I attended the opening of Fiber 2012, the bi-annual exhibit produced by FAN (Fiber Arts Network). The exhibit was curated by Susie Brandt. She is Professor of Fibers at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland. When I spoke with her, she said that curating this show was very difficult because the quality and depth of submissions was terrific.
I loved the exhibit and have to encourage you to attend if at all possible. I have liked the previous exhibits by FAN, but for me, this one is absolutely fabulous!
When you enter the gallery, you can't miss the show stopper hanging from the ceiling in the center of the room. By Elise Deringer of Tempe, Arizona, and called "Matamorphosis/a shift from one to another". The piece measures a whopping 3' X 10' X 16'. It consists of multiple cyanotype fabric tubes with sand weighted bottoms and metal caps, suspended in orderly rows in the shape of a wave. The tubes move and shift slightly as the air in the room moves. It must have been quite a feat just to get it unpacked from the crates and hung from hooks in the ceiling.
"Cycling", by Kelly Dorman of Mackinac Island, MI, is another interesting piece. Beaded botanical images on silk about the size of an artist trading card, are hung from a rotating bicycle wheel mounted on a cedar stump.
Naomi J. Falk of Williamsburg, VA, became part of her piece as she sat in a chair sewing porcelain shapes into her fabric and hand quilting. The piece was large, 30' X 40', and left her lap in a long hard and soft trail.
Xia Gao, SDA member from Lansing had another amazing piece called "Consumable". When I first saw it, it was illuminated from inside the open rectangle and glowed. I though I was looking at some kind of thin luminous marble or alabaster. On closer inspection, it was made from tea bags! Some had black tea and some white. The black tea bags were in a pattern that formed a Chinese symbol. It too moved and swayed with the air currents.
Another stunning and large work was by Andrew Hawkes of Warren, MI. He used 1,346 pieces of black hand made paper, attached to the wall with large flat headed nails. A black string was tied to each nail, pulled a distance form the wall and were gathered together onto the seat of a chair where they draped to the floor, held in place by a pair of scissors.
I could go on and on. Lois Bryant, of Anne Arbor, made fiber concrete which surrounded a piece of real concrete, It was hard to tell which was real! Beth Markal of Rochester Hills, MI, made a very colorful quilt with hand dyed, batik and commercial cotton, called "Joie de Vivre", an appropriate name.
There were many more pieces. I can't say enough about the quality and excitement of this exhibit. Don't miss it!