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March 29, 2011 > Diverse Textiles

Diverse Textiles

By Lucinda Bender

Textiles have come a long way since our ancestors donned simple cloths. It is amazing to see how far artists are taking them into the 21st Century. Catch a glimpse of what is possible with textiles at the 43rd Textile Exhibition at the Olive Hyde Art Gallery starting April 1.

Olive Hyde's curator, Sandra Hemsworth, searched for artists near and far to participate in this years sought after annual event. The twenty-seven artists selected run the full gamut of today's textiles, from traditional quilt landscapes, 3-D sculpture, felted seeds and pods to crocheted phones and breath-taking landscape vignettes.

Through the years of presenting this exhibit, Hemsworth has included a piece or two from artists not ordinarily found in such an exhibit due to the high number of entries. Sometimes a piece is shown from an artist who "will be deeply inspired in a genuine way by being a part of the process of exhibit." This year, Hemsworth, selected an entry by Erica and Mary Lacto who collaborated using recycled wire, found shells and objects and fibers. "They live in the greater Bay Area and have been attending the Textile Show for many years which they found to be a great inspiration and have always dreamed of exhibiting in it."

Other artists include, Chris Motley, Rose Marie Ginsburg, Marie Breasted, Denise Osama Miller, Sandra Rude of Three Springs Handworks and a group known as Running Fence-recycled, to name a few.

Chris Motley may see something unrelated to yarn that triggers a curiosity to translate the item to fiber or make a statement. And a statement Motley does make in "The Hugging Scarf" expressing a universal human need for affection; "Reaching Green" is a visual statement of hope for the environment. He knit "Living Alone" after his father's death as an expression of his mother's life on her own for the first time, in the medium she taught him. Motley knits intuitively and creates a new piece just by starting to knit without pre-planning... a wonderful exploration without confines of patterns or garments.

Rose Marie Ginsburg's "Weeds" wall hanging was created out of frustration because her gardener does not chop weeds out of her flower garden! She embroidered the weeds with hand spun, natural dyed yarn. At the same time weeds are engulfing the gardener, a solitary daisy is growing behind one of the workers.

Marie Bergstedt has combined the conceptual roots of photographic images with fiber and design skills. She is a featured emerging artist in ARTBUZZ, 2010, an international hardcover, juried publication and has been selected for inclusion in Best of Worldwide Portrait and Figurative Artists.

Bergstedt, is reconstructing memories from her childhood, especially of people who found a source of power that helped them move beyond difficulties of their day-to-day life. Each sculpture incorporates an old piece of handwork, crafted by someone unknown, into the new work.

Bergstedt's unique crocheted telephones represent her foster mother's power. Often living in isolated places with hard and long workdays, she found relief in a weekly call to her mother thousands of miles away.

Denise Osama Miller states that, "I have always found joy in making things with my hands and I am constantly inspired by the natural world. My work often focuses on intimate landscape scenes, focusing on the patterns of shapes, colors, and the interplay of lights and darks. I love the challenge of taking an idea from one of my inspirations and interpreting it in fabric or watercolor."

RunningFence-recycled, LLC is a group of artists showing in the Main Gallery Space. In 1976, international artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude Javacheff executed an immense project in Northern California called Running Fence, a 24-mile white nylon fabric fence extending from wine country, crossing highway 101 and ranchland before plunging into the Pacific Ocean. It generated much controversy and international attention before being immortalized in art history

Diane Smith of Fremont created RunningFence-recycled, LLC and then contracted with California artists to create art works from the original "Running Fence" panel fabric. The artists are from various backgrounds. Their only instruction is to make the textile into interesting works of art. The result has been a panoply of unique and original works, as diverse as their creators that are a wonderful addition to any fine art collection: fabric art, paintings, sculptures, assemblages, functional art and wearable art. Each piece is a unique collectible with a history and a story behind it.

This is just a small sample of treasures that can be found at the 43rd Textile Exhibit at Olive Hyde... more inspiration is right around the corner.


Textile Exhibition
April 1 - April 30

Opening Reception
Friday, April 1
7 p.m.-9 p.m.

Gallery Hours: Thursday - Sunday
Noon - 5 p.m.

Olive Hyde Art Gallery
123Washington Boulevard, Fremont
(510) 791-4357
www.fremont.gov/Art/OliveHydeArtGallery

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