Contemporary Threads and Home at Last

© Deena Ball

This weekend was full of art events! Harrisburg Gallery Walk was yesterday (there will be a future blog post on the Artist Conversations talk at the Art of the State exhibition), the PA Guild opened its first exhibition at their new Center for American Craft, and Marietta Art House opened it’s fiber-filled Fall with Contemporary Threads.

Friday night I worked at the Guild store and saw the huge turnout for their new exhibit. The show is Home at Last and features work by Guild craftspeople addressing the theme of home. Some took this literally, depicting houses in cut paper, hooked rugs, photographs, and clay. A number of artists translated the idea through birds nests, and others went purely abstract or made objects for the home.

©Sharon Bartmann

It’s a fabulous show and encompasses the full range of guild crafts from functional to traditional to contemporary. It will be up through December 1st and I definitely recommend it if you are in the Lancaster, PA area.

Sunday I spent most of the afternoon in Harrisburg, but I made a special effort to also stop by the opening for Contemporary Threads in Marietta, PA. I knew a number of the artists who were invited to participate (some of whom also have work in the Guild show) and I wanted to see the mix of different regional fiber artists. This show also runs the gamut of styles of fiber work – weaving, quilting, felting, assemblage, contemporary, and traditional. It was interesting to see such divergent styles curated together. Even with these differences, the exhibition works as a whole.

Watt & Shand #1 ©2010 SueReno
Digital prints on cotton, artist-painted and commercial fabrics, machine stitching. Size: 47″h x 57″w

Sue Reno has a few of her Watt & Shand series (the series her pieces at last year’s Art of the State and CraftForms exhibitions came from) and I loved the large one over the mantle that was really angular and had a lot of scaffolding images – not really what you’d picture on quilted fabric. Roberta Little had a lovely mixed media wall hanging featuring detritus loosely woven together. There were wearable items, pillows, and wall hangings, even sculptures. Asian inspired, colorful, monochromatic, themes of nature, even metal wire! It was really amazing. Unfortunately I go there pretty late in the day and I wasn’t able to take my time and really appreciate it. I’ll have to go back again sometime during the week.

Contemporary Threads runs through December 22nd and on October 21st there will be an opening for Part II of this exhibition featuring new works, a demo, and a talks. There is also a Fiber Bazaar planned for November 18th and the exhibition will be on the Marietta Candlelight Tour on December 2nd.

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