Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Celia Pym

Last night I went to the Artist Talk at the Textile Arts Center, the current exhibit is Missing/Missed, curated by a non fiber artist, Scott Henstrand. When I first saw the call for work I was intrigued by the premise of the show as I am always drawn to work that has a missing element, my tastes tend to love negative space used in this way.

In looking at the show Scott put a lot of time and thought into the exhibit and made a lovely little catalogue with a very nice essay in it.

Micaela Hardy-Moffat

On the TAC website Scott states this:

We all have things we yearn for in the future and from the past. These things (lovers and pets and cars and mother and idea and …) drive us. They swirl around under the surface. We desire to capture and recapture the thing in memory or actuality. Most of the time we don't know exactly what any one thing is. We can't quite put our finger on the exact demand.

Patty Hickman

So needless to say I was excited to be able to see the show and hear a handful of the artists talk.
All in all the show was worth seeing. Though I will admit a big chunk of the pieces were not to my taste as I tend to not like work that has a clunkiness to it. I love work that has lightness in some way or that is overtly heavy in nature. I really have been searching for the right word to describe these works that I am thinking of and I cannot...what is it the right adjective? All I can think of is perhaps dated, no longer seeming relevant?
But at the artist talk it was nice to see that some people were very engaged with the work that I was not excited by. It just goes to remind us all that art and taste and preference is so very subjective.

and in the overall exhibit there were some very lovely gems of work that simply screamed off the wall to me. Well actually they did not - as all of these works had a subtly to them that made them the gems that they were but they whispered to my heart and my eyes in a very powerful way.

By far the highlight of the show was the beyond gorgeous piece by Alison Watkins. Her choices of color, what to embroider fully, what to reference, and what to leave out left for an incredibly evocative and oh so lovely work. If I could I would immediately buy this and hang it on my wall. The textures and patterns of the clothing drawn are just perfect. I very much hope to see more of her work. (and can I say that this image does not even get close to beginning to show the beauty of this piece.)

another work that I liked was a work by Julia Elsas, an artist that I just, coincidentally, met the previous week. The image does not show it but the piece has a wonderful quality of buckling, fraying, and seaming that is lovely. She utilizes a sewing machine that embroiders from her images and photos. I feel like in hearing her speak that she is just at the beginning of this work and look forward to seeing where it takes her.

John Paul Morabito had another uber gorgeous piece in this show. I am generally not into more minimalist work but John's work fools you by seeming minimalist but actually being so high in meaning and texture. In short it is truly gorgeous. And he is great too.

I was excited to see the work of one of my ex students in the show, Jill Magi, and even more excited to know that she is one of the TAC new artist residents. I cannot wait to see how she grows with her work. As an already accomplished writer and poet her work will be heavy with text and meaning. AKA right up my alley. Plus one of her "tiles" had a little shout out to me. Gotta love that.

Another highlight for me was the work of Celia Pym. She takes worn out clothes with rips and such and then "re-constructs" them back to completeness with embroidery and weaving. The result is quite lovely, the metaphor powerful, and for some reason the fact that her work ended up being the piece that hung in front of a brick wall instead of the cleaner gallery wall really worked for me.

Plenty of other great works. See all the work in the show here.

I took lots of gorgeous photos to share with all of you. But cannot figure out how to get them off my phone so hopefully I can do that soon?

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