Lincoln, NE–Exhibition curator Katelyn Farneth, brought together a group of sixteen women artists from the mid-west to anchor a what could become the first annual FiberFest in Lincoln. Work in the exhibition features text applied to textile with embroidery (Jen Bockelman), quilting (McKenzie Phelps and Celeste Butler), and machine embroidery (Camille Hawbaker Voorhees), to point out a few. Other artists work with dimensional materials to create forms in space. All artists manipulate their chosen textile material(s) to maximize the ways color, pattern, and texture combine to express and reveal. The combination of work is beguiling, with bountiful use of color to draw in the viewer. Each artist contributed two or more works, allowing for depth in the show. The thoughtful installation of the work, with each artists’ work hung as a group, allows the viewer to spend time with each artist’s expressions.
Continuing the legacy of women driving the fiber movement, these artists boldly work in mediums once relegated to craft and breathe new life and a sense of urgency into their chosen mediums. With the #MeToo movement taking our country by storm and the threat to women’s bodily autonomy becoming more real every day, being a female artist working in mediums once considered domestic and “lesser” is both an act of defiance and celebration
Robert Mertens wrote about his impressions of the Surface Design Association 40th Anniversary Conference, Making our Mark SDA at 40. He wrote he didn’t expect to see immaterial fiber arts that center on ephemerality. Read his full text at the SDA Blog.
I was honored to be the guest editor of the summer issue and enjoyed developing content, working with the authors, staff, and editor Marci Rae McDade.
Your copy of the Summer Issue, Making our Mark: SDA at 40, is available with membership to the Surface Design Association, http://www.surfacedesign.org/
Angela Hennessy’s Untitled (floor mat) (detail) 2016, velcro dots, 42″ in diameter is featured on the front cover. Great articles and more excellent visuals inside.
Excavated Pattern, Oregon College of Arts and Crafts
At the Making our Mark conference in Portland, Oregon, August 3-6, 2017, I returned to a theme I have explored recently and installed 13 digitally cut vinyl patterns, my interpretation of Indian block-printed textiles found in Egypt. Ruth Barnes, as curator of the textile collection at Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, undertook the task of cataloguing well over 1,000 textile artifacts from the Newberry Collection dating from the 12th to the 16th century. This exceptional collection and scholarly document is the foundation for this artwork. The fragments on average are typically under 15” in length and width, yet reveal complex patterns, captured through digital tools to reintroduce them to conference attendees.