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FALL

THE VISUAL ART QUARTERLY OF ST. LOUIS

2019


Barbara Oliver Hartman, Backyard, detail (image courtesy of the artist)

CONTENTS 01 EXECUTIVE EDITOR AND CO-FOUNDER

02 PRINTING THE PASTORAL: VISIONS OF THE COUNTRYSIDE IN

18TH-CENTURY EUROPE

SARAH HERMES GRIESBACH

CREATIVE EDITOR SUKANYA MANI

SAINT LOUIS ART MUSEUM

03 THE WEAVERS’ GUILD OF ST. LOUIS

THE GALLERY AT UNIVERSITY CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY, FONTBONNE UNIVERSITY FINE ART GALLERY, AND FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF WEBSTER GROVES

COPY EDITOR HILARY HITCHCOCK

DIRECTOR OF LAYOUT AND DESIGN MAXINE WARD

PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHER RICHARD REILLY

WEB DESIGN AMY MILLER

CONTENT CONTRIBUTORS KARENA BENNETT ROMAN BEUC DAIL CHAMBERS KACEY COWDERY MILO DUKE JANE OLSON GLIDDEN OLIVA LAHS GONZALES SARAH HERMES GRIESBACH

CARRIE KEASLER GLYNIS MARY MCMANAMON JOHN NUNLEY NANCY NEWMAN RICE LEAH RUBIN RHONDA SCHRUM ADEM SIBEC NATALIE TUCKER SARAH WEINMANN

INNOVATIONS IN TEXTILES

05 FIDENCIO FIFIELD-PEREZ

CRAFT ALLIANCE CENTER OF ART + DESIGN

06 PAPER & THREAD: DREAMS ARE MADE OF THESE NORTON’S FINE ART & FRAMING

07 JAPANESE MEISEN KIMONO AND NEEDLE FESTIVAL TRIBUTES HORSLEY ARTS GALLERY

09 OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE LILLIAN YAHN GALLERY

10

2019 OCTOBER EXHIBIT

11

LAYERED HISTORIES, TWO FALL EXHIBITS

13

THREE WOMEN: VISION AND VOICE

14

ROOTED: A COMMUNITY RESPONSE TO NATURE AND URBAN LANDSCAPE

15

FUTURE TENSE 2019

17

2019 QUILT NATIONAL EXHIBIT

18

ROGUE STATES

19

SPEAKING OF FIBERS

SAGER BRAUDIS GALLERY ERICA POPP STUDIOS + GALLERY GOOD SHEPHERD ARTS CENTER

FOUNDRY ART CENTRE

CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM ST. LOUIS MARYVILLE UNIVERSITY MORTON J MAY FOUNDATION GALLERY

20 SOLAR TEMPLE

DUANE REED GALLERY

22 Front Cover: Patrick Nolan, Vibrations, detail (image courtesy of the artist and Lillian Yahn Gallery) Back Cover: Laura Saunders Kaiser, Red Bellied Residence, detail (image courtesy of the artist)

REFLECTIONS ON CLOTH: MAKING MEMORY TACTILE THE MONDAY CLUB


Laura Saunders Kaiser, The Calendar in Color, (image courtesy of the artist)

We have devoted the entirety of this special issue to the Innovations in Textiles 2019 (IT19) collaborative event taking place this season in our region. In 1995, Craft Alliance, COCA, Art Saint Louis, St. Louis Art Museum and Duane Reed Gallery joined together to schedule a series of exhibitions featuring fiber art.

We haven’t managed to include a write-up for each of the many exhibitions taking place, but we’ve provided quite a few to draw you in. Many of the IT19 exhibiting artists are giving talks and hosting participatory events for the wider public throughout autumn. Don’t miss these opportunities!

From the 5 founding venues, that collaborative has expanded to include over 40 participating regional venues. Fiber art enthusiasts from around the world will travel to St. Louis from October 3-6 to attend the Surface Design Association’s biennial conference,” Beyond the Surface. You, too, are welcome to join in this homegrown celebration and study of one of the oldest and most ubiquitous forms of visual art.

In our next issue, Winter 19/20, we return to our regular format. You are, as always, invited to participate. The theme will be “Art and Parenting” and we hope our contributors will blow that topic up to reveal angles we’d never have predicted. All the best,

Executive Editor and Co-Founder

Copy Editor

SarahHG@alltheartstl.com

HilaryH@alltheartstl.com

314.704.8878

Creative Editor


INNOVATIONS IN TEXTILES 2019 Robin Hirsch-Steinhoff, artistic director of Art Saint Louis, aptly describes Innovations in Textiles (IT) as a “giant weaving.” She explains, “It’s a city-wide collaborative fiber art event. All these different strands of people, organizations and galleries are working together on it. We have a very extensive community.”

INNOVATIONS IN TEXTILES SPECIAL ISSUE

Every four years in the fall, visual arts organizations hold fiber art shows, artist workshops, presentations, and gallery talks all over the St. Louis region, from Alton and Edwardsville, Illinois to St. Charles and Columbia, Missouri. IT also offers bus tours of the exhibitions. IT was formed in 1994 when five local arts organizations – Craft Alliance, COCA, Art Saint Louis, Duane Reed Gallery, and the Saint Louis Art Museum (SLAM) – came together to hold fiber art exhibitions. The term “fiber art” is broad and includes weaving, needlework, and basketry, along with many other techniques.

schedule to every four years. In 2015 the collective hired a part-time program coordinator to oversee future events. Three years later, IT created a website. Each venue pays a participation fee. The fees go toward paying the program coordinator, maintaining the website, purchasing ads, and organizing bus tours of the exhibitions. IT also has a finance committee, a marketing committee for advertising, and a bus tour committee. All of these are volunteer and made up of participating visual arts organizations, including commercial galleries. Some have been with IT since the beginning, whereas others have come on board more recently. “Organizations seek out IT, and IT also seeks out organizations,” says Hirsch-Steinhoff. “If we invite someone to participate in a particular season and it doesn’t work out, we want to work with them in the next season. Today we have 43 participating venues.”

“The creation of IT was a matter of timing,” says Hirsch-Steinhoff. “In the 1990s, collectors and the general public were looking at fiber art in a different way. Contemporary craft was starting to be considered art, which was different from thought in the 1970s and 1980s.”

By Sarah Weinman

The venues arrange their exhibitions in a variety of ways. Some, like Art Saint Louis, present juried shows; others, like SLAM, curate a show and invite artists to participate. The differences reflect the way each venue normally operates. This year marks a new partnership between IT and Surface Design Association, an international nonprofit organization that “promote[s] awareness and appreciation of textile-inspired art and design”, per their mission statement. The organization is holding its biennial “Beyond the Surface” conference in St. Louis from October 3-6, which features speakers, exhibitions, and student events. For more information, visit https://www.surfacedesign.org/. Innovations in Textiles 2019 runs through early November with exhibitions, workshops, and five bus tours. www.innovationsintextilesstl.org

Though ideas about fiber art have changed since then, there’s still an assumption that only female artists create it. “It’s exciting to see the general public look at an artwork and then be surprised that it was made by a man,” Hirsch-Steinhoff comments. “There’s a tremendous amount of internationally collected art made by men.” Although a number of national and local artists were focusing on fiber art in the 1990s, it was still under-recognized. The five founding arts organizations wanted to promote it. Hirsch-Steinhoff notes, “SLAM gave IT the cachet it needed to go into the museum space. The rest of the organizations had a national focus on fiber art, as well as on fiber art collectors, and we brought collectors to St. Louis for the first city-wide show.” IT isn’t a nonprofit, but a visual art collaborative made up of venues – galleries and arts organizations – that take part in the current exhibition season. They work as a team to navigate challenges and solve problems. IT was held every two years from 1995 through 2011. Because of the time and money involved, in 2011 the collective decided to change the event Fidencio Fifield-Perez, Barn Quilt, frontview, (image courtesy of the artist and Craft Alliance) 01 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM FALL 2019

INNOVATIONS IN TEXTILES SPECIAL ISSUE


PRINTING THE PASTORAL: VISIONS OF THE COUNTRYSIDE IN 18TH-CENTURY EUROPE In the sweep of advancements in culture and commerce in early modern Europe a need was recognized for improved and affordable methods for transferring figural images onto marketplace materials such as paper, textiles and ceramics. In the 1300s these processes were done by hand. Breakthroughs emerged in the 1400s with engraved copperplates for reproducing images on paper and moveable type printing presses for lettered text. Slow evolution over the following centuries occurred until the remarkable decade of the 1750s. Simultaneous advancements developed, also using copperplate printing, for high-quality image transfer, of vignettes, onto both cloth and ceramics. Printing the Pastoral: Visions of the Countryside in 18th-Century Europe at the Saint Louis Art Museum (SLAM) looks at the early industrial processes for printing on fabrics and also touches on ceramic transferware. It describes how fine art images, based on original works by 17th- and 18th-century artists were printed onto cotton fabrics, a textile class styled as toiles. To quote from the text material, “this exhibition explores how an alignment of technology, art, and industry led to a new – and now well-established – textile style.” Exhibited are 10 toile style textiles, made from 1761 to 1800 in France and England. One provides a visualization of the seven steps of toile manufacture. The show’s second feature illuminates how toile pattern designers used previously published art scenes to embellish

their fabrics. Examples of fine art-work sources are displayed two paintings, 21 prints and a sculpture. Three of the displayed textiles are coupled with the very prints used in their design. Three historical toile manufactories are identified, with fabric designers employed there, and the artworks appropriated for their designs. Many of the French fabrics displayed, were made by the famous Oberkampf Manufactory (1760 - 1843) in the town of Jouy-en-Posas. It was founded by Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf, a dyer and engraver. Initially printing on cloth using engraved wooden boards. Oberkampf quickly moved to using flat copperplates and later more efficient cylindrical rotary copperplates. The company was so successful, that it was designated a “royal manufacturer” by the king - (MarieAntoinette visited in 1781, Louis XVI in 1783 and Napoleon in 1805). Oberkamph’s cotton textiles came to be known as toile-de-Jouy the genesis of the universal generic label - toile. Many of Oberkampf’s fabrics were designed by the important French pastoral animal painter Jean-Baptiste Huet (1745-1811). Three of the textiles displayed are his designs, including the one illustrating the toile manufacturing process (shown here).

more complex. Actually the “ink” for cloth printing is not the dye, but certain viscous metal-salt based solutions called mordants. These pasty substances perform the function of fixing the dye when it is later applied, assuring image crispness, and preventing image bleeding or running. After copperplate ”printing” with the mordant fixative, the cloth is submerged into a vat of liquid dye. Coloration is only taken-on where the mordant has been laid down on the fabric by the copperplate. The cotton rejects the dye in all other areas unmarked with the fixative. The exhibit establishes the connection between a) the artfully decorated toile textiles and b) the 17th and 18th century art images employed to mark the textiles. Two visual themes employed were – rural, pastoral and farmyard scenes with cows, sheep and the attending peasant shepherds - and ornate rococo style, bucolic fette gallant and “girl on a swing” vignettes. Scenes by famous artists such as Rembrandt, Van Ruisdael, Jacques Callot, Francois Boucher, Jean Pater and Jean Fragonard are illustrated. Also, less well known, 17th century Dutch specialists in pastorals like Nicholas Berchem, Paulas Potter and Jan Both are represented. On view in Gallery 100, through Dec 1

The chief step in the placement of high resolution images onto a host cotton fabric would seem to be a simple and direct copperplate “dye-on-cloth” printing process, similar to ”ink-on-paper” printing. For toile, and other patterned fabrics, the process is

-Roman Beuc

www.slam.org

Background Image: Jean-Baptiste Huet, Quilted panel: The Activities of the Factory (Les Travaux de la Manufacture), (photo credit: image courtesy of Saint Louis Art Museum) IN REVIEW

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SAINT LOUIS ART MUSEUM


THE WEAVERS’ GUILD OF ST. LOUIS THE GALLERY AT UNIVERSITY CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY, FONTBONNE UNIVERSITY FINE ART GALLERY, AND FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF WEBSTER GROVES

INNOVATIONS IN TEXTILES SPECIAL ISSUE

Textiles have been an essential part of our human existence for thousands of years. Sadly, the hands that create textiles have been mostly underappreciated, especially in the current day, as we see mass-production and consumers driven to discard as fast as they buy. It seems impossible to change that direction, but recent years have brought new interest in handmade textiles and a new appreciation for the concept of slow cloth – something made not only by hand but with intentional creation through thoughtful exploration. Each handmade textile evokes the value of process and materials, which are equally as important as the end product. The finished piece also reflects the personal journey of each artisan whose talent and passion brought it into reality. None of this came quickly and without the challenge of first mastering a technique then using that process to explore the possibilities, labor through the challenges and create both disappointments and successes. It’s a slow, meditative process at times, and most fiber artists spend long hours spinning miles of yarns, pushing a needle through thousands of stitches, weaving yards of fabric

and physically compelling fiber to take form. It’s a necessary process for each artist because they are called to create these textiles – it expresses something deep within that forces their hands to ‘make.’ In some ways it seems like it would be a lonely journey spending long hours laboring in the studio, but many fiber artists are drawn to build communities of fellow artisans. In 1926, a weaving community was begun here in St. Louis through the initiative of a group of current and past students of weaving classes in the School of Fine Arts at Washington University. They formally established the Weavers’ Guild of St. Louis and became the second oldest such guild in the nation. The guild created by-laws and encouraged an academic approach to mastering the craft and as elevating the art form of weaving. These by-laws stated that membership was restricted to weavers only and required periodic jury of their work. Eventually, the 1980s brought an expansion of the guild’s focus to include interests well beyond weaving. Consequently, changes were made to the by-laws to relax the strict rule that full members must be weavers.

This change opened the door to membership for non-weaving artists. Now, decades later the guild continues to be enriched by a wonderfully diverse group of artists that includes novice to professional weavers and as a wealth of fiber artists exploring numerous techniques. The Weavers’ Guild of St. Louis has several events this fall that are an eloquent statement of how the guild has blended its legacy of weaving excellence with its embrace of other fiber art techniques. The guild is hosting two exhibitions plus their Annual Weavers’ Guild Sale among the events in Innovations in Textiles (IT19) The first exhibit in the Weavers Guild series for IT19 is Timeless Fibers: Tradition and Beyond. This juried exhibition, on display in The Gallery at University City Public Library, gives insight into the wide variety of interests among the guild artists. Works on display highlight weaving traditions such as tapestry, loom-controlled pattern weaving and tablet weaving as well as fiber art techniques like nuno felting, kumihimo, hand spinning, hand knitting, needle felting, hand stitching, eco printing, hand dyeing, papermaking and fiber sculpture.

Betty Neil, Serving with Panach (left), June Vaughan, Serving with Panach (center), Veronica Greene, Felted Vest (right), (all images courtesy of the artists and Weavers’ Guild) 03 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM FALL 2019

INNOVATIONS IN TEXTILES SPECIAL ISSUE


Leandra Spangler’s Grace captures a glorious moment of nature’s seasonal beauty in transition. The 12” x 12” eco-print on cotton takes added dimension through hand embroidery using silk organza with gold leaf, embroidery floss, sewing thread and palm inflorescence. There are also several art-to-wear pieces including a nuno-felted vest made by Veronica Greene by felting merino wool onto silk chiffon. The second entry in the guild’s series for IT19 is re: SURFACED, a juried exhibit that includes selected work by guild members and guest artists by invitation of our jurist, Leandra Spangler. The exhibit on display at the Fontbonne University Fine Art Gallery focuses on surface design, surface treatments and alterations. The work on display incorporates numerous elements or techniques that have significant physical or visual impact on the surface of a piece. Physical surface elements and textures are created using various fibers, fiber techniques and textural weave structures. Visual surface elements are produced through the optical effects of complex weave patterns, organic eco-printing and applications of coloration techniques using rust, tea leaves or dyes. Among the artworks on display in re: SURFACED is Memory Grove 2019 by Mandy Pedigo. Her techniques and materials included digital printing on cotton, hand-dyed linen and handwoven cloth with hand stitching and birch bark embellishments. Artist Joyce Pion brings her whimsical yet thoughtfully evocative style with her Beneath the Surface, a garment-shaped 11” x 15” wall piece that explores the wealth of worlds to be found below the Earth’s surface. Pion created the piece using felt, appliqué with embroideries, found objects and hand-painted imagery. Artist June Vaughan uses the ancient Japanese technique of shibori stitching and indigo dyeing on her cotton gauze scarf titled Shimmerings 2019. Her use of this intricate stitching technique results in a fluid design that draws the eye in every direction.

Leandra Spangler, Grace, (image courtesy of the artist and Weaver’s Guild)

The 37th Annual Weavers’ Guild Sale at the First Congregational Church of Webster Groves is the third component of the guild’s IT19 participation. This event brings together 40 guild artists to sell their work in a boutique-style setting. The juried sale features talented artists working in numerous fiber techniques creating unique, handcrafted textiles and fiber art. The event also features daily demonstrations of weaving, spinning, and various other fiber-related techniques, giving attendees the opportunity to gain new appreciation and awareness of these time-honored methods. One of the most frequent questions asked of these artists is “how long did it take to make this?” Quite truthfully they can each answer, “a lifetime.” The journey of slow cloth continues in St. Louis. Check it out! Timeless Fibers: Tradition and Beyond, The Gallery at University City Public Library, Sept 1st - 26th re: SURFACED, Fontbonne University’s Gallery of Fine Art, Oct 2nd - Nov 1st

Mandy Pedigo, Memory Grove, (image courtesy of the artist and Weaver’s Guild)

The 37th Annual Weavers’ Guild Sale, First Congregational Church of Webster Groves, Fri, Oct 25th & Sat, Oct 26th. -Jane Olson Glidden www.weaversguildstl.org

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INNOVATIONS IN TEXTILES SPECIAL ISSUE

The Timeless Fibers exhibit brings together artworks like Betty Neill’s elegant handwoven apron with enviously huge pockets for stashing all implements necessary in an artful kitchen. Neill’s contribution celebrates the slow cloth concept of filling your life with joyful art in the form of traditional everyday textiles. Drying your dishes takes on a whole new aspect when you’re using a one-of-a-kind handwoven towel or wearing such a beautiful apron.


FIDENCIO FIFIELD-PEREZ

CRAFT ALLIANCE CENTER OF ART + DESIGN

The artwork of Fidencio Fifield-Perez, exhibited at Craft Alliance in conjunction with Innovations in Textiles 2019, is both political and highly personal as it reflects the artist’s own experience with immigration as he faces the capricious and questionable practices of the present U.S. administration’s policies.

INNOVATIONS IN TEXTILES SPECIAL ISSUE

Fifield-Perez was born in Oaxaca, Mexico. His family migrated to North Carolina for a better life and more opportunities, not an uncommon event as most of our ancestors also left dire situations for the promise of freedom and dreams of prosperity. He was subsequently raised in North Carolina and attended Memphis College of Art for a BFA. Upon graduating from MCA, Fifield-Perez first applied for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which allowed him to attend the University of Iowa for an MA and an MFA. He is currently on the faculty of University of Missouri, Columbia. Fifield-Perez uses craft techniques to tell his story as in Barn Quilt. This artwork is 10.5’ x 10.5’ and is made from collaged maps that are subsequently painted and printed with images of nets. He then cuts away everything except the material tangent to the net design, which produces an intricate structure.

As Fifield-Perez describes this work: “The piece took six months to cut by hand and it was crucial that it be that large and meticulous as a way to reference various politicized ‘skill levels.’ As someone that has gone through various DACA re-applications, and now the separate immigration application my husband and I are going through, I can't help but notice the prioritization and value that we place upon some skills and not others. The act of cutting, by hand, is elevated in the realm of art but in other jobs it is seen as unskilled. So, I wanted to see this one act be so direct in the largest cut piece to date. The references to papel picados (a Mexican folk art made by cutting elaborate designs into sheets of tissue paper) are now obvious and perhaps conscious.” The lace-like pattern follows that of traditional American barn quilts. The shadows it casts become a net to entrap people fleeing to safety or a fence to impede their journey. The center of Barn Quilt has gestural images of waves that reflect the artist’s time living in Galveston Texas, which is on the Gulf Coast. Portrait Patrol is another artwork Fifield-Perez produced while living in Texas. It is considerably more graphic, as it reflects his experience living close to the border. As he walked along this territory, he noted geographical points and says that, “I couldn't help but feel like my exploration of the terrain was and felt so politicized.”

Fifield-Perez is also exhibiting brown envelopes upon which are painted houseplants. In order to remain in the DACA program, one must prove residency by collecting envelopes that might have held bills, school report cards, and random pieces of personal mail. The images of houseplants represent the artist’s concept of home — as the place where the plants are — and because they are in pots they are not rooted in specific places, and are thus portable. With the constant threat of deportation, Fifield-Perez and his husband will sadly only be able to move these paper plants. The artist describes these small-scale works as inherently political. On close inspection, the envelopes reveal details of his private life, including his relationships and places he has been as proof of his continued residency in the U.S. “If the government is going to ask for these arbitrary pieces of evidence then I will force them to look at paintings” explains Fifield-Perez. One cannot dispute their double agenda as records and as art. Fiflield- Perez is forcing faceless bureaucrats who are invading his life to also look carefully at his paintings as they sift through addresses and items that prove the artist has lived continuously in the U.S.. By asserting his individuality as an artist he is no longer a passive voice in an unbalanced relationship with the government. Instead he is a unique respondent to the inequities of a system that challenges his basic human rights. Exhibit closes Oct 27 -Nancy Newman Rice

www.craftalliance.org www.fidenciofperez.com

Fidencio Fifield-Perez, dacament 2, (left), dacament 6 (center), Barn Quilt, installation view (right), (images courtesy of the artists and Craft Alliance) 05 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM FALL 2019

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PAPER & THREAD: DREAMS ARE MADE OF THESE

NORTON’S FINE ART & FRAMING

Rubin’s inspiration can come from anything that appeals to her well-trained eye. She particularly loves jesters, often featuring them in her art. Japanese design and illustration, and Alice in Wonderland may also spur her designs. An experienced graphic designer, Rubin learned the craft of weaving tapestries as an apprentice to the famed artist Muriel Nezhnie about 40 years ago. Designing and weaving tapestries has been the focus of Rubin’s artistic expression ever since; she has had countless shows and exhibitions of her work. Rubin describes the process of creating tapestry as simple, “over one and under one”,yet the full story is actually quite complex. She explains that before you can start the ‘over and under’, there are several preparatory steps required. She begins by producing a design sketch and committing it to paper (this is called a cartoon.) She then strings the loom with the warp thread. This is a relatively slow, tedious process. The cartoon is then placed behind the warp threads, serving as a guide to her use of color and texture in generating the fully formed work of art. Rubin has a collection of numerous looms of varying sizes. She currently uses a floor loom, which is about the size of an upright piano, for her pieces. While her warp threads are usually cotton, the designs are fashioned using a

variety of fibers including cotton, silk, and wool. Her materials are sorted by color, making her studio a glorious, kaleidoscopic visual experience. The cast paper art of Betty Shew reflects her desire to connect us to the natural world. She loves working with materials from nature, and creates pieces featuring high-relief flowers, still lifes and human faces. Long a graphic artist, Shew has been making handmade paper art for more than 20 years. She first experienced basic paper-making while volunteering with her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. When she realized how amazingly well paper-casting fit with her lifelong passion for collecting molds and antique lace, she took it up in earnest. This type of papermaking was born more than 2000 years ago in China. It begins with raw cotton, which is processed into pulp. Shew’s figurative art begins with a drawing, that she then sculpts in clay. She creates a mold from her sculpture, then pours in the paper slurry. Drying is a long, slow process, and requires patience. “I’ve learned not to try to hurry it along,” Shew says. Each of her pieces is unique; you won’t see the same face twice. Shew crafts realistic features, even when her art is headed to the circus; she has been a contributing artist to Circus Flora

for several years. One of her favorite pieces, now held in a private collection, is a remarkable depiction of a circus juggler with multiple balls held aloft. All of her works are sturdier than they look, she says. “We think of paper as fragile,” but the fibers interlock to produce strength. Norton’s Fine Art & Framing has a 70+ year history of service to the St. Louis area. Mary and Doug Norton are second-generation proprietors. Their son, Ty, is also part of the team. The Nortons are both certified professional framers; the shop offers literally thousands of combinations of framing materials. After 54 years in the Central West End, Norton’s moved to Richmond Heights in 2003. Mary says it’s “fun to work with artists — there’s so much good local art.” Sept 28 - Oct 30 Opening: Sat, Sept 28, 1-4p -Leah Rubin

www.nortonsfineart.com

Deann Rubin, Yellow Jester (left), Betty Shew, Dwelling Place (center), Hoop Dream (right), (images courtesy of the artists) INNOVATIONS IN TEXTILES SPECIAL ISSUE

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Two ancient art forms come to life in Paper & Thread: Dreams are Made of These at Norton’s Fine Art & Framing. They are the tapestries of Deann Rubin and the cast paper art of Betty Shew.


JAPANESE MEISEN KIMONO AND NEEDLE FESTIVAL TRIBUTES HORSLEY ARTS GALLERY

INNOVATIONS IN TEXTILES SPECIAL ISSUE

I imagine a morning in a Japanese city of the 1920's. It is a clear blue sky day with sunlight fanning out over the urban landscape. Near and far my eyes catch bold and high-affect colors: pink, green, red, black, ocher, turquoise, purple, taupe and gold. This panoply of colors transforms into iridescent dragonflies, bamboo fighting sticks, peonies, hibiscus, tulips, chrysanthemums, fruited grape vines, African shields and thatched huts. Bamboo leaves languidly float on water and Japanese hand fans come to light. This is the world of women, and they are wearing meisen, early twentieth-century expressions of traditional kimono. A century ago, innovative new spinning and weaving technologies offered an inexpensive way to produce silk threads from cocoons. Wow! And those insects, which grew in their prenatal incubators, would pollinate the visual

garden of delights that teases me with the images described above. Twentieth-century technological development also brought modern young women, known as moga, to urban spaces to live and work, where new fashions and social ways evolved to accommodate change. They were the Japanese equivalent of the flappers of the 1920's. Moga women were released like butterflies from cocoons. Meisen kimono flowered the urban landscapes, bringing to life patterns and colors, flora and fauna. As the silk threads, made from cocoon walls, gave birth to pollinating beings, moga were blossoming. Departing the subway of my imagination, I am caught in the flow of moga, flooding the city with their exciting new look. Moga and the meisen designers were in step; Art Nouveau,

Meisen Kimono, (image courtesy of Wendy Wees and Horsley Arts) 07 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM FALL 2019

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Art Deco and Abstraction from the West joined the party. As happened with the American flapper, this new era required a reinvention and redefinition of what it meant to be a woman. The Wees collection of meisen kimono features abstract combinations of circles, squares and triangles in solid and variegated colors. Organic forms mix with the geometry of modern life. Mondrian-style empty frames give way to Japanese compositions of intersecting lines in many colors – Mondrian on acid! Some designers ingeniously created a streaking sense of movement by adding “motion blurs” randomly on these fabrics. This artistic twist predicts the works of Gerhard Richter, who swept wide paint brushes with pigment over the surfaces of his canvases.


To accommodate the seasons some kimono are padded for warmth in winter and some are sheer and unlined for summer heat. In all the works the patterns and images are created using an innovative technique. The designs are first printed on the warp threads with rectangular paper stencils fortified with a wash of lacquer. One of my favorites has lily-like flowers in burnt orange and burgundy amongst dark green bird-like leaves, reflecting Art Deco and Art Nouveau influences. In contrast, a meisen from the 1920s features interlocking circles reminiscent of those which signify the Olympic Games. An electric purple kimono with modernist brightly colored grids coupled with plum blossoms is accented by motion streaks, a la Gerhard Richter; the complete fusion of old and new. A padded winter meisen warms the winter chill with a neon orange field scattered with African-inspired shield shapes in colors that the traditionally minded would just have to get used to. A luscious and subtle overall pattern of stylized chrysanthemums in understated gray, pink, pale gold and green updates a classic kimono motif in moga style. These, and many other delights to the eye, populate the Wees collection, bringing modern Japan to St. Louis at Horsley Arts.

Artists Wendy Wees (kimono collector), Milo Duke and Linda Horsley (gallery owner) recognized that the magical transformations of meisen are rooted in deeper layers of Japanese beliefs. In Shinto, the indigenous Japanese religion, objects like needles, pins, scissors and other tools of creation are imbued with spirits, or kami. These tools are soulful. Women honor their sewing tools on altars where they retire their animate helpers at the end of their useful life. Three installations at Horsley Arts reflect this Japanese custom in contemporary terms. Two have been created for interaction; gallery visitors can place pins and needles on them in recognition of their usefulness and participate in a celebration of the tools of the trade. The third installation features oversized needles and unique giant sewing pins with fascinating ceramic heads waiting to be purchased and plucked out of free-form pincushions. Fri, Sept 27 - Sat, Nov 2 Opening Reception: Fri, Sept 27, 5 - 8p -John Nunley

www.horsleyarts.com INNOVATIONS IN TEXTILES SPECIAL ISSUE

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Meisen Kimono, (image courtesy of Wendy Wees and Horsley Arts)


OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE LILLIAN YAHN GALLERY

It’s a difficult balance for every artist: How to hone and refine your skills while keeping your creativity sparking? Well, here’s a suggestion: Step outside of your comfort zone. Bruce Howard organized the Innovations in Textiles

exhibit Out of My Comfort Zone at Lillian Yahn Gallery in O’Fallon, Missouri around the request that artists create fiber art that differed from their usual artwork. Artists might try out a new technique or explore a new theme. However they achieve that break with the norm, the artists could stretch toward the different and possibly the uncomfortable.

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Not long ago, I came across the art of Jan Hopkins, who uses alternative materials such as fruit rinds in her work. I was intrigued by the way this “vegan leather” held its color and texture when dried. I started by making a disc from pine needles, something I had only tried once with uneven results. I cut shapes based on Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs from pomegranate, orange, lemon and lime peels and it was all assembled in a geometric layout using waxed linen thread. The result, Dutch Treat, was an exploration of new materials and a step outside of my usual way of working. Patrick Nolan broke out of his comfort zone to create Vibrations, a wildly colorful art object. Nolan works in mixed-media fibers, printmaking and other art media. His addition to the exhibit is a three-dimensional exploration of texture, color and movement. It’s a new look for Nolan’s art that he accomplished by wrapping protruding fabric with cording.

Phyllis Shipman’s Rawhide appears to be a Western-style jacket, which is typically a well-worn, much-washed soft item. Hers is rugged from the rigid materials used: hardware cloth, barbed wire and nails. Shipman was moved to design her unwearable garment by two points of inspiration. The first, artist John Garret, is a well-known contemporary basket maker who uses materials similar to those Shipman employed and who taught a workshop that she attended. The other inspiration came from old Western movies that she watched as a child and particularly notorious American outlaw Belle Starr, whose birth and death dates are embroidered on the jacket. Shipman says, “[As children], we dressed as cowgirls with our six-shooters and cowgirl hats.” This piece is a definite step away from her usual felting, knitting and spinning. Oct 1-30, opening reception: Fri, Oct 18, 6:30-8:30p

Rhonda Schrum, Dutch Treat (top), Patrick Nolan, Vibrations (bottom left), Phyllis Shipman, Rawhide (bottom right), (all images courtesy of the artists and Lillian Yahn Gallery) 09 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM FALL 2019

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-Rhonda Schrum

www.stcharlesart.org


2019 OCTOBER EXHIBIT

SAGER BRAUDIS GALLERY

When Reeves was a child, her mother would collect the end of paper reams from the University Press in Colombia. The paper was various sizes, shapes, textures and colors. “There was long skinny yellow paper, shiny blue paper, and sticker paper,” she says. The miscellaneous scraps became the surfaces for Reeves’s earliest art projects. To Reeves, the surface of the material became more important than the kind of drawing utensil she used. The importance of surface material to her artwork would find full expression during her final semester of undergrad at University of

Missouri. “Right before I graduated I took a fibers class with Jo Stealey, and it was like, ‘Oh, wow!’” As Reeves made her own paper to draw on, dyed fabric, and eventually sculpted with fabric in her fibers class, she was enlightened by how she could make something flat into something three dimensional using a totally different method with fibers. “It was an intersection of things that I didn’t know I was looking for,” she recalls. As Reeves evolved as a fiber artist through her MFA thesis and beyond, her artwork focused on creating a sense of nostalgia for the viewer using fabric. “When we think about home and comfort, fiber is inextricable from that. There is a feeling you call up with upholstery fabrics and rugs, the kind of fabrics that are in your grandma’s home or your childhood home, that become a way to hold onto this thread of memory.”

Reeves interrogates two different forms of nostalgia in her art: nostalgia for an era, or for the “good ole days,” and more personal nostalgia for childhood experiences that one can not revisit. “What does it mean to long for something that is an impossibility because you are separated from it by time?” Reeves asks. What will we see at the October exhibit? Reeves is experimenting with pairing portraits of people with closed eyes to recall death and a bird or flower symbol from the Victorian era. The results of this interim work will educate and influence her output for this fall’s exhibition. Reeves reports that fiber materials and floral patterns in her work call upon domestic nostalgia, but the way she will orient the figures and other subject matter is still a mystery. Oct 1 - Oct 26, Opening Reception: Oct 4, 6-9p Artists’s Talk: Oct 5, 11:30a Other exhibiting artists not mentioned here: Devin McDonald, Michael Nichols, Fred Stonehouse, Joy Wilson -Natalie Tucker www.sagerbravdisgallery.com

Hannah Reeves, Yellow Violet (left), Skull (center), Cut Wild Rose (Pain and Pleasure) (right), (all images courtesy of the artist) INNOVATIONS IN TEXTILES SPECIAL ISSUE

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This October, Sager Braudis Gallery, in Columbia, Missouri, presents an exhibition in collaboration with Innovations in Textiles 2019. The October Exhibit includes work from five national artists, including two fiber artists. One of these fiber artists is Hannah Reeves, the director of Sager Braudis.


LAYERED HISTORIES, TWO FALL EXHIBITS ERICA POPP STUDIOS + GALLERY

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One of the most interesting small-space galleries in town, Erica Popp Studios + Gallery, contributes two textile-based exhibits to the Innovation in Textiles 2019 citywide event this fall. The first, DADI, an installation by Mee Jey is inspired by Jey’s nurturing grandmother, who was the family storyteller. DADI--the word for “grandmother” in Hindi--is an amalgam of childhood memories, stories and family traditions. Integrating her grandmother’s stories of strong women from Hindu culture, DADI, is a sculptural installation that includes 100 dolls which Jey hand-stitched, surrounded by an eight-sided figure made from wound and braided textile scraps connected to three abstract figures. The eight-sided figure represents the all-encompassing persona of Jey’s grandmother who lovingly nurtured Jey and her siblings.

Using recycled materials is important to the artist both to honor her grandmother who taught her to transform discards into art, but also as a metaphor for creating new life and meaning from the unwanted. Jey grew up in a household where resources were limited, so clothing was handed down and reused. As a child, her dolls became the focus of her loving attention and dreams, and with discarded textile scraps, Jey would make fancy clothing for her dolls that she herself wished she could have. The dolls in the installation represent both the toys of her childhood, and the doting way in which her grandmother treated her grandchildren. The three figures, also made from textile scraps, are strong female characters from Hindu mythological history, Draupadi, Sati and Sita. In making reference to both her grandmother and the historical

Suzy Farren, Texture, (image courtesy of the artist and Erica Popp Studios + Gallery) 11 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM FALL 2019

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characters, Jey immerses her own contemporary gendered identity within the historical narrative of her culture. Collectively, the installation is a rich work that weaves together the past and present of the artist's cultural and cerebral life. Mee Jey is an interdisciplinary artist who worked with various communities in India before receiving her M.F.A. degree in 2019 from Washington University in St. Louis as a McDonnell Scholar. She has a background in history and uses this knowledge in her work to bring together archetypal forms with contemporary issues to uncover concerns about gender and identity. DADI is on view at Erica Popp Studios + Gallery through September 21. Suzy Farren, whose stitched wall pieces in the exhibition, Threadbare, are on view at the


Erica Popp Studios + Gallery from Oct 5 - Oct 27, as part of the Innovations in Textiles event, similarly bring past and present family history together. Her works are a kind of palimpsest, a layering textiles and bits of paper that in themselves are seemingly steeped in memories and experiences. Often stained and torn, the scraps of dun-colored materials that Farren often integrates into her highly textured works, are a reference to the stones and landscapes of her childhood in New Jersey. Mark-making is central to Farren’s works and finds form in the stains and frays of her materials and in the stitching with which she joins them together. She is intuitive and visceral in her interaction with the materials she uses. The visible stitches that she integrates in patterns across her pieces have the effect of writing without being literal. They are a reminder of Cuneiform or other ancient forms of written communication. A writer herself, Farren embeds the visual expression of the written word, finding illumination in poems her father wrote for her, which she uses as an inspirational mantra while she works.

individually, are not always lovely, but when seen together as a whole manifest themselves as a complex and beautiful existence. In these details, Farren wants her audience to immerse themselves, to look closely and feel the stories and histories that are held within each work. Suzy Farren was vice president of communications for SSM Health Care, working as a writer and communicator before retiring in 2013. She turned to art late in her career, taking classes at a variety of institutions around the area. Since then, her works have been included in exhibitions at Art St. Louis, Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, the Foundry Art Centre, Jacoby Arts Center, St. Louis Artist Guild, St. Louis University Museum of Art and many others. Mee Jey: DADI, Aug 31 - Sept 21 Opening: Sat, Aug 31, 5-7p Suzy Farren, Threadbare, Oct 5 - Oct 27 Opening: Sat, Oct 5, 4-7p -Oliva Lahs Gonzales

The rough and frayed quality of the individual pieces of material, for Farren, reflect her own vulnerability at this point in her life. She sees the beauty of the fabric, no matter how worn, and regards her works as a metaphor for the quiltlike tapestry of life experiences, which

Mee Jey, DADI, detail (middle), Suzy Farren, Enigma (bottom), (images courtesy of the artists and Erica Popp Studios + Gallery)

www.ericapopp.com/gallery INNOVATIONS IN TEXTILES SPECIAL ISSUE

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Mee Jey, DADI, installation view (image courtesy of the artist and Erica Popp Studios + Gallery)


ARTFIBER SAINT LOUIS

THREE WOMEN: VISION AND VOICE GOOD SHEPHERD ARTS CENTER

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In 1996 a small group of artists from Greater Saint Louis formed the Art Quilt Alliance. The group became ArtFiber Saint Louis in 2005 to reflect the widening interests of members. An exhibition featuring members of ArtFiber Saint Louis – Laura Saunders Kaiser, Deb Lewis, and Pat Owoc – at Good Shepherd Arts Center in Ferguson, Missouri formed as part of Innovations in Textiles 2019. The exhibition, titled Three Women: Vision and Voice raises the question: who are these three women and what do they mean to tell us?

Fiber artist Laura Saunders Kaiser, a mother of three young children, draws inspiration from her observations of children’s approach to creativity. Her own art is playful, experimental and reflective of joy. It is also, she claims, proof that sleep deprivation can be overcome by creative energy and caffeine. Saunders Kaiser’s recent work is influenced by sympathy for the victims of mass shootings and their families and deep concern about the lack of civility, respect and truthfulness in our current society. She hand-dyes the fabrics she uses, incorporating textured materials and indecipherable text elements on single cloth panels. It is a process she finds therapeutic. Deb Lewis has always liked working with fiber. A computer programmer, she finds that her art practice offers needed opportunities for free expression. Her fiber work is inspired by nature and often incorporates humorous elements. She uses up-cycled found materials along with fabrics she makes on her own.

Hand stitching plays a big part in Lewis’ work. For her, creative work is a necessity, not a choice. In the process of building the body of work exhibited at Good Shepherd, she was inspired to increase awareness of the lack of kindness she witnesses throughout the world.  Pat Owoc's work explores botanical design and prairie life and history. Many of her artworks depict images based on stories. Her early artworks were constructed with family, ancestral and animal stories in mind. Her newer compilations tell visual stories about the environment, politics, nature, health concerns and aging. Owoc uses a wide variety of surface design techniques such as fiber reactive and disperse dyes, cyanotype and silkscreen to illustrate her stories. The compositions are often embellished with antique ephemera, rusty nails, wire and transposed family photos. Oct 4 - Oct 26 Opening: Fri, Oct 4, 5-7p -Glynis Mary McManamon

www.goodshepherdarts.org

Pat Owoc, Laura Saunders Kaiser, and Deb Lewis (top), (image courtesy of Good Shepherd Arts); Deb Lewis, Missing Kindness (bottom left); Pat Owoc, Tallgrass Prairie (bottom right), (images courtesy of the artists) 13 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM FALL 2019

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ROOTED:

A COMMUNITY RESPONSE TO NATURE AND URBAN LANDSCAPE Our community project is a collaboration of neighbors, Yeyo Arts Collective, Bread and Roses, St. Louis city parks and recreation centers and professional studio artists. Community build days resulted in outdoor installations at various locations. It is intergenerational too and that is a fun part.

Artists Dail Chambers is the lead artists bringing together area youth, elders and all interested community members at workshops to design and construct a massive outdoor weaving.

We are also exhibiting some of the protest lending library banners gifted to Yeyo Arts from Aram Han Sifuentes after her residency at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. The wider community then has the opportunity

to borrow protest banners through our organization. The outdoor installation, flowing throughout the 3900 block of Greer Avenue, is scheduled to remain on view through Nov 7, with a free reception on Thursday, Oct 3, 5-8p. -Dail Chambers

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Yeyo Arts Collective and ArtHouse St. Louis organized Rooted: A Community Response to Nature and Urban Landscape to connect local artists and activists with neighbors of St. Louis's Greater Ville area. The project honors the lives of past great figures and the current residents of North Saint Louis.

Rooted, installation view (photo credit: Sarah Hermes Griesbach) INNOVATIONS IN TEXTILES SPECIAL ISSUE

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SURFACE DESIGN ASSOCIATION:

FUTURE TENSE 2019

Partnering with Innovations in Textiles 2019, the Surface Design Association (SDA) is excited to stage its biennial conference, Beyond the Surface, October 3-6, in St Louis. A non-profit textile arts organization founded in 1977, SDA inspires creativity, encourages innovation and advocates for artistic excellence as a global leader in textile-inspired art and design.

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SDA members engage in studio practice within multiple textile and fiber art genres. This approach is reflected in the quarterly Surface Design Journal. Journal editorial team Elizabeth Kozlowski and Lauren Sinner, explore contemporary trends and applications, introducing readers to new ideas and artists while celebrating traditional techniques. Once a year, the SDA Journal is devoted to an exhibition in print, which in fall 2019 is Soft Borders. Artist and writer Monika Auch of the Netherlands served as exhibition juror.

SDA’s conference notably includes a day of speakers at the Missouri History Museum, plus bus tours to Innovations in Textiles exhibitions, pre-conference workshops and other activities. The conference is open to both members and non-members. Registration details may be found on the SDA website. SDA’s Day of Speakers, includes presentations by contemporary artists. Morning sessions with Carissa Carman and Yvonne Osei focus on how creative work moves beyond the studio. Carman discusses SITE Lab (Surreal Innovations in Textile Environments), exploring alternatives to the standard museum and gallery trajectory by stepping outside the artists’ studio to develop innovative works in collaboration with other artists and non-artist affiliations. Through her recent work Who Discovers the Discoverer? and other artworks, artist and curator Osei will unpack the importance of relying on public spaces to cultivate content and context for art. Afternoon sessions feature side-by-side artist presentations. In Locally Grown, Nationally Known, Kate Anderson shares her meticulously knotted sculptural teapots riffing on pop art and contemporary icons. Basil Kincaid shares his sculptural work anchored by quilting and social engagement. In Making Art, Making a Life, Hannah O’Hare Bennett shares her unfolding career as an emerging fiber and paper artist. Alaska artist Amy Meissner shares her award-winning work, including her traveling solo exhibition Inheritance: makers. memory. myth. created from a 13-month crowdsourcing effort called The Inheritance Project. Catherine Reinhart’s Collective Mending Sessions is one example of hands-on participatory activities organized by SDA. Student-focused programming includes a panel discussion, Figuring It Out: Truths of Being Successful. Students from Indiana University and the Kansas City Art Institute will also contribute to display window installations of artwork and mail art at the St Louis Artists’ Guild.

Michelle Chan, Made In China Flag (top left), Erin LaRocque, Fruiting Bodies 2 (top right), Rachel Hefferan, Spit 2019 (bottom), (all images courtesy of the artists and Surface Design) 15 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM FALL 2019

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SDA’s membership includes a range of makers, from serious professionals and emerging artists, to those newly exploring


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Speaker Composite (top), [Row 1: Carissa Carmen, Yvonne Osai, Amy Meissner; Row 2: Hannah O’Hare Bennett, Kate Anderson, Basil Kincaid]; Liz Koerner, Floor (bottom), (all images courtesy of the artists and Surface Design)

long-held interests. Techniques embraced by members include printing, painting, dyeing (chemical/natural), shibori, embroidery, weaving, quilting, papermaking and book arts. Because the organization is not devoted to one particular textile medium or technique, members often work fluidly between media, choosing those that most suit their ideas. Members make wall art, installation, time-based performance, garments, functional items and slow fashion. They work in solitude or in the community with socially engaged practice. They teach, curate and work in arts administration.

Center. Future Tense 2019 offers a glimpse into the future of contemporary fibers by presenting the very best work being made by students in the field today. Jurors Tamryn McDermott and Kim Eichler-Messmer selected 27 works by 21 student artists. Small Works, another SDA member exhibition, is at Webster University’s Arcade Contemporary Art Projects. Edwardsville Art Center hosts Surface Design Association’s Future Tense 2019: Sept 6-Oct 11 -Karena Bennett

Members participate in annual SDA exhibitions, both at the national and the regional level. Three Innovations in Textiles 2019 exhibitions originate with SDA. Beyond the Surface at the St Louis Artists’ Guild is a national juried SDA member exhibition with Jo Stealey and Jim Arendt serving as jurors. Future Tense 2019, SDA’s Annual Juried Student Exhibition, is at the Edwardsville Art

Kathy Palle, Dialog Dispels Differences (top), Kate Mamone, Second, Perceptual (bottom) (all images courtesy of the artists and Surface Design)

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2019 QUILT NATIONAL EXHIBIT FOUNDRY ART CENTRE

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The 2019 Quilt National exhibit this Fall at the Foundry in St. Charles is the 40th anniversary of the biannual event, which focuses on art quilting, as opposed to traditional quilting. The national/international juried show originates at the Dairy Barn in Athens, Ohio, and then travels extensively. The stop at the Foundry sets the exhibition up as one of the centerpieces of the larger Innovations in Textiles 2019 events taking place in our region this fall. Art quilts differ from traditional quilts in that they are considered contemporary art and not utilitarian craft objects. The definition for an art quilt is “two or more layers of fabric stitched together.” From this simple formula a multitude of different forms arise. Art quilts can be abstract, figurative, representational, conceptual and sculptural. The fabric can be dyed, batiked, stained, painted, screen printed, drawn upon, photocopied and cyanotyped. The work can include piecework appliqué, stitching of various sorts and embroidery. While there may be references to traditional quilting motifs and techniques, this is by no means universal in art quilting.

The effort, now and for the 40 years of the Quilt National's existence, is to establish and celebrate quilting as a contemporary art forms, and quilts do share characteristics common to other contemporary art forms. Fads and fashions come and go amongst artists and jurors, new techniques appear that amaze and inspire and some artists rise to perennial prominence.

printed images on fabric are divided into many small squares (no two exactly alike) and sewn together to create shimmering patterns that, at the same time, refer to traditional quilting patterns and blow one away with their pixilated intensity. Ault too is a perennial power in the field, with Amaryllis Set, another pixilated masterpiece showing in the 2017 Quilt National.

Karen Schulz’s bold and sophisticated abstract quilt And the Skeptic won the Juror’s Award in the 2017 Quilt National. That work featured asymmetric and electrically edgy (literally on the edge of the piece) slashes of color. She reprises that style in her 2019 entry, A Conversation, another bold, edgy abstraction reminiscent of Motherwell with ocular migraine color effects on the periphery. Schulz's geometrical abstraction Girl in the City with Blue Hair won Best of Show in the 2015 Quilt National, so she obviously qualifies as one of the perennially prominent artists in the field.

Barbara Oliver Hartman makes pointillist landscapes by scattering tiny, raw-edged scraps of fabric over the surface of the quilt and then sewing them into place using a free motion zigzag stitch. Only a small area can be worked at a time, so these artworks are clearly labors of love, and it shows. The traditional “crazy quilt” concept of using waste pieces of fabric has gone to the School of Paris and taken a page from Georges Seurat. Hartman's pointillist landscape Autumn Afternoon won the Peoples Choice Award at the 2015 Quilt National, and her 2019 entry, Backyard, is in the same style.

Jill Ault is a quilter who works in several different styles, including a totally unique technique where multiple copies of digitally

Marianne R. Williamson's abstract entry into the 2019 Quilt National, Prayers Going to Heaven, is a colorist's dream, with swirling layers of vibrant color overlaid with the bubble-like “prayers” ascending. Her work is not always abstract, however. Looking into her work one sees brilliant impressionist landscapes and sensitive vignettes featuring details of nature-like branches laden with autumn leaves. Sometimes the pieces are rectangular and sometimes they have irregular, banner-like lower edges. Like other prominent art quilters, her work has been in high-profile shows, including the 2013 and 2015 Quilt National. With over 80 works of art, beautifully and dramatically displayed in the Foundry's enormous exhibition gallery, the 2019 Quilt National is not to be missed for those who know what art quilting is all about — and an exciting introduction to the form for those who don't. Oct 4 - Dec 6 Opening Reception: Fri, Oct 4, 5:30-8p -Milo Duke www.foundryartcentre.org

Karen Schultz, A Conversation, (image courtesy of the artist) 17 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM FALL 2019

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STEPHANIE SYJUCO: ROGUE STATES CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM ST. LOUIS

Remember James Bond’s break-in and shootout at the Nambutu Embassy in Madagascar during Casino Royale? Or the Nazi-collaborating Sultan of Hatay in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? Nambutu is entirely fictional but Hatay was really the name of a place. It was a Turkish republic that existed briefly in the 1930s, but it was ruled by an elected president — not a sultan — and without any Nazi involvement. The Nambutu and Hatay flags are present, along with that of Ace Ventura’s Nibia and Val Verde, the corrupt Latin American state that

exists in a few movies, such as Commando (an Arnold Schwarzenegger blockbuster) and Die Hard 2. Syjuco stipulates that the flags installed in Rogue States hang down vertically from the gallery ceiling in rows, as “a United Nations style convention of collective anxiety.” Syjuco’s Neutral Calibration Studies (Ornament + Crime) installation coats iconically “ethnic” artifacts in gray paint to pose questions around how we construct cultural history. She’s reproduced images of objects that global colonizing powers have used to encapsulate knowledge of colonized peoples and is poking at the sad, if humorous, lies told to make up easy stories of Others (tropes, in academia-speak). Syjuco was born in the city of Manila in the Philippines and now lives in California’s Bay Area. She brings St. Louis a site-specific installation for CAM that delves into the sick history of the “living exhibits” at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. The fair was officially known as the Louisiana Purchase Exposition,

and that celebration of racist empire building is rife with historical content to reinterpret and retell. Her Cargo Cults photos display fictional ethnographic studio portraits. The portrait subjects, modern-day models, are dressed and posed in “ethnic” patterns and jewelry from cheap chain fashion stores. These scenes might just pull the contemporary viewer into empathetic understanding of the forced nature of manufacturing cultural history and calling it authentic. Fri, Sept 6 - Sun, Dec. 29 Opening: Fri, Sept 6, 7-9p Artist Talk: Stephanie Syjuco, Sat, Sept 7, 11a Living History event: Sat, Dec. 7, 11a -Sarah Hermes Griesbach www.camstl.org www.stephaniesyjuco.com

Stephanie Syjuco, Neutral Callibration Studies (Ornament + Crime), (image courtesy of the artist and Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis) INNOVATIONS IN TEXTILES SPECIAL ISSUE

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Stephanie Syjuco’s exhibit Rogue States at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (CAM) asks us to question our concepts of citizenship and nationality. The exhibition, part of Innovations in Textiles 2019, brings recent and new artworks by Syjuco. The installation from which the exhibition takes its title uses 22 flags that may look familiar; each is a reproduction of a flag used to represent an enemy state in a popular Hollywood movie.


SPEAKING OF FIBERS

MARYVILLE UNIVERSITY MORTON J MAY FOUNDATION GALLERY

Kacey Cowdery interviewed Candyce Grisham for this special Innovations in Textiles issue of All the Art. Both Cowdery and Grisham are members of the Exhibitions Committee for Missouri Fiber Artists. Kacey Cowdery: Missouri Fiber Artists (MoFA) was established nearly 42 years ago. There were only exhibits in various regions,

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staged over the years until 2011. The first Speaking of Fibers exhibit was organized in that year. As you know, the word “speaking” alludes to the requirement to write an artist’s statement, to talk about the artwork presented for display. Please give our readers history of how artist statements have evolved.

In 2017 and this year in 2019, MoFA is gathering entries on Café [Call for Entries]. That system has forced us to accept only 300 characters. That is very condensed – whew. We got complaints about that in 2017. However, members have learned and we received no complaints this year.

Candyce Grisham: Speaking is produced in odd numbered years. My first exhibit was in 2015. In 2015 and in previous years, there was a requirement not to exceed 75 words. Quite a few members exceeded that limit. Because we promised the jurors there would be no more than 75 words, we edited the ones that were only a little over the limit. Then we had to get approval from each artist. Occasionally statements were so long that we had to send them back for rewrite.

KC: What size venue do you need for Speaking of Fibers? How do you find a venue?

Artists’ statements are meant to tell the juror and viewers about the artist’s inspiration and concept. Well, that “concept” was new to many members. They would sometimes describe their work, stating materials and methods they had used. They wrote a description, not an artist’s statement. MoFA prides itself on helping members to progress in writing artists’ statements as well as learning new fiber art practices. We try to give members a “do over” when we can.

CG: This show typically displays approximately 50 pieces. Of course, they range in size from small, maybe 12” x 12” to large 7’ or even 8’ high by 4’ or 5’ wide. There are only 4-5 venues large enough for Speaking. We always keep our eyes and ears open. However, happily, we have had our shows at Maryville University’s Morton J May Foundation Gallery four times. They treat us very well. John Baltrashunas is the director. He is very good at setting our shows. At de-install we make an appointment with him, to get MoFA scheduled again in two years. John gave the impetus to create a theme for Speaking, beyond the requirement for an artist’s statement. In 2017 and this year 2019, we added a theme. This year the full title is Speaking of Fibers 2019! Stories of Importance. We are looking forward to seeing and hearing the stories our members have told with their fiber art. KC: What does MoFA do for beginners? Is “Speaking” the only exhibit MoFA produces? GC: MoFA’s Board was all in favor of offering a Members’ show in 2015, meaning as long as there is space in the gallery, entries are accepted. MoFA makes a point to keep prices low for members dues, exhibit entries and workshops with internationally known instructors. When we learned that Quilt National would be held at The Foundry Arts Centre in St. Charles, we had a conversation with their director, Melissa Whitwam. She offered the Ameristar Gallery during the run of Quilt National. The Ameristar is a small gallery across the main lobby from their big gallery. Who wouldn’t want to display their fiber art at the same venue as Quilt National! Then in 2017 we had a members’ show at the Foundry again and added another members’ exhibit at Framations. They are right down the street in St. Charles. This year 2019, we will be

Shirley Nachtrieb, Feminine Legacy #3 (left), Leandra Spangler, Finding Words (left), (images courtesy of the artists) 19 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM FALL 2019

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in the Foundry and Framations with Members’ shows again. These are not juried shows. They are opportunities for members to display artwork by simply entering. This year’s theme is Tall & Skinny at the Foundry and Portraits & Portrayals at Framations. KC: Tell us about the workshop arranged by the Exhibitions Committee in conjunction with Speaking of Fibers.

GC: Our jurors are chosen using several criteria. They must be well recognized and talented. Another is that they do not know our members’ work. They have always been from out of town. MoFA brings them in for the opening. The juror does their initial selection of artwork online from photos submitted by MoFA members. To give awards of excellence they judge in the gallery. In addition, they give a gallery talk.

We take advantage of our juror being in town to arrange for that person to lead a workshop. Each juror has a specialty. They present their insights to our members. This is an easy way for members to attend a workshop with prestigious instructors. -Kacey Cowdery

ETHAN MEYER: SOLAR TEMPLE DUANE REED GALLERY Adem Sibec interviewed artist Ethan Meyer about his new mixed media immersive installation titled Solar Temple appearing at the Duane Reed Gallery as part of Innovations in Textiles 2019. Adem Sibec: What's the significance of the title Solar Temple? And I notice you titled an artwork from an earlier period Jeweled Temple, are these part of a theme? Ethan Meyer: All of my work relates to my interest in what the nature of consciousness is, mysticism / magick, shamanism, and various spiritual traditions. It seemed fitting that my first installation project would reference a physical space that is traditionally tied to these concepts. The significance of the solar aspect would be related to higher knowledge or a universal good in a collective sense (collective consciousness). The painting Jeweled Temple from 2015 would certainly be related to this overarching theme in my work. AS: It looks like you work with a variety of media. What about fiber art would you say is special or appeals to you? EM: Fiber art became something that interested me once I started attending art fairs such as SOFA Chicago, Art Basel Miami, as well as various museum exhibitions, and becoming friends with other artists working in fiber. There are several reasons why I am attracted to fiber: firstly, from a purely practical angle, fiber art is extremely resilient, making it easy to transport and handle, and you can go large without assuming risks that other sculpture materials have, such as glass and ceramic. Secondly, I view fiber art as the feminine counterpart to the masculine practice of painting. I am not claiming that this is a universal dichotomy, but that is how I view it

Ethan Meyer, Bearer of Strange Fruit, (image courtesy of the artist and Duane Reed Gallery) INNOVATIONS IN TEXTILES SPECIAL ISSUE

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www.missourifiberartists.org


personally. I enjoy the tactile experience of working with the materials, and I thoroughly enjoy the repetitive / meditative nature of weaving, braiding, crocheting and experimentation. AS: Are there any artists you admire in the contemporary art world? EM: There are many many artists who I look to for inspiration, so this is by no means an exhaustive list.

Painting: Robert Venosa, Alex Grey, Mario Martinez, HR Giger, Oliver Vernon, Curiot Tlalpazotl, Eric Wert, David S Herrerias, Christian Rex van Minnen Sculpture: Sheila Hicks, Sparkles Positron, Lucien Shapiro, Michael Lucero, Takuro Kuwata, The Haas Brothers, Faig Ahmed, AJ Fosik, Crystal Wagner AS: Do you have any specific influences that have informed your artistic style?

EM: The primary influence in my creative process is nature. I grew up in a rural environment and spent most of my childhood in the woods. Flowers, mushrooms and cacti are endlessly fascinating in how they are structured and function in their various environments. This is paralleled in all of my work, but I feel that it is most evident in the sculptures, as they have many motifs that resemble vines, flowers, thorns and fruit. AS: Are you trying to convey any specific ideas or is there an abstract narrative with your artwork?

INNOVATIONS IN TEXTILES SPECIAL ISSUE

EM: It’s hard to say if there is any real specific narrative in the work, more like an intent to visually overwhelm the viewer, and then the painting or sculpture acts as a vehicle for the viewers own subjective experience, kind of like a Rorschach test. The reason my intent is to overwhelm the viewer, is that it disrupts the internal monologue that we are all continuously engaged with and forces the individual to consider WHAT it is they are looking at, and at that moment there is a fork in the road: red pill or blue pill, avert ones eyes or see how far the rabbit hole goes. I have been told that my paintings feel a lot like portals, so perhaps that is the ultimate intent, an invitation to explore the unknown. Ethan Meyer’s Solar Temple exhibits alongside Sun Smith-Fôret’s New Work in Amuletic Sculpture, and Rebecca Hutchinson’s Navigating Borders, Duane Reed Gallery, Sept 5 - Oct 12 opening reception Sep 13, 5-8p -Adem Sibec

www.duanereedgallery.com Ethan Meyer, Do You Know the Way, (image courtesy of the artist and Duane Reed Gallery) 21 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM FALL 2019

INNOVATIONS IN TEXTILES SPECIAL ISSUE


REFLECTIONS ON CLOTH: MAKING MEMORY TACTILE AN INTERVIEW WITH KELSEY VIOLA WISKIRCHEN

By Carrie Keasler lines. I approach my embroidered portraits the same way: first, a gestural drawing, which I follow with stitched lines and shade with thread cross-hatching. I am interested in documenting the fleeting quality of memory and shared experience. Through the labor and time involved in stitching the image, the lines become dimensional and textural; the portrait becomes object, no longer ephemeral.

Wiskirchen draws her memories with thread — ephemeral moments of conversation, relationship and place. These experiences can be captured by photography, drawing and writing. Yet Wiskirchen feels compelled to recreate them through drawing with thread on fabric, a labor intensive, ritualistic process that allows her to reflect on the poetry and experiences as she works.

KVW: The ritual of embroidery is long embedded in my personal history. It has marked every phase of my life since childhood, has traveled with me, has grown with me. The act of stitching poetry and portrait is a time of deep reflection. Each stitch marks a moment, a breath. I embrace the slowness, and have grown into my adult self through the ritual practice of this process.

During a studio visit in anticipation of her exhibit at The Monday Club, the artist and I spoke about the intertwined nature of materials and process. While looking at finished work, work in progress and samples, it became apparent that the methods and materials were as important as the imagery.

CK: Can you speak about how being a female person informs your work- and the poetry that you are drawn to?

Carrie Keasler: You remarked that you begin with drawing, a quick and expressionistic process, but are compelled to remake your image as a textile embroidery. Can you explain your reasoning?

CK: How would you describe “ritual” as it pertains to your process?

KVW: I am drawn to poetry that comes from the female voice — fearless, acute, vulnerable, tender. I am interested in the way our lived experience translates to written word into image to serve as archive and inspiration for

those who encounter it. As a female human and maker, my work also comes from the female voice and is a reflection of my lived experiences, as well as intersecting identities. I create work about memory, relationships and moments which might be lost through the passing of time if not recorded. CK: What is the relationship between the fragments of poetry you embroider and the moments you isolate in your portraits? KVW: There is an interplay between the poetry and the portraits – just as an image serves as visual documentation of a moment in time, the written word permanently records a thought, a memory. The excerpts that catch my attention are those which relate to the moments I stitch in my portraits through their attention to memory and lived experience. As I work, I look for a rhythm and exchange between the poetry excerpts and the embroidered portraits. Exhibition dates: Sept 8 - Oct 29

www.violatextiles.com/www.artistwebsite.com www.themondayclubofwebstergroves.com

Kelsey Viola Wiskirchen‘s: As a child, my grandmother taught me embroidery by drawing flowers onto cloth and then stitching over her

Kelsey Viola Wiskirchen, Embroidered Excerpt: “Now That I am Forever with Child” by Audre Lord (left); Being with Hannah (right), (photo credit: Carl Valle, images courtesy of the artist) ARTIST INTERVIEWS

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INNOVATIONS IN TEXTILES SPECIAL ISSUE

Kelsey Viola Wiskirchen‘s exhibit, Reflections on Cloth, debuts at The Monday Club on September 8 in conjunction with Innovations in Textiles STL 2019. The Monday Club is a women’s club founded in 1887 with a focus on education and improvement with a strong interest in art. They have held art exhibitions since 1931 and host regular meet-ups for artist members. The gallery space, intimate and well-suited to the display of domestically scaled art, is a fitting venue for Wiskirchen’s exquisitely detailed, personal work.


INNOVATION IN TEXTILES EXHIBITS BUS TOUR ROUTES Saturday October 5, day trip times vary. Sign up for a bus tour and lunch. $75 Register through Surface Design Association’s website: https://www.surfacedesign.org/events-exhibits/conferences/conference2019/ Tours last 7 hours, Departure is between 9-10am from the Clayton Plaza Hotel; departure times vary by bus. If you have accessibility concerns, please contact SDA. ORANGE BUS (A) - Student /Educator- Edwardsville (open to anyone) Features four exhibits, a panel discussion, and the opening reception for Future Tense 2019. Work offers insight by artist/educators, a glimpse into the future of fiber art and work by SDA members. NOTE: this tour involves walking. Teach/Taught: Fiber Art Educators, Meramec Contemporary Art Gallery - SLCC at Meramec SDA’s Small Works, all member exhibition, Webster University's Arcade Contemporary Art Projects Gallery SDA Panel Discussion: Figuring It Out: Truths of Being Successful with Rena Wood, Jennifer Reis and Catherine Reinhart; moderated by Andrea Vail. Focus is on students and emerging artists. All are welcome. Future Tense 2019, SDA’s Annual Student Juried Exhibition, Edwardsville Art Center

BLUE BUS (B) - Downtown Features six exhibits with interesting variety from contemporary quilts, fiber art, and avant-garde fashion to new paths of textile explorations. NOTE: this tour involves walking 1 block.

Fifty years ago, Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE) began its work as the region’s first independent, grassroots citizen’s group. Before there was an EPA or Department of Natural Resources, before there was an Earth Day, recycling bins, or clean water permits, there was the Coalition for the Environment, fighting to keep our environment and the people of Missouri safe and thriving. Fifty years later that effort has led to the tools, policies, and laws that form the backbone of environmental protection in our state. We have litigated when necessary and we have stood our ground. Now we are inviting you to stand with us. Become a member.

Join the celebration at the Missouri Botanical Garden Saturday, November 2.

SDA’s Small Works, all member exhibition, Webster University's Arcade Contemporary Art Projects Gallery It's Not You, It's Me: A Declaration of Independence, The Sheldon Art Galleries The Quintessential Quilt, Circle in the Square Quilters Guild plus permanent collection; University City Public Library Fidencio Martinez-Perez: Cuttings, Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design Not My Usual Go To!, The Parish Gallery, Trinity Episcopal Church

RED BUS (C) - Downtown Features six exhibits with an exciting variety of textile techniques and fiber art including altered surfaces, contemporary quilts and rare historic kimonos. RE: Surfaced, Weavers' Guild of St. Louis, Fontbonne University Gallery of Art The Quintessential Quilt, Circle in the Square Quilters Guild plus permanent collection; University City Public Library SDA’s Small Works, all member exhibition, Webster University's Arcade Contemporary Art Projects Gallery Fiber Focus 2019, Art Saint Louis Japanese Meisen Kimono & Needle Festival Tributes, Horsley Arts

YELLOW BUS (D) - St. Charles Features a presentation and four exhibits where the work stretches your imagination through all dimensions of textiles & fiber explorations; 3-D, on the wall, and suspended from the ceiling. NOTE: this tour involves walking about a block. Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, with presentation Quilt National 2019, Foundry Art Center MOFA Tall & Skinny, Foundry Art Center Bits Art Quilters Exhibit, Bluebird Park Exhibit: work of Kelsey Wilshusen, The Monday Club, Webster Grove

GREEN BUS (E) - St. Charles Features five galleries where the work stretches your imagination through all dimensions of textiles & fiber explorations; 3-D, on the wall, and suspended from the ceiling. Sun Smith-Foret: Trans Tribal Sculptures, Duane Reed Gallery Paper & Thread: Dreams are Made of These - Deann Rubin and Betty Shew, Norton's Fine Art & Framing Quilt National 2019, Foundry Art Center MOFA Tall & Skinny, Foundry Art Center Not in My Comfort Zone, St. Charles County Arts Council’s Lillian Yahn Gallery

Find out more at www.moenvironment.org


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FALL

2019

Profile for All the Art

All the Art Fall 2019  

The Visual Art Quarterly of St. Louis

All the Art Fall 2019  

The Visual Art Quarterly of St. Louis