Sunday, February 12, 2012

Focus: Fiber 2011-2012 exhibit review

Review written by Susie Krage
In December, Fred and I had the opportunity to attend the opening of Focus: Fiber 2011-2012.

The main reason we made the trip was because I had a piece accepted into the exhibition. Sponsored by the Textile Art Alliance of the Cleveland Museum of Art, the exhibition was mounted at the Canton Museum, in Canton, Ohio.
Dorothy Caldwell was the juror, and she chose 52 artworks from 111 artists of the 278 submitted works.  She also gave a lecture and a workshop in the week prior to the opening.
The museum is stunning and the space allocated for the exhibition was large and had soaring ceilings. There was a quartet playing through the event, tables loaded with sweet and savory snacks and a cash bar. There were lots of people in attendance and a festive atmosphere. 
The exhibited entries were from Ohio, Michigan, New York, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. The largest number of works were from Ohio (15). But I am happy to report that Michigan stood proud with the next highest number (9). 
Worth noting was a spectacular piece by Heather Uyiie, from Langhorne, PA., It was the largest and probably the most ambitious piece over all. It was five panels hung as one work and measured a whopping 10’ high and 19’ wide. “Resurrection” was hand drawn, digitally manipulated, ink jet printed on cotton and embellished. It was colorful and crisp and whimsical. The embellishment consisted of hand sewn sequins over most of the background and beads that outlined the elements. It was overwhelming just thinking of the amount of work involved
The next largest piece, “ In a Different Light”, came from our own Xia Gao from East Lansing. Xia’s work measured 86” X 186” and speaks to her connection with Nebraska.  It was mounted on brackets that held it well away from the wall. Xia use burning incense sticks to make tiny holes in the printed buckram in a pattern completely different from the print. Light penetrating the holes cast a totally different design on the wall. 

The other Michigan exhibitors were:

Barbara Bushey of Hillsdale, MI  
“Superior Dreams I”, 5 panels, 39.5 X 66.5”
Whole cloth, hand and machine quilted silk organza and cotton, shibori dyed.


Susie Krage of Detroit, MI
“Hugs and Kisses” 86” X 186”
Polyester sheer with paper and metal leaf lamination.


June Lee of Bloomfield Hills, MI

“Who Are We”, variable dimensions
Five uniform jackets


Amy Long, Traverse City, MI
O degrees, Sizes Vary
Small felted pieces


Diane Nunez of Southfield, MI

“Siamese Twins” 81.5” X 25” x 3”
Hand dyed fabric, batting, thread, velcro, quilted assemblage

Bonnie Petersen, Houghton, MI
“Bitter Root”
Embroidery and heat transfer, silk velvet and brocades


M.E. Ware, Mount Pleasant, MI
“Power Suit for Modern Mothers”  60” X 24” X 24”
Garment-felted laundry lint over wool suit (3 years worth). Display form: plaster, cast paper, (made from grocery and to-do lists) and steel. Felting, reclaiming paper, cast paper and plastic.  

The exhibition continues through February 26, 2012. If you are in the mood for a short road trip, I encourage you to see this exhibition. While there, you might also want to check out a small but exciting gallery; Lynda Tuttle’s Art Center, at 209 6th St., NW. In Canton. Lynda’s slogan is “Empowering Lives Through the Arts”. She is an amazing woman who has helped many artists to exhibit, who otherwise may have never been known. It was a delightful time hearing about her work with many disenfranchised people. One artist in particular that she represents is Marjean May, who does amazing mixed media fiber portraits. Lynda will not bother you, but if you take the time to get her to talk about her experiences, you won’t regret it!
The Canton Museum is located:
The Canton Museum of Art
1001 Market Ave. North
Canton, OH 44702

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