Monday, June 24, 2019

There and Back Again....

We started our recent trip to Pennsylvania by driving over the mountains to Denver to deliver a small tapestry to the Foothills Art Center 'Amuse Yeux' small piece exhibit, and to see our grandson graduate from 8th grade. ( I made an attempt to sketch him, but sketching people who are truly special to me is a challenge I've not yet mastered! The quote was one painted on the Denver Museum wall.)

While in Denver, our 2 grandchildren went with us to the Denver Art Museum. My grandkids are all very creative, and all appreciate seeing good art. One of the featured exhibits at DAM now is of very large paintings done by Jordan Casteel, an artist formerly from Denver, in fact having gone to the high school my grandkids go to. 

Another exhibit, "Serious Play," is a mid-century modern exhibit. I especially liked the textiles, of course. The only woven piece was the large rug (in middle) by Marianne Strengell. It featured a lot of metallic yarns, which I wouldn't think would have worn well, had the rug been used.

After our short stay in Denver, we flew to Pittsburgh, for the opening of Fiberart International 2019 (see previous post.) The photo above is the baggage claim area, after everyone else had collected their bags. Ours did not come until several days later, just in time to check it again to go home.

We had included a day to rent a car to go see Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright's beautiful nearby creation. We had been to Chicago to see his studio there and a number of his other buildings in Oak Park, a few years ago. On our way back to Pittsburg, we stopped and purchased a very few things to get us through the next few days without our luggage, still hoping it would be at the hotel when we returned, but it was not.

After two amazing days at the galleries for the FI2019 opening and Fiber Forum, we had an evening to walk around Pittsburgh a bit. We had heard proud residents tell us that it is the 'city of bridges' ("as many as Vienna,")  the 'city of colleges,'  the 'city of rivers,' and the 'city of cathedrals.' Indeed, there were all those things in Pittsburgh! Cathedrals alternated with colleges on every other corner, it seemed. And the two amazingly combined in the Cathedral of Learning, a very tall 40-story tower in the heart of the city  on the University of Pittsburg campus. We wandered inside to see that it truly is a gothic style 'cathedral,' dedicated to inspiring students to excellence. It is still used for classrooms, and I would absolutely have loved to have had a 'study hall' like this when I was in college! Even though the academic year was ended, the cathedral was open and available to visitors.

Our bag finally was delivered to the hotel, so we took it back to the airport, and headed home. I came home inspired to work, but am still struggling with getting a design out of my head and onto the loom. Maybe I will work small until that happens...

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Fiberart International 2019

I recently got back home from a trip to the Fiberart International 2019 exhibit opening and the accompanying 2019 Fiber Forum. It was a big trip for us, so I'm going to just post about the exhibit and associated activities here, and will post in a few days about the rest of the trip.

The Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh, PA hosts the Fiberart International exhibit every three years. I was amazed and impressed by their organization for the event; the support for both artists and attendees was superb! I have been a part of many fiber and art organizations over the past 30 years, and am not easily impressed.... But I was very impressed! Months before the exhibit, participating artists were contacted about what we could expect, about housing options, and were even given a way to contact the other artists to arrange meals, travel, etc. I do not often travel to exhibit openings, as just getting my work there is often expensive enough. But all the contact and plans made me really want to be there; to not miss out!

I arrived Thursday evening, missing a party for the artists that evening while my husband and I waited (unsuccessfully) for our checked bag to arrive. The Opening Reception for the exhibit, which was held in two galleries, was Friday evening. I did not take any photos at the reception, as it was my first chance to see the exhibit. Awards were also given out, and I was thrilled to receive the award for Outstanding Weaving for my "Graffiti" tapestry!

Saturday was the Fiber Forum. Before participants arrived, I managed to take a few photos in the Contemporary Craft Gallery, where my work was hung, and where the Forum was to begin. Adrienne Sloane was adding marks for days to her knitted piece, "Marking Time" across from me in the gallery.

Each artist who was present had an assigned assistant, asking questions and taking notes as we talked, so gallery docents will later know a bit about our work.

Nicole Benner's life sized crochet performance piece, seen here in the middle, had an accompanying video to show it in motion.

And the large glass case to the right in the above photo also had supportive materials, showing several of the artist's inspirations or design methods.

You can see my "Graffiti" tapestry in the back of this photo. I had packed a small supporting tapestry, a sketchbook and a few other support materials in my checked bag. The bag finally arrived after I left the hotel for the Forum on Saturday, so my husband brought my 'stuff' to me. Forum participants were interested in everything, and they were also interesting! I met so may other tapestry weavers, of every skill and experience level. That is a rare gift for me, as I am a geographically isolated tapestry weaver.

After a delightful catered lunch, with one of the juror's, Jane Sauer, giving a Keynote Speech, we all went to the Brew House Gallery for the afternoon session of the Forum.  You can see Michael Rohde's "Interrogative" tapestry on the back wall in this gallery shot.

The works chosen to be in the exhibit include quilted pieces, felted works, several punch needle and hooked pieces, knitting and crochet, sewing, stitching and embroidery, as well as weaving.

The exhibit is up in both galleries through August 24, 2019. If you happen to be in the Pittsburgh area, it is well worth seeing. In addition, there is a beautiful color catalog, which I am sure you can get through Fiberart International.