 by Sans Serif Studio, this limited edition of 150 copies retails for $250. I include it here because Sonnemann, who was a professor on the art faculty of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., deserves to have her legacy recognized by libraries at universities with textile programs.  While the book’s cost is prohibitive for most book lovers, I hope that you might recommend the publication to a librarian for acquisition.

http://www.vampandtramp.com/finepress/s/Nell-Battle-Booker-Sonnemann.html#wings

 

Sidnee Snell with her quilt Deterioration Interrupted (2015).

Sidnee Snell with her quilt Deterioration Interrupted (2015).

Sidnee Snell at the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center

Portland artist Sidnee Snell currently has a solo exhibition of more than two dozen quilts at the historic Latimer Quilt and Textile Center in Tillamook, Oregon. She developed her signature style by interpreting her photographs in layers of stitched shapes. The visual effect suggests densely textured impressionist watercolors as Snell deftly manipulates illusions of light and depth. The exhibition closes on April 30, and the artist chose not to define this grouping of her work with a formal title.

http://www.sidneesnell.com/about/

 

Patricia Montgomery, story quilt for Jo Ann Gibson Robinson concerning the Montgomery bus boycott that lasted for more than a year.

Patricia Montgomery, story quilt for Jo Ann Gibson Robinson concerning the Montgomery bus boycott that lasted for more than a year.

Patricia Montgomery, story quilt for Amelia Boynton Robinson depicting the Pettus Bridge in Selma.

Patricia Montgomery, story quilt for Amelia Boynton Robinson depicting the Pettus Bridge in Selma.

Patricia Montgomery Celebrates Heroines of the Civil Rights Movement

Until April 30, the The Brick House Gallery & Art Complex in Sacramento is featuring Oakland artist Patricia A. Montgomery’s tribute to mostly unsung Civil Rights heroines. (I saw the show last month in Oakland and found it extremely powerful!) Through 20 story quilts created in women’s swing coats tailored by her, the artist used photographic processes, pastels, and various quilting and stitching techniques to carry the narratives. This exhibition by a master quilter emphasizes the historic bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, where Rosa Parks refused to relinquish her seat in December of 1955. The African-American women recognized include Jo Ann Gibson Robinson, organizer of the Montgomery bus boycott supported by Martin Luther King, Jr.; Diane Nash, a Fisk University student who led the sit-in at the lunch counter in the Nashville Woolworth’s; and, Amelia Boynton Robinson, who was viciously beaten by police during the first attempt to march in protest for voting rights across the Pettus Bridge. Patricia Montgomery explains why her canvas is the swing coat: “When I was young one of my favorite coats was the swing coat. Every time I would sew an outfit, I would create a version of a swing coat.  When I designed this project, the swing coat offered a lot more surface to use to tell each woman’s story. Also, women wore this type of coat during the Civil Rights period. When the coats are grouped together in the gallery space, they represent the spirit and energy of the women celebrated.” Montgomery produced this exhibition with a Creative Work Fund Grant, a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund supported by generous grants from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the James Irvine Foundation.

http://www.sacramento365.com/org/detail/6803/The_Brickhouse_Gallery

Marion Coleman and Joyce Gordon Gallery curator Eric Murphy in front of Hands Up Don't Shoot by Jackie Houston. To the right can be seen part of Graffiti Art by Frances Porter.

Marion Coleman and Joyce Gordon Gallery curator Eric Murphy in front of Hands Up Don’t Shoot by Jackie Houston. To the right can be seen part of Graffiti Art by Frances Porter.

Selections from the African-American quilt exhibition at Laney College in Oakland (left to right): Carrots & Friends by Lovenia Fuston, Oakland Nights by Barbara Fuston (they are mother and daughter), Sunburst Beauty by Benita Jones, and Trail Blazers by Marion Coleman.

Selections from the African-American quilt exhibition at Laney College in Oakland (left to right): Carrots & Friends by Lovenia Fuston, Oakland Nights by Barbara Fuston (they are mother and daughter), Sunburst Beauty by Benita Jones, and Trail Blazers by Marion Coleman.

Quilts Galore Around Oakland

Organized by the African American Quilt Guild of Oakland and managed by quilt artist Marion Coleman, Neighborhoods Coming Together: Quilts Around Oakland is bringing dozens of contemporary quilts to at least six venues around Oakland, California. Many of the pieces relate to Oakland as a place and as a state of mind. For the month of April the Joyce Gordon Gallery downtown offers art quilts by fifteen makers, with the works on facing walls, resulting in a stimulating visual dialogue of imagery and themes. Laney College, also in downtown Oakland, has an exhibition of quilts from members of the African American Quilt Guild hanging from the balconies of the library, along with a group of community quilts at eye level. These displays provide such a lively environment for library visitors that the show has been extended through April. Finally, The Sew n Sews Present displays 24 quilts on the support piers and walls of the Alameda County Law Library in downtown Oakland (first floor), an appealing exhibition of work by members of the African American Quilt Guild on view until April 25.

http://joycegordongallery.com/

http://aclawlib.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/those-sew-n-sews-quilts-from-oakland-artists-coming-to-acll/

 Oakland Quilt Project http://www.aaqgo.org/AAQGO/?page_id=756

 

Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade, March Island (triptych, 1986), and Michael James, Metamorphosis (1983). On view until June 19 at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Courtesy of the Baltimore Museum of Art. Photo by Mitro Hood.

Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade, March Island (triptych, 1986), and Michael James, Metamorphosis (1983). On view until June 19 at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Courtesy of the Baltimore Museum of Art. Photo by Mitro Hood.

New Arrivals: Art Quilts at the Baltimore Museum of Art

This small but exquisite exhibition presents five recent acquisitions in the medium of art quilts at the Baltimore Museum of Art. The exhibition title plays on the idea of quilts being relatively new arrivals in the art world as well as being new acquisitions. Michael James, Adrien Rothschild, Elizabeth Scott, Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade, and Pamela Studstill have works in the show.   On May 14 at 2:00, quilt scholar Bob Shaw will offer a free public lecture at the Museum on “A History of the Art Quilt.” This exhibition will run until June 19, and admission is free. I find it exciting that a major museum is increasing its holdings in contemporary textile art!

https://artbma.org/exhibitions/2015-new-arrivals-art-quilts

What about YOUR work? Don’t forget to send notices of any major solo exhibitions and publications for possible mention in my next blog. This month is all about quilts, but my interests include all contemporary artwork in textile and fiber.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MARCH 2016

February 28th, 2016

Book of the Month

Betsy Greer, ed. Craftivism: The Art of Craft and Activism (2014, Arsenal Pulp Press, Vancouver). Front cover, a textile trompe l’oeil, with the image actually printed on a flat sheet of heavy paper.

Betsy Greer, ed. Craftivism: The Art of Craft and Activism (2014, Arsenal Pulp Press, Vancouver). Front cover, a textile trompe l’oeil, with the image actually printed on a flat sheet of heavy paper.

 

 

Craftivism: The Art of Craft and Activism edited by Betsy Greer describes more textile and fiber pieces than any other medium. If you want to understand the lifelong impact that a communal art/craft project can have, just read the essay in this excellent book by L.J. Roberts on her experience of walking through the NAMES Quilt on the Washington mall when she was a young teenager. Namita Gupta Wiggers sums up the power (and yes, potential fun) of Craftivism on the back cover: “Betsy Greer reminds us that revolutions are small before they are grand. In the spirit of craftivism, she gives voice to others, sharing their stories to demonstrate how collaborations—as much as action and listening—can effect change.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lesley Turner, Forest Reliquary [top half], 2014 (28 x 16 in.), vintage tablecloth, earth dyes, leaf skeletons, deer bones, maple samaras, fern spores; earth dyeing, spore printing, hand stitching.

Lesley Turner, Forest Reliquary [top half], 2014 (28 x 16 in.), vintage tablecloth, earth dyes, leaf skeletons, deer bones, maple samaras, fern spores; earth dyeing, spore printing, hand stitching.

Surface Design Association Show Touring Canada

Edge of the Forest features textile art by 53 Canadian makers working in printing, felting, quilting, weaving, various types of hand stitching, and other techniques. As the artists engaged with the sylvan theme of the show, they produced textured, colorful works resplendent with images and intimations of leaves, branches, bark, twigs, flowers, etc. The next venue to host the exhibition is located in Victoria, BC.

http://edgeoftheforest.ca/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heather Debreuil, Open Window – Cesis, 2014 (24 x 18 in.), hand-dyed batik, cotton, Misty Fuse. Inspired by a photograph by Lauma Cenne.

Heather Debreuil, Open Window – Cesis, 2014 (24 x 18 in.), hand-dyed batik, cotton, Misty Fuse. Inspired by a photograph by Lauma Cenne.

 

Heather Debreuil Solo Exhibition

This seems to be a month for Canadian artists! Currently on view at AOE Gallery in the Shenkman Arts Center, Ottawa, is Cityscapes: Collages in Cloth and Stitch by Heather Debreuil. Her very graphic imagery interprets ordinary urban scenes, imbuing them with an iconic presence via her own hand-dyed cotton and bold stitching. The show, presenting 47 pieces, runs through March 13.

www.artsoe.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ebony G. Patterson, installation view from Dead Treez at the Museum of Arts and Design. Photo: Butcher Walsh © Museum of Arts and Design.

Ebony G. Patterson, installation view from Dead Treez at the Museum of Arts and Design. Photo: Butcher Walsh © Museum of Arts and Design.

 Ebony G. Patterson at the Museum of Art and Design, New York

Patterson is one of my favorite artists in the infamous Saatchi collection, working with painting, mixed-media installations, and jacquard photo tapestries. She lives in Jamaica, her place of birth, and Kentucky, teaching painting at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Her ironically ornamental images and objects at MAD until April 3 concern gender, race, and inequality. This exciting artist is only in her mid-thirties and I’m very curious to see how her work evolves. Patterson’s exhibition Dead Treez is her first solo show at a museum in New York City.

http://madmuseum.org/exhibition/ebony-g-patterson-dead-treez

 

 

 

 

Cover (detail), Afghanistan, 1900-1950 (silk, wool, cotton; patchwork). The Textile Museum, Washington, D.C. Gift of James W. Lankton.

Cover (detail), Afghanistan, 1900-1950 (silk, wool, cotton; patchwork). The Textile Museum, Washington, D.C. Gift of James W. Lankton.

 Central Asian Textiles on View in Washington, D.C.

One year ago, The Textile Museum’s new building at George Washington University opened, with an impressive 53,000 square feet of galleries. On view until May 29 is a monumental exhibition Old Patterns, New Order: Socialist Realism in Central Asia. While the title may seem a bit dry, the textiles are eye-popping and the museum web site provides an informative gallery guide. (If only all museums could offer their gallery guides online!) Soviet influence in central Asia introduced modernist ideals, and the exhibition grapples with the tension between these ideals and the cultural identity of textile producers.

http://museum.gwu.edu/old-patterns

 

Creativity Workshop: Art Quilt Inspirations

The rumor is correct! I am finally teaching a week-long workshop based on ten years of critique experience. Coming in late September, Creativity Workshop: Art Quilt Inspirations, with a maximum of only twelve participants. For more information and to register for my workshop, go to:

Stony Point Center

 

 

 

FEBRUARY 2016

January 28th, 2016

Welcome to my blog featuring textile and fiber art

Front cover of Textile Messages, Dispatches From the World of E-Textiles and Education (2013, vol. 62 in the series The New Literacies and Digital Epistemologies, from Peter Lang).

Front cover of Textile Messages, Dispatches From the World of E-Textiles and Education (2013, vol. 62 in the series The New Literacies and Digital Epistemologies, from Peter Lang).

 

Book of the Month

My recommendation for book of the month is a bit unusual, a selection of essays titled Textile Messages, Dispatches From the World of E-Textiles and Education (2013). Though electronic textiles can be fragile and somewhat difficult to construct, they look like tremendous fun. The text consists of an introduction and fifteen essays divided into three sections: E-Textile Construction Kits; Learning and Designing with E-Textiles; and, E-Textile Cultures and Communities. While more illustrations would have been helpful, the book does include a bibliography and index.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earth Stories installation view, textile and fiber works by members of Studio Art Quilt Associates. The quilts pictured here (L to R) are by Alicia Merrett, Annie Helmericks-Louder, and Marilyn M. Prucka.

Earth Stories installation view, textile and fiber works by members of Studio Art Quilt Associates. The quilts pictured here (L to R) are by Alicia Merrett, Annie Helmericks-Louder, and Marilyn M. Prucka.

 

Earth Stories

In January I was lucky enough to view the SAQA Earth Stories exhibition at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles (San Jose, California). Carolyn L. Mazloomi, who juried the show, praises the “visual strength, degree of technical skill, and intellectually interesting storylines” in the 24 quilts on view. This ambitious exhibition of textile art addresses environmental issues, including the need to increase sustainability.

http://sjquiltmuseum.org/exhibitions.html

 

 

 

 

 

Carol Ann Waugh, 2014 (title of the quilt), 50 x 70 in., in her solo exhibition of five pieces from the artist’s series Conversations: Significant Years installed at aBuzz Gallery in Denver. This quilt was the first one completed of ten pieces in this series, which goes back to 1948, the year of her birth.

Carol Ann Waugh, 2014 (title of the quilt), 50 x 70 in., in her solo exhibition of five pieces from the artist’s series Conversations: Significant Years installed at aBuzz Gallery in Denver. This quilt was the first one completed of ten pieces in this series, which goes back to 1948, the year of her birth.

Solo Exhibition by Carol Ann Waugh

During the past year, Colorado artist Carol Ann Waugh has created a fascinating series, Conversations: Significant Years, consisting of words and phrases distinguished by color and tonality within a strict grid format. In the context of a gallery show, the concept of quilts titled by years (1963, 1968, 2014, etc.) prompted numerous conversations and reminiscences by viewers, completing the artist’s purpose in an interactive manner. Waugh explains her Conversations series for my blog readers: “The challenge of this series was doing the research and then selecting specific words and phrases that resonated with my views and interests today—things that happened in the past that had a direct influence on my life or my thinking.  There is a strong thread throughout of women’s issues, as well as politics, science, inventions, literature, war, economics, and pop culture.” The exhibition is on view at aBuzz Gallery (founded by Waugh) in Denver until March 19.

http://www.abuzzgallery.com/

Carol Ann Waugh, detail of 2014.

Carol Ann Waugh, detail of 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solo Exhibition by Erma Martin Yost

Noho M55 Gallery (New York City) presents Felted Gardens, recent work by Erma Martin Yost from February 16 – March 5. Yost creates a language of symbolic forms inspired by nature. Her Felted Gardens series focuses on the repeating patterns of planting, cultivating, harvesting–then dormancy and rejuvenation. The artist evokes private worlds containing a sense of place, solitude, and contemplation. “Because of their quiet liveliness, Erma Martin Yost’s multi-layered fabric compositions almost seem to need to be watched rather than looked at. Like a glimpse of a forest out a window, or of a garden behind a gate, they play with geometric pattern against a kind of botanical profusion, and repay continual re-inspection, as nuances reveal themselves” (excerpted from an essay by Lois Martin, no relation to the artist).

http://www.ermamartinyost.com

Erma Martin Yost, Seedlings, 12 x 12 x 2.5 in. (2016), in her Felted Gardens series.

Erma Martin Yost, Seedlings, 12 x 12 x 2.5 in. (2016), in her Felted Gardens series.

 

 

Royal Hawaiian Featherwork

Until February 28, the De Young in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, is presenting a remarkable exhibition, Royal Hawaiian Featherwork, of some 75 pieces. I was amazed by the vibrant graphic designs of items on view, intricately stitched from feathers of indigenous birds and plant fiber. Symbols of power and status, these ceremonial objects include capes, cloaks, hats, helmets, and leis.

http://deyoung.famsf.org/exhibitions

 

Cape, Hawaii, pre-1861 (feathers and fiber). Exhibited at the De Young (Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco). Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Ethnology Collection.

Cape, Hawaii, pre-1861 (feathers and fiber). Exhibited at the De Young (Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco). Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Ethnology Collection.

Feathered helmet, 1789 or earlier (feathers and fiber). Exhibited at the De Young (Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco). Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University.

Feathered helmet, 1789 or earlier (feathers and fiber). Exhibited at the De Young (Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco). Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University.

 

 

 

 

 

Quilts and Their Makers in the U.S.

For those interested in quilt history and aesthetics, you may want to register for my online lecture series beginning February 1, with registration open through February 7. Just click on the “Online Classes” tab in my blog (to the right) for more information. The only payment is via a donation to the Texas Quilt Museum (I am their curator).

This blog now has more than 600 subscribers! Because my subscribers’ group includes editors, curators, and collectors, not to mention numerous artists around the globe who truly appreciate textiles and fiber, any work mentioned here is getting some nice exposure. Also, be sure to notify me if you are planning to have a solo show anytime soon, and if you come across a recent book that our readers might find useful: sandrasider@mac.com