Aug. 31, 2012 —
A new exhibit, “The Threads that Bind: Textiles by Kentucky Artisans,” will open Sept. 1, at the Kentucky Artisan Center in Berea, and will be on display through Feb. 23.
The exhibit will showcase the work of 21 Kentucky artisans who create a wide range of work including clothing, jewelry, wall art, sculpture, quilts and more. Works on display are composed of fabric, fiber and/or thread, with significant use of thread or other fiber strands to weave, embellish, construct, shape, quilt or otherwise create the design.
Pattern, texture, abstraction, symbolism, innovation, realism and whimsy can all be found in this colorful exhibition.
Morehead State University’s Jennifer Reis, assistant professor of art and gallery director, will be part of the exhibition. Symbolism is present in numerous works including Reis’s bead embellished work, “Seven for a Secret,” based on the Irish folklore poem “Seven for the Secret Never Told” which speaks of foretelling the future by counting magpies.
A number of artists in the exhibit use traditional textile methods in innovative ways. Lily Liu of Paducah has used monofilament and agate to create an airy and open knitted necklace, while Stacey R. Chinn of Lexington as created a necklace, titled “Spike,” using soft knitted fiber to reference a dog collar. Inspired by the fabric storage method of a quilting friend, Liu has bundled fabric into numerous small rolls and tied them together with thread to create a three-dimensional vessel.
Some works in this exhibit are narrative. Felice Sachs’s wall piece, “It Takes Work,” represents the lengthy processes that encompass the production of a hand woven blanket or coverlet, from shearing the sheep to the final weaving. Sachs of Louisville includes stitched written commentary along with historical weaving and treadling patterns in her design.
Realism can also be seen in Berea’s Pat Jennings’s brilliantly colored rendering of a ruffled cactus plant in her work titled, “Succulent,” and inYvonne Abma Fritze’s work “Horses in the Round.” Barrett Shaw’s elaborately embroidered and delicate work titled while“Siphonophorae,” is based on the close-up photography of early 20th century German naturalist Ernst Haeckel. In this work, Shaw portrays close-ups of four species of hydra plants using embroidery floss, wool and acrylic yarn, beads, cotton crochet thread and cord, and even shoestrings. Both Fritze and Shaw are from Louisville.
Other participating textile artists include: Dobree Adams, Frankfort; Lydia P. Allen, Pewee Valley; Philis Alvic, Lexington; Ann Butwell, Berea; Mary Colmer, Berea; Pat DaRif, Louisville; Marilyn Foulke, Louisville; Yvonne Abma Fritze, Louisville; Kemper-O’Neil, Louisville; Gena Mark, Lexington; Margaret Merida, Farmington; Marti Plager, Louisville; Bobbie Rafferty, Louisville; Cindy Vough, Lexington; and Joanne Weis, Louisville.
A public meet-the-artists reception will be held Sunday, Sept. 30, from 1-3 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center in Berea. The center is located at 200 Artisan Way, just off Interstate 75, exit 77.
The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel information areas are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the cafe open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free. The center currently features works by more than 650 artisans from 100 counties across the Commonwealth.
For more information, call 859-985-5448 or visit the center’s website at www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov.