Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Threads of Memory, Part Deux

I hope you enjoyed seeing the first part of our exhibition, Threads of Memory, shown at the Pool Gallery Art Center.  Here are some photos from the rest of the show.

Here are some of the UT members gathered at the opening reception.  Left to right, back row, Cathy Jeffery, Merrilee Tieche, Carol Bormann, Emmie Seaman.  Front row, Maureen Ashlock, Roberta Ranney, Donna Olson, Dianna Callahan.

Some of the pieces in the show that you haven't seen:

Do You Like Butter?  That's the question asked by Lettie Blackburn's beautifully framed piece.  "Of course I do" is the answer given by generations of laughing children on a warm summer's day, "my chin is yellow!" The glittering threads and sheers play perfectly off the grassy background, taking one back to remembered days of itchy grass, fireflies and golden dandelions.

This lovely oil pastel portrait of the artist's mother, done by Dianna Callahan and entitled Momma is a charming tribute.  A lace collar and tags from clothing add personal touches to the piece since Dianna's mother worked in a garment factory.

Three Sisters, submitted by Lucy Silliman utilizes a different surface design technique to achieve a beautiful and interesting look.  Lucy first thread painted her flowers on cloth, then colored the raised portions with oil pastels.  The three small pieces were then mounted on stretcher bars giving the trio a great design element.

Rainforest, a mixed media piece from Diane Steffen, uses the artist's great abstract style to evoke the sunless depths and bright canopy of a rain forest.  Mosses are stylized with the use of wool roving, and bright parrot blue draws our eye.

A secondary exhibit within Threads of Memory showcases our members contribution to a special exhibit.  In 2008, UT member Kathy Kansier  was the recipient of the prestigious Jewell Pearce Patterson scholarship awarded to "Teacher of the Year" by IQA.  In return for the many perks this award entails, Kathy had to develop a class based on something she had learned during the scholarship period,  and then mount an exhibit of works on that theme made by herself and her students to be premiered at the 2009 Houston IQA show.  The show then traveled to Quilt Market at Minneapolis and the fall IQA show in Long Beach, CA.   Kathy had 24 quilts in her exhibition.  Several of our UT members rose to the challenge and made art quilts based on Kathy's chosen theme of "Making a Grand Entrance

Down Olive Way is Maureen Ashlock's contribution.  The doorways are based on the different homes Maureen lived in during her husband's military career. Maureen worked long and hard to achieve the perfect perspective evidenced on this complicated quilt.  Choice of fabrics, the great machine stitching and even the kitty on the doorstep bring a warm feeling to it.

Reflections of Tuscany: Limonaria at Spannocchia selects an image beloved by artist Carol Bormann of the ancient building in Italy where lemon trees are stored during cold weather.  Carol and her husband, Nick, have returned to this enchanting place in Tuscany for it's particular beauty.  Note the reflection of the vines in the glass over the doorway.

Greek Archways by Dianna Callahan portrays an ancient entrance photographed, and now captured in fabric, during Dianna's recent travels to Greece and Turkey.  The amazing depth and realism of this piece is enhanced with paint, applied by both brush and spray.

First of four quilts made by Kathy Kansier for her exhibit is Entering a Competitive World, hilariously picturing aging bathing beauties on the beach.  Kathy's use of fabric and sense of humor play a big part in this quilt.

On a Hill Far Away by Kathy Kansier shows an ancient arch and landscape focused on three distant crosses.  Note the realism and excellent use of perspective in this quilt.

Kathy's quilt, He's Not There, shows the shock of discovering Jesus's body was missing when Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary, mother of James, looked in the tomb.  Kathy's use of color and imagination add to the realism.

Damascus Gate is a sister piece to He's Not There in more ways than one.  Both were originally created as one very large quilt but Kathy determined that each should have been separate, so she cut the quilt to make two.  The Damascus Gate was exit from Jeruselum that was used to transport Jesus to the site of his crucifixion. 

Chaco Canyon by Donna Olson shows a series of entrances, photographed by Donna's husband, in an ancient Anasazi Native American ruin in the Four Corners area of the U.S. Southwest.  The age of the worn adobe brick and the shadows made by sun shining through the collapsed ceilings make a perfect backdrop for Donna's favorite Native American myth - the Trickster, the crow.

L'Entrata di Siena, by Merrilee Tieche, translates a photograph taken by the artist in the ancient city of Siena in Italy.  The modernity of the shiny new bicycle in front of the old building and the shadows growing longer, created a contrast she couldn't resist.  In the original photo, there was a very modern black plastic garbage bag to the right of the door. 

Well, my friends, that's the whole show.  I will insert a caveat here and tell you that no photograph in the world can do justice to our fiber art - the texture, depth and color of the fabrics add an element that must be seen to be appreciated.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Welcome to "Threads of Memory"

If you weren't able to come to last night's opening of Threads of Memory at Drury University's Pool Art Center Gallery, you missed a fantastic event.  If you're in the area, please do try to see the exhibition.  It will run through September 25, 2010. 

Just in case you can't make it in person, here is your own private guided tour!

Good Grief, Uncommon Threads' coffin quilt, is the centerpiece of the show.  We turned the quilt several times during the 3 hours of the opening so visitors could see both colorways of the quilt.  Check out our book (linked at right), Good Grief, a Celebration of Life and Art, to see more of this amazing quilt.

Contrast: Experiencing Serra, Nick and Carol Bormann's magnificent collaboration, was the first thing seen by our visitors as they entered the show.  It is a very large piece showcasing the talents of both the Bormanns.

Lily Kerns with her homages to pojagi (top to bottom) Almost Mondrian I, Handicap Access, and Almost Mondrian II.  The art sparked almost as much interest as Lily's Segway!

Carol Bormann's new series represented here by The Last Time I Saw Paris
and The Last Time I Saw Venice.  Carol does such a wonderful job of blending custom machine cross stitch with applique. 

Our far-away friend, Christine Marcum, sent her wonderful sheer and many layered piece, Blocked Memory.  This is Christine's impression of the ancient Korean art of pojagi, the same inspiration for Lily Kerns art, but very different in execution.

Lettie Blackburn's new piece, Last Stand, is larger than her usual work, and is stunning in color, scope and execution. Lettie's trees are a metaphor for life, here showing an old white pine, the lone survivor of a once-proud stand of trees. 

Bird's Eye View, (below) Donna Olson's vision of irrigation circles and riverbeds as seen from high above the earth, imagines the vistas Donna's familiar crow might see while in flight.

Petroglyphs, a mixed media piece by Donna Olson, reprises her love of ancient Native American rock paintings discovered and photographed on her travels though the Four Corners area of the American Southwest.

Two smaller, but infinitely intriguing pieces by Maureen Ashlock begged us to get a little closer and look a little longer.  So much going on!  Top is A Quiet Day- My Creative Comfort, and (below) is Forrest Glen - Pixies at Play with Project Runway

Daydream, by Diane Steffen, is a colorful beachy piece evoking Caribbean waters and warm sand. Beautiful fabrics in shades of aqua enhance the feeling.

"Elegant" is the only word to describe Diane Steffen's lovely Bali Night.   The vintage Oriental reed for weaving is the perfect choice to mount it on.  The serene colors and beautiful beading and threadwork bring to mind a warm tropical night. 

Susan Leslie Lumsden's emotional work is represented by her uber-huge Slipstream Adventure.  As always, Susan's incredibly saturated colors take the viewer's eye on an adventure of their own!
Dianna Callahan's trip to Greece and Turkey is evoked here in Turkish Touch.  Based on a photo Dianna took of a rug weaver at work, the colors and fabrics representing Oriental Rugs are endlessly fascinating.

Jambalaya, by Cathy Jeffery, represents the colors and mixtures often seen in Cajun cookery.  You can almost smell the peppers and onions!

CSI, also submitted by Cathy Jeffery, takes a light hearted "stab" at humor. Using her usual improvisational piecing and a background of bright yellow and red spatter, the chalk outline of the recently deceased makes one wonder what was the cause of death?

Cathy Jeffery's third piece in the show is her newest work, Vision.  Bright earthtones against a starry background are highlighted with a peacock feather and made so much more interesting with uneven edges. 

Newer UT member, Roberta Ranney, loves playing with dyes.  Pieces of her experimentations with indigo show up here in Reflections of Monte Carlo portraying perfectly the warm Mediterranean waters and the reflections in the windows of the charming houses.

Where in the world can you see the cool blue hues imagined and created by Roberta Ranney in Indigo Hill?  I think perhaps we'd have to travel to Scandinavia to see it - maybe Norway? Brrrr! Where does it take you?

Memory of Sicily, also submitted by Roberta Ranney, evokes a warmer climate, the ochers and siennas reminiscent of the island of Sicily. 


Emmie Seaman's exhilarating threesome shows joy only a gardener can imagine.  Carrot seeds germinating under the watchful eye of the sun, springing to full grown splendor, then dancing with joyous abandon evidences the processes that often go unnoticed beneath the soil.

Two pieces by Merrilee Tieche hopefully can make you smell the salt air, wherever you are.  The first, Reflection, reminds one of sitting in the sand at sunset, gazing across the water at the island in the distance.  The second (below) Pacific Echoes, takes the viewer from the light filled waters nearer the sun, down to the darkest depths of the sea.

So there you have it for today.  There are a few photos that need to be taken over, and a whole section of the show yet to see, so look here for an update next week.  Thanks for visiting our show!