Wednesday, August 05, 2015

The 'Speaking With Threads' Exhibition

Illustration: Artwork by Mary Bero

I thought you might be interested in the 'Speaking With Threads' exhibition that is being held at the Craft Alliance Center of Art and Design, St Louis, Missouri from August 28 to October 25 2015. 

'Speaking With Threads' is an exhibition that features fiber artists that who are exploring the the overlap between contemporary art, craft, and popular culture. The artists involved are: Mary Bero, Sonya Clark, Kathy Halper, Cindy Hickok, Mark Newport, Carol Shinn, Benji Whalen.

Illustration: Artwork by Sonya Clark (photo credit: Taylor Dabney)

There is quite a lot of detailed information that has been supplied by the organisers, so rather than me trying to sum up in my own words, it might be easier to give it to you the information straight from the organisers themselves, that information is as follows:

Speaking with Threads features seven artists whose work incorporates utilitarian skills like embroidery, knitting, and sewing, and elevates them to a state of fine art. All these artists, although different in their aesthetic sensibilities and subject matter, build their work up from simple linear elements — small stitches become intricately detailed images. Curator Jane Sauer says, “I am fascinated by the end result from the accumulation of hundreds and perhaps thousands of small elements coming together to make a powerful statement. Whether diminutive or large in scale, the pieces draw the viewer to come closer and examine how the piece is constructed.”

Visitors to the exhibition can expect to see embroidery that overtakes comic book imagery, creates detailed landscapes, “tattoos” stuffed arms, and imagines what goes on after closing at a museum from Mark Newport, Kathy Halper, Benji Whalen, and Cindy Hickok, respectively. There will be vibrantly colored mixed media work by Mary Bero and photorealistic sewn images by Carol Shinn. Sonya Clark will display several pieces, including works made from human hair.

As curator Jane Sauer says, “It is my hope that this exhibit looks at the overlap between art, craft, and popular culture. I hope it is a peek at a healthy and rewarding cross fertilization.”

Illustration: Artwork by Kathy Halper

Innovations in Textiles Keynote Speaker: Jenelle Porter
Saturday, October 3, 9:30 am
Contemporary Art Museum, 3750 Washington Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63108
Jenelle Porter is the Mannion Family Senior Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Boston. Recent exhibitions include Fiber: Sculpture 1960-presentFiguring Color: Kathy Butterly, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Roy McMakin, Sue Williams, and one person exhibitions of Charline von Heyl, Mary Reid Kelley, Jeffrey Gibson, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Dianna Molzan, Christina Ramberg, Matthew Ritchie, and Arlene Shechet. Porter has written essays for catalogues and journals, as well as books on artists Charline von Heyl, Trisha Donnelly, Stephen Prina, and Matthew Ritchie. Prior to joining ICA Boston in January 2011, she was curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2005-2010), and from 1998-2001 she was curator at Artists Space in New York. She was a curatorial fellow at the Walker Art Center (1997-98) and a curatorial assistant at the Whitney Museum of American Art (1994-1997).
FREE and open to the public.

Guided Bus Tour
Saturday, October 3
Bus departs from the Contemporary Art Museum 3750 Washington Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63108
This guided bus tour stops at select galleries for artist and curator talks and includes lunch.
Cost: $45

Workshop: Finding the Magic in Disappearing Fabrics with Cindy Hickok
Friday, October 2, 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Delmar Loop Design Studio, second floor | 6640 Delmar Blvd
Learn to stitch on water-soluble fibers to create free form images made of thread with visiting artist Cindy Hickok. Participants must know how to use a sewing machine prior to joining this workshop.
$160, advance registration required.

Stitch in Verse
Thursday, October 15, 6:30 pm
Delmar Loop gallery | 6640 Delmar Blvd
This poetry reading inspired by the work in Speaking with Threads is presented by the St. Louis Poetry Center.
FREE and open to the public.

Illustration: Artwork by Cindy Hickok

Innovation in Textiles 10, a regional collaborative event, investigates contemporary fiber art. This fall, local galleries, nonprofit, and private sector arts organizations will showcase textile arts with exhibitions, guest lecturers, workshops, and programs.
Participating organizations include: Art Saint Louis; Contemporary Art Museum; Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design; Duane Reed Gallery; Edwardsville Art Center; Fontbonne University; Foundry Art Centre; Framations Art Gallery; Lillian By Design; Lillian Yahn Gallery, St. Charles County Arts Council; Meramec Contemporary Art Gallery; Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum; Missouri Fiber Artists (MOFA) at Maryville University; projects+gallery; Quilt National; The Gallery at the Regional Arts Commission; Saint Louis Art Museum; Sheldon Art Galleries; St. Charles Community College; St. Louis Artists' Guild; Sun Smith Floret Studio; The Gallery, University City Public Library; Third Degree Glass; Weavers' Guild of St. Louis; Yeyo Arts Collective/ Gya Gallery.

Illustration: Artwork by Mark Newport

Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design is a nonprofit art center dedicated to revealing the power of craft through bold programming that uncovers craft’s unique qualities, its evolving role, and its full potential for innovation. Located in the Delmar Loop and Grand Center districts of St. Louis, Missouri, Craft Alliance offers exhibitions, education classes for all skill levels, free community programs, artist residencies, and a gallery shop. Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design is funded in part by the Arts and Education Council; the Regional Arts Commission; the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; and the generous support of its members.

As with so many of these contemporary events, there is much more than just the exhibition itself, There are a number of interesting events that spin off from the main event and although attached to the ideal of the exhibition, can be seen as events in their own right.

Illustration: Artwork by Carol Shinn

Although I won't be able to attend in person, with the best intention in the world, an ocean and half a continent are still geographically in my way, I hope that some of you who are nearer can take advantage of the event. To be able to see textiles in the new contemporary light, where it now sits comfortably integrating contemporary fine art, craft, and popular culture into its essence, is something not to be missed. There is such a buzz in the contemporary creative arts world at the moment, with disciplines colliding, overlapping, integrating, producing new innovations, new tangential pathways, it has been a long time in coming, but we are indeed lucky to be able to witness this new connectivity within the creative arts and 'Speaking With Stitches'; is one manifestation of that new found confidence in creativity.

Illustration: Artwork by Benji Whalen

The exhibition will run from August 28 to October 25 2015, open Tuesday-Thursday: 1000-1700. Friday: 1000-1800, Sunday: 1100-1700 and is held at: the Craft Alliance in the Delmar Loop, 6640 Delmar Blvd 63130.

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