Oregon Coast Council for the Arts is pleased to present “Simply Red,” an exhibit of textile art by fiber artists in the High Fiber Diet group, affiliated with the Portland-based Columbia FiberArts Guild.
What is the meaning of “Red”? The diverse artwork by 17 artists featured in this exhibit answer this question and explore this theme through a variety of textiles, techniques, and points of view.
Mary Arnold’s pieces employ hand-dyed fabrics, batik, and machine-piecing and -quilting in her photorealistic “Red Barn” and her abstract “Barn Side.”
“October,” a piece by Christina Brown, features machine-quilting of cotton. “This was the perfect October afternoon at the Seattle arboretum; it was hard for us to believe that the colors were this vivid, but yet they were,
Bonnie Bucknam hand-dyed the cotton fabrics for her pieces “Twenty” and “Red Winged Dragonfly,” while she derived inspiration from the textiles of the Thai Hill Tribe peoples for “Mirage.”
“The resulting colors obtained from repeated dyeing and discharging seemed too glorious to cut up and I decided to tell the story of the Big Bang with machine-quilting to emphasize the theme,” says Lynda Christianson of her same-titled piece. “Using wool batting enables me to leave ‘puffs’ as an additional texture in the piece.”
Hand-dyed cotton and Perle and wool felt make up Gerrie Congdon’s “Moonstruck.” “I was entranced by the June super moon,” she explained. “The motif is discharged (dye is removed). I then stitched the whole cloth to wool felt and washed it in hot water to shrink it and create the texture.”
Kimberly Connelly quilted the “brilliantly colored trees... absorbing the saturation and luminosity found in the season’s display” to “sustain [her] through the gray skies of winter in the Northwest.”
“I enjoy the challenge of working from a photo and using layers and values to capture the feeling of my subject,” offers Sherri Culver.
Diane English discharged black fabric to create the X’s, raw edge appliquéed red circles, and then hand- and machine-stitched “Simply Red Hugs and Kisses.”
Georgia French was excited “to bring the energy of the hue” to her piece of cotton, silk and polyester fabric collage, with a needle-felted wool insert.
Terry Grant looked to societal contrast for “Red Domes” – “In many Latin American countries, the contrast between rich and poor is immense – small humble dwellings sit side by side with grand cathedrals,” she said. “The history of European conquest casts its shadow over all.”
Carol Heist employs hand-dyes, silk-screens and/or monoprints her silk, cotton, linen, and polyester fabrics, then uses raw edge appliqué, machine-quilting, and hand embellishments in her pieces.
One of a series of irregularly shaped art quilts that examine the jazz term syncopation, Jill Hoddick highlights unusual beats within a musical composition in her construction, adding significant texture with dense free motion embroidery.
“The color red always makes one think of heat and drama,” declared Laura Jaszkowski. “A wild night out is one way to envision ‘Red’ come to life. So I [interpreted] the phrase in a literal sense by converting a painting of mine into the vibrant colors of fabric.”
“Lurking in the hills around Guerneville [Calif.] are ghosts of two major industries that fed the town for many years – lumber and quicksilver,” Pamela Pilcher writes of her collage textile piece. “Buildings crumble and memories fade, but if you look closely... you might catch a glimpse of the loggers and miners lurking among the ruins.”
Shirley MacGregor’s pieces exhibit numerous textile skills and treatments, including French drapery fabric, paint, appliqué, dyed wool roving, felting, ink and oil sticks, and machine- and hand-quilting.
“It’s not a secret that Western Oregon has its share of rain,” Sara Shayne Miller declared, “but what may not be quite so evident are our sunbursts.” This is the central theme of her machine-pieced and -quilted cotton art, “Celebrating the Sunburst.”
For “Heralding Spring,” Emily Stevens used hand-painted cotton and silk appliqued onto background materials, using polyester and other fibers for texture and embellishments.
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