Up Next in the Gallery

Fiber Focus 2015

Fiber Focus 2015 • August 8 - October 8, 2015
FREE reception Saturday, October 3, 6-9 p.m. 

Please join Art Saint Louis for Fiber Focus 2015 exhibition featuring artworks by 43 artists from eight Midwestern regional states.

Graphic Design by Karen Pauls and Kathy Duffin.Graphic Design by Karen Pauls and Kathy Duffin.


Art Saint Louis presents Fiber Focus 2015, a juried contemporary fiber art exhibit that was open to artists residing in Missouri and the eight states that are contiguous to our border: Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

Artworks submitted for this exhibit were to focus on fiber as media as well as technique. Works in any fiber media or combination of fiber media were considered. Other media may be incorporated, however, the central or key element explored must clearly be fiber or fiber technique. All styles, techniques, media.


Fiber Focus 2015 is presented at Art Saint Louis, 1223 Pine Stree in downtown St. Louis, MO, August 8 through October 8, 2015. FREE reception & awards: Saturday, October 3, 2015, 6-9 p.m. with juror Marci Rae McDade.

Gallery hours are Monday 7 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday 7 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed Sundays & holidays.

 

Art Saint Louis' Fiber Focus exhibition has a wonderful history. Created 20 years ago, in 1995, we have had the good fortune to exhibit works by hundreds of excellent Midwest regional artists. Our esteemed previous jurors include outstanding key internationally-recognized figures working in contemporary fiber art:

1995    Barbara Lee Smith, artist, curator, lecturer, author
1997    Rebecca A.T. Stevens, artist, lecturer, author, curator, Textile Museum, Washington, D.C.
1999    Yoshiko Wada, artist, curator, author, Professor, University of California, Berkeley

2001    Laurel Reuter, author, Founding Director & Chief Curator, North Dakota Museum of Art
2003
    Junco Sato Pollack, artist, Associate Professor of Art, Head of Textiles, School of Art & Design, Georgia State University, Atlanta
2005    Bhakti Ziek, textile artist, author, Randolph, VT
2007    Jane Sauer, artist, former owner, Jane Sauer Gallery, Santa Fe, NM (currently resides in St. Louis, MO)
2009    Alice Zrebiec, curatorial consultant, Santa Fe, NM; consulting curator of Textile Art, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
2011    Lia Cook, artist, Professor of Art, Textiles and Graduate Studies at California College of Arts, Berkeley, CA


Marci Rae McDade, Fiber Focus 2015 JurorMarci Rae McDade, Fiber Focus 2015 JurorServing as Juror for Fiber Focus 2015 is artist Marci Rae McDade, Editor of Surface Design Journal (since 2012). She is also a mentor and instructor in the MFA Applied Craft + Design Program, cosponsored by the Oregon College of Art and Craft and the Pacific Northwest College of Art, in Portland, Oregon.
Based in Portland, OR, McDade was previously Editor of Fiberarts magazine (March 2008-May 2011) until it ceased publication. McDade received a MFA in fiber and material studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2007), completed a Fiber Emerging Artist Residency at the Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, Oregon (2007), and received a BA in film and video production from Columbia College Chicago (1994).
McDade has curated numerous contemporary art exhibitions including, most recently, Fail-safe: Discomforts Close to Home (2014), which debuted at Craft Alliance, St. Louis and traveled to Hap Gallery, Portland, Oregon. She also curated the well-received Girl on Guy: the object of my desire (2007) at A+D Gallery, Chicago, and Perfect: a group exhibition (2005-2007), which originated at the Chicago Cultural Center and traveled to several gallery and museum venues around the country. As a practicing fiber artist, Marci has exhibited her embroidered two-dimensional pieces and multi-media fiber installation work nationally in solo and group exhibitions.

Fiber Focus 2015 is presented with generous support from Missouri Arts Council, Regional Arts Commission, Surface Design Association, Missouri Fiber Artists, Weavers' Guild of Saint Louis, The Verna Wulfekammer Memorial Trust Fund of the Columbia Weavers and Spinners' Guild, and Karen Pauls.

Seventy-nine artists from eight Midwestern states submitted nearly 200 artworks in all fiber media & techniques for jurying from which Ms. McDade had to make her selections for this exhibition. From those entries, Marci selected 50 artworks by 43 artists for the final show. The artworks selected for this exhibition highlight fiber art and fiber techniques in a variety of themes and media including assemblage, basketry, beadwork, ceramics, crochet, dyeing, embroidery, felting, knitting, mixed media, paper, photography, quilting, sewing/stitching, surface design, tapestry, and more.

Congratulations to the following artists whose works have been purchased through this exhibit: Debra Akin, Rachelle Gardner-Roe, Dawn Ottensmeier, Taylor Painter-Wolfe, and Betty Shew.

Congratulations to the following artists whose artworks were selected for Awards by Juror Marci Rae McDade at our October 3 reception:
Best of Show Award presented in memory of artist Marjorie Hoeltzel: Joe Ford
The Weaver's Guild of St. Louis Award for Excellence in Woven Tapestry given in memory of Helen Wenzel: Mandy Pedigo
Missouri Fiber Artists' Award of Creative/Innovative Use of Fiber: Pattti Shanks
Surface Design Association Award for Emerging Voices: Catherine Reinhart
Honorable Mention: Jenna Leigh Richards
(5) Awards of Excellence: Donna Broyles, Carlene Fullerton, Marilyn Emerson Holtzer, Jaime Sawka, and Ann Miller Titus.

The 43 featured artists in Fiber Focus 2015 are:

Debra S. Akin, St. Louis, MO
Muhammad Alhawagri, St. Louis, MO
Donna M. Broyles, Alton, IL
Emily Chao, St. Louis, MO
Shin-hee Chin, McPherson, KS
Kacey Cowdery, Webster Groves, MO
Sara Drower, Wilmette, IL
Suzy Farren, Webster Groves, MO
Joe Ford, Jonesboro, AR
Carlene Fullerton, Richmond Heights, MO
Rachelle Gardner-Roe, Mission, KS
Stephanie Grubbs, Edmond, OK
Marilyn Emerson Holtzer, University City, MO

Cindy Houston, Bowling Green, KY
Laura Saunders Kaiser, St. Louis, MO
Lisa Kriner, Berea, KY
Jamie Lovell, East Peoria, IL
Elizabeth Mesa-Gaido, Morehead, KY
C Miller, Granite City, IL
Kristin Morland, Lawrence, KS
Dawn Ottensmeier, Brentwood, MO
Taylor Painter-Wolfe, Tulsa, OK
Alex Paradowski, St. Louis, MO
Mandy Pedigo, St. Louis, MO
Marti Plager, Louisville, KY
Lisa Nelson Raabe, Peoria Heights, IL
Catherine Reinhart, Ames, IA
Jennifer Reis, Morehead, KY

Jenna Leigh Richards, Champaign, IL

Luanne Rimel, Webster Groves, MO

Deann J. Rubin, St. Louis, MO
Jaime Sawka, Champaign, IL
Amy Schmierbach, Hays, KS
Jayson Schwaller, Hays, KS
Kristin Serafini, St. Louis, MO 
Patti Shanks, Columbia, MO
Betty Shew, St. Louis, MO
Megan Singleton, St. Louis, MO
Leandra Spangler, Columbia, MO
Becky Stevens, Belton, MO
Ann Miller Titus, Quincy, IL
Patricia Vivod, Troy, IL
Kathy Weaver, Highland Park, IL


Fiber Focus 2015

Juror's Statement
By Marci Rae McDade


“An intense anticipation itself transforms possibility into reality; our desires being often but precursors of the things which we are capable of performing.” –Samuel Smiles

 

This quote by 19th century Scottish author and government reformer Samuel Smiles speaks to my long awaited pleasure of selecting the works of art included in Fiber Focus 2015. Robin Hirsch-Steinhoff, Art Saint Louis Artistic Director, invited me to take on this stimulating challenge in 2011 on the heels of Innovations in Textiles 9. The break in our plans filled the past four years with creative anticipation!

After hearing juror Lia Cook’s gallery talk at Art Saint Louis' Fiber Focus 2011 reception, I was so impressed with the scope and variety of work on display that I extended my trip to spend more time with the show. A quiet morning of research, intimately contemplating the technical merits and artistic intentions of each piece, resulted in articles for Surface Design Journal and SDA NewsBlog.

As an advocate for meaningful change, Samuel Smiles championed the notion that more progress comes from new attitudes rather than more rules. This was a consideration for each entry, as I looked for pieces that expanded our collective understanding of contemporary fiber art, and sought to enhance public appreciation for it in new ways.

Robin coached me through the online process, making jurying this year’s show from digital submissions both effortless and enjoyable. Every step of the way, she has been incredibly kind and generous with her time, and patient as I narrowed the final checklist for this exciting exhibition. My only regret is that there is not twice the space to include all of the pieces worthy of celebration. Robin’s curatorial expertise in arranging the work into beautiful conversations about materials, technique, color, and form, brings my virtual experience of jurying all of the submissions to life.

For me, the most potent forms of art have a magical balance of craft and concept. The pieces I am most drawn to in any media, especially textiles and fiber, possess a power to capture the present moment. When viewing these works in person, unique elements of their physical construction—material choices, time revealed in the making, aspects of composition—join together with potent conceptual agendas to speak to me on a deeper level. The works chosen for Fiber Focus 2015 reflect my belief in the power of art to capture glimpses of our shared humanity and desire to mark the passage of time through the creation of meaningful objects. The ubiquitous nature of textile and fiber materials and techniques, with their innate relationship to the body, home, comfort, and protection, afford them the ability to touch the hearts and minds of viewers from all walks of life, ages, and backgrounds.

It is clear from reading the juror statements of my predecessors that we all share a commitment to selecting works that display technical prowess and captivating concepts. On a more subjective level, I was also drawn to pieces that possess a sense of mystery and unexpected beauty. The exhibition can be viewed as an exciting survey of dynamic work being made by Midwest artists today. It has been an honor to be this year’s juror, and I thank Art Saint Louis, and all of the artists who applied, for the opportunity to learn more about this ever-evolving realm of the contemporary art world.

Sincerely,
Marci Rae McDade
Editor of Surface Design Journal


 

Our Fiber Focus 2015 exhibition is presented in conjunction with Innovations in Textiles 10, a collaborative event in the St. Louis, MO region, that investigates the state of contemporary textile arts. Over 20 nonprofit and private arts organizations join forces from August through November 2015 to present exhibitions related to fiber art created by national and international artists. Activities include workshops, lectures, gallery tours, and community programs. Innovations in Textiles 10 serves to enlighten the community with a unique aesthetic prospective on fiber art featuring various materials and techniques. The broad range of programming offered mirrors the symposium’s dedication to the investigation of innovative ideas.

Innovations in Textiles 10 really comes together on the weekend of October 2-4, 2015 with a free gallery hop on Friday, October 2 (participants tba on the Innovations website). Then, on Saturday, October 3, 9:30 a.m. at CAMSTL, the free Keynote speech for the event is presented by Jenelle Porter, Independent Curator and partner in Purtill Family Business, a Los Angeles design studio specializing in art books. From 2011-15, she was Mannion Family Senior Curator, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA. Ms. Porter most recently served as Curator of the traveling fiber art exhibition, Fiber: Sculpture—1960-Present. After the Keynote Speech on Saturday, a gallery bus tour ($45 advance reservation, limited seating) will follow. All gallery talks are free & open to the public, see schedule here. The day wraps up with a free reception at Art Saint Louis for Fiber Focus 2015 from 6-9 p.m. with Juror Marci Rae McDade. On Sunday, October 4, to wrap up the big weekend, a free self-guided gallery & studio tour is held at studios/galleries in Alton & Edwardsville, IL. For information on all related events, partners and exhibitions, visit the Innovations website.


Some of the 50 artworks featured in Fiber Focus 2015: 

Lisa Nelson Raabe, Peoria Heights, IL. "Calm Down." 2015. Vintage Doily Embellished with Beads & Embroidery. 13.5”x10.5”. $500.Lisa Nelson Raabe, Peoria Heights, IL. "Calm Down." 2015. Vintage Doily Embellished with Beads & Embroidery. 13.5”x10.5”. $500. Marilyn Emerson Holtzer, University City, MO. "Chemo Brain II." 2013. Handwoven Tapestry using Silk Wefts on Linen Warps. 8.5”x8.5”. Not for Sale. This artwork was selected by Juror Marci Rae McDade for an Award of Excellence.Marilyn Emerson Holtzer, University City, MO. "Chemo Brain II." 2013. Handwoven Tapestry using Silk Wefts on Linen Warps. 8.5”x8.5”. Not for Sale. This artwork was selected by Juror Marci Rae McDade for an Award of Excellence. Alex Paradowski, St. Louis, MO. "Self-Portrait." 2015. Cotton Fabric, Varnished Crochet Thread, 47.5”x47.5”. $2,500.Alex Paradowski, St. Louis, MO. "Self-Portrait." 2015. Cotton Fabric, Varnished Crochet Thread, 47.5”x47.5”. $2,500.
 Amy Schmierbach, Hays, KS. "Goosebumps." 2012. Wool, Crochet, 18”x30”x3”. $250.Amy Schmierbach, Hays, KS. "Goosebumps." 2012. Wool, Crochet, 18”x30”x3”. $250. Jenna Leigh Richards, Champaign, IL. "Yellow Cotton Skirt." 2014. White Earthenware, 6”x10”x8”. $700. This artwork was selected by Juror Marci Rae McDade for an Honorable Mention.Jenna Leigh Richards, Champaign, IL. "Yellow Cotton Skirt." 2014. White Earthenware, 6”x10”x8”. $700. This artwork was selected by Juror Marci Rae McDade for an Honorable Mention. Joe Ford, Jonesboro, AR. "Pangloss." 2013. Worn Denim, Recycled Denim Batting, Flannel Backing, 82”x63”x4”. $5,000. This artwork was selected by Juror Marci Rae McDade for the Best of Show Award presented in Memory of artist Marjorie Hoeltzel.Joe Ford, Jonesboro, AR. "Pangloss." 2013. Worn Denim, Recycled Denim Batting, Flannel Backing, 82”x63”x4”. $5,000. This artwork was selected by Juror Marci Rae McDade for the Best of Show Award presented in Memory of artist Marjorie Hoeltzel.
Muhammad Alhawagri, St. Louis, MO. "A Conflict of Threads." 2015. Photographic Silver Print on Paper, 32”x32”. $900. Muhammad Alhawagri, St. Louis, MO. "A Conflict of Threads." 2015. Photographic Silver Print on Paper, 32”x32”. $900. Jennifer Reis, Morehead, KY." Warrior (Blood Orange)." 2014. Embellished Textile Assemblage, 30”x18”. $1,200.         Jennifer Reis, Morehead, KY." Warrior (Blood Orange)." 2014. Embellished Textile Assemblage, 30”x18”. $1,200. Kacey Cowdery, Webster Groves, MO. "Path of Life." 2014. Cotton Poplin, Cotton Muslin, Printed by Collography Method, Painted Paper Mandala from Nepal, Natural Preserved Ginko Leaves, Leaves Lined with Polyester, Blanket Stitched with Floss, French Knots, 40”x40”. $1,600.Kacey Cowdery, Webster Groves, MO. "Path of Life." 2014. Cotton Poplin, Cotton Muslin, Printed by Collography Method, Painted Paper Mandala from Nepal, Natural Preserved Ginko Leaves, Leaves Lined with Polyester, Blanket Stitched with Floss, French Knots, 40”x40”. $1,600.
Jaime Sawka, Champaign, IL. "Consolation Prizes." 2014. Ex-Boyfriend’s Sweatshirts, Pewter, Glass Beads. 24”x28”x3”. $2,100. Jaime Sawka, Champaign, IL. "Consolation Prizes." 2014. Ex-Boyfriend’s Sweatshirts, Pewter, Glass Beads. 24”x28”x3”. $2,100. Elizabeth Mesa-Gaido, Morehead, KY. "Then and Now: Cotton Swabs." 2013. Hand-Dyed, Pleated, Hand Stitched Organza on Stretched Linen, Digital Manipulated Historical Cuban Government Photographs*, Heat-Transfer Printing * photo credit Cienfuegocity.org, 10”x20”. $900. Elizabeth Mesa-Gaido, Morehead, KY. "Then and Now: Cotton Swabs." 2013. Hand-Dyed, Pleated, Hand Stitched Organza on Stretched Linen, Digital Manipulated Historical Cuban Government Photographs*, Heat-Transfer Printing * photo credit Cienfuegocity.org, 10”x20”. $900. Deann J. Rubin, St. Louis, MO. "Y is for Why Block." 2014. Handwoven Tapestry, 6”x6”x6”. $975.Deann J. Rubin, St. Louis, MO. "Y is for Why Block." 2014. Handwoven Tapestry, 6”x6”x6”. $975.
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