Saturday, November 27, 2010
New Fibers 2010
This comes under the Shameless Self-Promotion catagory, of course, but it's also a shout-out to the Fiber Arts Network of Michigan (FAN), Eastern Michigan University, and the Ann Arbor Fiber Arts Guild. Until December 10, my Red Blooming Biotope is part of the show, New Fibers 2010, at the University Gallery in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and it's been a wonderful thing to be a part of. Not only do I get to participate, I was given the Second Place prize by juror Tracy Krumm, and featured on the invitation postcard. I wasn't able to see the show in person, but based on the catalog they sent me, I'm in company with outstandingly skilled and imaginative artists, truly exploring the potential of a media choice that has been historically marginalized, until recently. According to Michele Fricke, writing in the catalog,
"Fiber is a field of art-making as old as painting or sculpture and is equally steeped in tradition. However most art history courses touch only briefly on the history of textiles, if they mention it at all, in part because of the ephemerality of materials. It is further marginalized by the perception of fibers as 'women's work', reductive arguments about craft (which are happily shifting), and the perception held by many that fiber artists are all about the materials and techniques to the detriment of content."
Thankfully, because of shows like New Fiber, I'm challenged less and less on the value of my choices, and encouraged beyond words by their sensitivity towards the balance of intimate labor and thought that animates the best fiber art I see out there.
The greatest blog to celebrate the diverse and intense vocabulary of fiber-based work is artist Lorraine Glessner's oh what a world, what a world, (the poor Wicked Witch's next to last words before she melted away into a pile of resentful steaming black muslin). It's an encyclopedia of what's going on out there, and what the wonderful Lorraine herself is creating-