Archives for posts with tag: fiber

Next Friday, March 11, marks the opening of Teem, a collaborative installation by Mary Babcock and Christopher Curtin. A first for Textile Arts Center!

Teem superimposes metaphors of water (movement/potentiality), and the sea (the infinite, comfort, danger, aloneness) to evoke a sense of dreamspace — the space of possibility. Using textiles, Teem creates an environment where viewers find themselves under the surface of the water at the powerful juncture where river currents meet the ocean tides, where the individual meets the collective.

(Previously installed as “Deluge”- see below)

Chris will be joining us for the Opening Reception, giving a talk that night on concept and installation. Unfortunately, Mary, the fiber artist of the two, is located in Hawaii and will be unable to join us… However, in preparation for the installation that will begin tomorrow I’ve been looking at Mary’s work a ton.

Through performance, installation, and textile media, Mary focuses on many familiar issues to us (war, revolution, natural and manmade disaster), through the idea of “mending” — something we’ve been talking about a lot lately around here.

Epitaph – Created in response to the US invasion on Iraq. TheWedge Gallery, Asheville, NC, 2003

Dirty Laundry – Performance/installation created in response to the US invasion on Iraq. TheWedge Gallery, Asheville, NC, 2003

In Mary’s words: “My work explores ‘mending’ and its implications for cultural change. Although I work across traditionally defined media and conceptual boundaries, the grounding point for my work is in the metaphors derived from fiber processes (e.g. stitching, binding, weaving, piecing) and the overarching concept of mending. I am interested in how precise application of fiber metaphors may heighten our understanding of both peace-building and of fractures in the foundations for social justice. Tattering might be inherent. It is part of the wear and tear – some necessary, some not so necessary. But we seem to fall short on the art of mending.

I am deeply interested in the profundity of listening and of silence – of listening to the conversation between materials, thoughts and processes and of experiencing the rich silence of open space. I investigate ‘making’ as a form of contemplative action – as a tool for illuminating implicit knowledge of our potential for compassion and our proclivities for grief, confusion and complicity with structural and personal violence.”

Departire – Site specific installation at Ueno Town Art Museum, formerly Sakamoto Elementary School, for Threshold: Sustainable Art Project, Ueno/Tokyo, Japan, 2009. A response to Tokyo’s changing age demographics that leave elementary schools vacant and shift cultural mores. Pieced from over 50 nagajugan, mostly of vintage silk from obsolete Japanese textile mills, handsewn by students and volunteers in workshop settings.

Circumspect – Created in response to the US invasion on Iraq. The Jones House, Boone, NC. Materials: Wall Street Journal and NY Times, stained; tapestries of black walnut dyed silk, kozo and book binders thread; typewriter erasure ribbons, post post mortem surgical needles. Chronicles deaths of the “coalition forces”. The names of those who died between the March 21st invasion and April 1, 2004 (the showʼs opening) were deleted from the ribbons as they silently vanished from our lives.

While we find no shortage of political art in general, and specifically in the fiber and textile world, I find Mary’s approach to be unique. Instead of speculating the problem, it focuses on a solution, forcing us to think about what comes next.

Looking at her work, even through image, does invoke the feeling of silence. It makes me stop — at first at it’s beauty, and after reading her Artist Statement — to contemplate my own ability to pay attention to relationships between people, materials, concepts, places. Our ability, as humans, to withstand pain and hardship (including the ways we provoke it) and then our ability to focus on how to fix it. What new solutions can we come up with, and what can we learn from older ideas?

Unnatural Acts – Prickly pear fiber, silver solder, wire. 2003 Addresses the unnaturalness of imposed boundaries and forced militarism.

Deluge – Created in collaboration with Christopher Curtin for The Netshed at Alderbrook Station, Astoria, OR, 2010. Once the site of a thriving, albeit contested, salmon fishing industry, the Netshed – where fishermen would repair their gillnets – is an historical structure that serves as an icon for the interplay of migration, economy, ecology, dispossession and reclamation. Using hand-dyed cloth, the metaphor of water and reclaimed gillnets – the material that originally necessitated the site – we sought to re-engage the building’s history as a site of restoration and repair, creating a poetic context in which viewers might dream new possibilities for dialogue and negotiation. Gillnets provided by the Columbia River Fisherman’s Protective Union’s gillnet recycling project. Photo credit: http://www.donfrankphotography.com

I cannot wait to see Teem installed in our space. Other programming through March and April will be yoga and mediation, shibori, and Abigail Doan’s Earth Day workshop.

Hope to see you next Friday, March 11 for the Opening from 8-11PM! The show will be up through April. And you can check out the video of “Deluge” to get an idea of what will be up here.

I’ve got my mind set on Spring. I’m feeling claustrophobic and itchy in my layers, putting on boots ignites anger, and I just want to go to the damn beach. March is the worst month in this regard, and so to keep myself from avoiding SAD I’ve been thinking a lot about my plants.

I was given a my first potted plant by my mother when I went off to college. He’s almost seen his final days quite a number of times, but now that I’m settled, he seems to be settled and happy in my window sill with an Ivy I bought last Spring right around this time. So on this dreary day, while a jack hammer takes out our back floor spewing soil everywhere, I thought of Megan Piontkowski.

A few weeks ago, we had a drop-in visit from a local artist named Megan Piontkowski. This has to be one of my favorite parts about working here. I love when artists or designers stop in to see the space, introduce themselves, and we get to know a little more about the person at the same time as being introduced to their work.

Megan proposed some classes, and when I took a look at her website, her work immediately lifted my winter-blues.

The plants, of course, made me smile — but overall, there is a quirky and light air to everything she does — from her illustrations of her alter ego, Sebastian, to more political, tongue-in-cheek satire, like her own Economic Stimulus Plan.

I am also a fan of her embroidery. Somewhere behind my cluttered desk, I am a minimalist at heart.

Overall, I’d like to fill my apartment with things this subtly beautiful and happy. Only 21 days to go!

(Photos courtesy Megan Piontkowski — sorry for the small size!)

A few weeks ago, we were approached by a nice Irish man working for Japanese TV. He was working on a segment that highlighted the “craft wave” in and around NYC and Brooklyn. In particular he was interested in highlighting our weaving and shoe making classes, and he discussed with us the various ways in which we felt this “craft wave” was growing, affecting individuals, as well as the economy.

I feel like we’ve been having this conversation a lot, through several interviews happening around the same time (EcoSalon, Brooklyn Based), and it’s really actually helped in how we run things here. For the most part, we are doing what we believe in and what we think will make people happy. But when you are asked specific questions, it forces you to wrap your mind around what you’re actually doing — what is going on in a larger picture. And rather than just feeling it, you can talk about it in a more concrete way. I like that.

Alisa, one of our wonderful previous interns, shows up on the video as a weaver. She is Japanese, and her father still lives there. So when he randomly saw her on TV one night, he sent her the clip through Youtube:

Now I only wish I could understand Japanese and know what it says under my face while I’m speaking..

(photo courtesy EcoSalon)

I am so pleased to be working with the Textile Arts Center as part of our initiative at StyleSalt to support independent fashion artists and designers. Fiber art is the first step in wearable creations, and I couldn’t be happier with the shift from people looking for mass-produced pieces to wanting something special and unique–real statement-pieces that can be an extension of their personality and view of the world. It’s a push to individuality, and with the luxury market back in swing, customers don’t mind paying more to get it.
I have spent a large portion of my career working with designers, both emerging and established, as a fashion editor for magazines like ShapeNatural Health and Fit Pregnancy. Passion for creating something original is an attribute highly visible in this industry.
Now in my role for StyleSalt.com’s boutique , I am able to take on an even more hands-on role for artists, not just witnessing the journey, but also in helping. Our goal is to make apparel design a more accessible career for new talent, give designers a free place to sell their creations, free promotion, free blogging and an instant audience.
If you are interesting in becoming involved in StyleSalt’s boutique for emerging and independent designers, you can contact me at misty@stylesalt.com.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Misty Huber
CCO, StyleSalt.com

(from Eden Jewelry)

(from Kahri)

Join us and curator Scott Henstrand tonight for an Artist Talk on the current exhibition missing/Missed.

Textile Arts Center, 505 Carroll Street (btwn 3rd + 4th ave), January 24, 7PM

The following artists will be sharing about their work:

Regina Agu

Audrey Anastasi

Julia Elsas

Pat Hickman

Sara Jones

Mary Lippin

Jill Magi

John Paul Morabito

Maria Scarpini

Ed Schexnayder

Leonie Wunderlich.

Visit the missing/Missed website for more information on each artist!

An exciting weekend.

Friday was the Opening for Missing/Missed, curated by Scott Henstrand. The turnout was great, and the feedback thus far has been positive. Congratulations to Scott, and all the artists, on a wonderful show!

Visit our Facebook album for more photos

or see more about the show here.

And on Sunday, we had a first meeting with our 6 new Resident Artists!

And, so, I’d like you to meet them as well:

Denise Maroney

Denise recently returned from Lebanon, where she produced a traveling theater group called “Books in Motion”. The group traveled throughout the area, to perform small acts in abandoned train stations. She also helped design and create all the costumes.

Now she is back in NYC and will join us for the next leg of her journey, exploring her life long interest in dress and why we choose to wear what we do, as well as her strong admiration for Islamic fashion.

Check out this interview with Denise on her work in Lebanon.

 

 

Astrid Lewis Reedy

Astrid is a graphic designer by profession, but undergoing the process of exploring new routes of expression and employment through textiles and product design. She is a machine knitter, felter, and quilter who uses collage methods to combine many things to create a whole.

While at TAC, Astrid plans to create a first collection of home wares focusing on the the things we “keep” through tangible and intangible heirlooms. She also wants to continue her attempts to “hack” into her electronic knitting machine, directly connecting it to a computer and trying out new patterning techniques.

 

 

Julia Ramsey

Julia is an incredibly talented machine knitter, who has created commercial work, as well as completed her own collections of knit wedding dresses, and other knit sculpture exploring the consciousness of the human body.

While at TAC, Julia plans to research and develop her interest in the idea of a “dowry” and how textiles have traditionally come into play. Focusing on the history of the dowry in Georgia and Armenia, Julia plans to create parts of a dowry, that follow fictional characters.

Tali Weinberg

Tali is a current graduate student at NYU. Her thesis will explore the growth of community and contemporary textile crafts, in relation to ecology and social justice.

Aside from her activist and community organizational work, Tali is also a weaver, natural dyer, and sewer. While at TAC she will use the others around her, whether artists or students, as part of her research, while working on her own artwork.

 

Jill Magi

Jill is a poet, writer, and artist. In her current work, she uses embroidery techniques to draw on paper, also exploring repetition, the artist series, installation, projection and performance. Very attuned to language through writing, her approach is most often conceptual, playing with the subtext of language as well as the presence of the hand and body.

She currently has an installation in the Missing/Missed exhibition at TAC, and plans to spend her time here on a new project related to labor and work.

Whitney Crutchfield

We first met Whitney two summers ago, when she was a volunteer in our first year of Summer Camp. How happy we are to have her join us again!

Having just completed her MFA in Textiles from Colorado State, Whitney primarily studies repeat patterns and printing methods, and finds her relaxation through weaving.

After completing her thesis, she wants to explore the refuse from the process of creating — what can be done with the things were not purposefully created?

 

As General Manager at TAC, I often answer the question of whether or not I create anymore. And my answer is usually no, that I’ve really devoted myself to Textile Arts Center, and found far more fulfillment in that — watching others create — than creating for myself. While this is true, and it’s been several years since doing my own artwork, I left last nights meeting incredibly inspired to make that time for myself again.

I can’t wait to see what these 6 talented women do in the next couple of months, and finding my own creativity again through discussion and learning — even if I’m just sitting in on critiques.

I am incredibly lucky to have this life at Textile Arts Center.

Last Friday I went to MoMA. I haven’t been there in a while and there’re a couple of exhibitions I wanted to see, like  the exhibition “On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century”.

Julie Mehretu. Rising Down. 2008. Ink and acrylic on canvas, 96 x 144″ (243.8 x 365.8 cm). Collection Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, New York. Photo by Tim Thayer. © 2010 Julie Mehretu

This exhibition “explores the radical transformation of the medium of drawing throughout the twentieth century, a period when numerous artists subjected the traditional concepts of drawing to a critical examination and expanded the medium’s definition in relation to gesture and form”. ( in MoMA website)

One of the mediums explored by several artists was fiber and thread. No surprises here, if we think that embroidering can be seen as drawing with a needle and thread, and the first examples of embroidered work date back to a couple of centuries BC.

However, the way the following artists used a fiber medium to draw, either two and tri-dimentionally, it’s nothing but amazing.

 

Susan Hefuna (German, born 1962)

Untitled, Mixed media, embroidery on tracing paper, 2008

 

Cildo Meireles (Brazilian, born 1948)

Malhas da Liberdade (Meshes of Freedom), Cotton rope, 1976

 

Anna Maria Maiolino (Brazilian, born Italy 1942)

Desde A até M (From A to M) From the series “Mapas Mentais” (Mental Maps), Thread, synthetic polymer paint, ink, transfer type, and pencil on paper,         1972-1999

 

Ranjani Shettar (Indian, born 1977)

Just a bit more, Hand-molded beeswax, pigments, and thread dyed in tea, 2005-2006

(photo courtesy of http://artinthestudio.blogspot.com/)

The exhibition will be on view until February 7th. Well-known-and-renowed artists like Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Alexander Calder, Vassily Kandinsky and Eva Hesse are featured, as well as the highlighted artists and many many more.

Make sure you don’t miss it!

On Line: Drawing Through The Twentieth Century is organized by Connie Butler, The Robert Lehman Foundation Chief Curator of Drawings, The Museum of Modern Art, and Catherine de Zegher, former director, The Drawing Center, New York.


 

 

For all you textile artists that are itching for a cute video Owyn was sent, then this is the answer to your prayers!  Check this absolutely heart-warming textile video.  I couldn’t even believe it is a commercial for Nokia.

Nokia ‘Dot’ Video

Directed by Sumo Science

On another note, we had three video submissions to Cutting Edge.  They were all shown at our Opening Party but you may have missed them from the crowds of people pouring into the space and crowding around the projector.  I will be attempting to put the videos up on the Textile Arts Center’s website soon.  (Wish me luck.)  Though, I think it is important that you learn a little about these artists as they are an integral part of the show.

Video 1: Metamorphosis by Heidi Field-Alvarez

Is an interesting work in which a white dress seems to constantly be changing its shape to the point where the viewer questions what the white mass even is.  Randomly you will see bursts of human ligaments and you are reminded of the dress.

Additional text was added into the end of the video, putting into perspective what the metamorphosis means.

————————————————————————————————

The metamorphosis of

marriage can feel like

being trapped,

stretching and

transforming a traditional

shell.

The wedding dress is a

fixation on the past.

—————————————————————————————————-

I haven’t decided yet whether or not this video celebrates the change marriage brings to a person or criticizes it.  I feel it is a personal struggle, whether or not you can accept that change will come or if you fight it all the way.

Video 2: On her Birthday, Give her  Drum by Sarah Bahr

Is a beautiful video of the artist embroidering a white dress she is wearing in the park.  The viewer watches and waits as the plain dress is morphed into an extraordinary wearable.  For me it comments on how easily you can change your life to become something beautiful and completely your own.  Taking something as simple as a dress and creating something new.  Which comes to the title, that confused me at first but after viewing the video resonates with the idea of pure creation.   A drum is the perfect instrument, you don’t “have” to take lessons to learn it and there are a million different beats you can create with it.  For me, the celebration is in true creation.

Video 3: The Invisible Woman by Lou Trigg

A movie and work of literature, the Invisible Woman is one woman’s story and how she became invisible.  The movie is a series of illustrations and text done in stitches, which makes the work raw and simple.  The simple stitching whispers the quiet invisibility of the main character drawing the viewer into the story.  You are able to purchase one of these books at the Textile Arts Center or you may read one of them and admire the exquisite work of Lou.

Look for these videos on the website coming to you in the next week.  (Once I work out the kinks!)

Till next week, come in and enjoy the entire Cutting Edge show, and keep on creating.

At last. We sign our new lease today!

And this, ladies and gents, is where we will reside. Not quite Gowanus, not quite Park Slope. Sun shining in on all our (and your) pretty little faces, slaving away over looms. It’s a lovely thought, no?

Well, hurry up. Come hang out with us! 505 Carroll St (between 3rd + 4th Ave)

Nice and cozy inside. And you can’t tell but…summer is right around the corner.

It’s been strange planning our Summer Camp for 2010 while it snows, blizzards, freezes. Our brochure is finally here, though! Just in time. : )