See Two Fiber Arts Exhibitions in Sebastopol Right Now
The Sebastopol Center for the Arts currently features not one but two fiber arts exhibitions, on view through Sept. 3, 2017, with related fiber-arts presentations on Aug. 19, 20, and 26.
On view in the Main Gallery is International Fiber Arts VIII. This juried biennial exhibition is now presented in collaboration with the Surface Design Association. What began in 2003 as a showcase for innovative work by talented regional fiber artists has evolved into an international celebration of the art form.
The work in the exhibition showcases the many facets of contemporary fiber art and includes innovative as well as traditional techniques and materials. Classic techniques such as weaving, dyeing, printing, basketry, quilting, felting, applique, and stitchery are represented along with contemporary technologies such as digital imagery, computer processes, and fiber optic lighting. Materials also range from the typical naturally sourced fibers to unusual materials such as zip ties, plastics bags, cassette tape, and tin cans.
Tradition and innovation are often combined in the same piece, as in iCan, by Teddy Milder (right). The artist printed various digital images on recycled cans and stitched then together with wire thread creating a metal quilt. Phrases beginning with “I can” weave through pictures of barbed wire, flowers, and lace, referencing the struggles and boundaries that many women face.
Out of more than 500 entries submitted, the 86 pieces selected by the jurors cover a wide range of visual ideas and forms, from traditional wall-hung tapestries to dramatic, innovative, and thought-provoking installations, sculptures, and wearable items.
“Art work was submitted from nearly every state in the U.S., and several other countries around the world,” said Catherine Devriese, the center’s visual arts director.
In keeping with that theme, a triad of international Jurors made the selections. Wendy Lugg, from Australia, is a respected artist, curator, writer, and teacher; U.S.-based, Jason Pollen is an internationally renowned artist and educator; and Eszter Bornemisza, who lives in Budapest, Hungary, creates wall-hangings, installations, and objects from discarded newspaper and cloth.
“The quality of the work submitted was at a very high level,” said juror Pollen. “We looked for a strong aesthetic, inventiveness, and originality, as well as works imbued with socially relevant themes.”
Many awards were given and the Best of Show Award went to Memory Bank, by Helle Mellemstrand (left). The artist is from Norway, and the piece is an installation consisting of bowls made from vintage wool blankets.
The second exhibition, located in Gallery III, is Korean Voices in Fiber: Translating Tradition into Contemporary Art.
Curated by Mirka Knaster and Misik Kim, this exhibition highlights the ancient heritage of fiber art in Korea as well as its vibrant, modern transformation of both traditional and unexpected techniques and materials.
The artists were asked to find something in their cultural heritage for inspiration to create a new art piece. Each contemporary piece is accompanied by an image of the traditional item that inspired the work, along with an explanation in English and Korean.
The piece Meditation, 2015, by Yoonkyung Kim, reflects on the Korean flag. Using traditional colors which are part of the flag—blue, red, yellow, white, and black—the piece was designed to expresses peacefulness and simplicity.
Handweaving in the Computer Age, with Sheila O'Hara
Saturday, August 19, 3 p.m.
A Conversation About Fiber Art Today with Carole Beadle, and five Bay Area fiber artists: Lara Myers, George-Ann Bowers, Teddy Milder, Susan Doyle, and Roz Ritter.
Sunday, August 20, 4 p.m.
Rhythm and Hues: Hand-Dyed Fabrics and Clothing from Mali, West Africa, with Cynthia LeCount Samaké.
Saturday, August 26, 4 p.m.
Details: Sebastopol Center for the Arts, 282 High St., Sebastopol, 707-829-4797