Contemporary Fiber Art Exhibition Opening at The Barn Gallery – Daily Democrat

A new group exhibit opening at YoloArts’ Barn Gallery in Woodland takes quiltmaking into another realm and moves beyond traditional fabric block construction and into the use of textiles as a medium for free-form expression.

The exhibit, Off the Grid, opens with an artist reception on Thursday, November 10, from 5:30 to 8:00 pm at The Barn Gallery in Woodland, located at 512 Gibson Road. Music by DJ Eddie Lampkin, light refreshments and Yolo County wines will be available.

The exhibition, curated by YoloArts Creative Director Janice Purnell, highlights innovative approaches to contemporary and traditional fiber art methods, including fabric sculpture, collage, stitching, assemblage, weaving and embroidery.

The media used in the creation of these artworks are as varied as the pieces and include fabric, paper, ink, cotton, cotton canvas, buttons, yarn, Bermuda grass, Dallis grass, invasive morning glory, clear enamel, woolen yarn, cotton thread, newspaper, felt, raw silk, California buckwheat, avocado pits, silk, found objects, upcycled clothing, acrylic paint, wood and wire.

The works of these 19 artists from Davis, Winters, Woodland, Sacramento and the Bay Area reflect their personal journeys and address current social and political issues: Jane Ingram Allen, Lynn Beldner, Brandi Bennett, Melanie Bone, June Daskalakis, Zen Du, Joya Fonda, Roberta Monte James, Marjane Klupfel, Penelope Lennarts, Tanya Lieberman, Barbetta Lockhart, Natalie Nelson, Carol Pirucello, Elisa Reutinger, Marguerite Shafron, Abigail Vargas, Susan Broadhurst Vereen and Roxanne Brodeur Young.

“I love how this show spans so many different expressions in fiber arts from quilting and fabric sculpture to weaving and more conceptual pieces. These innovative approaches beautifully communicate the inner world of artists,” Purnell said recently.

Artist statements prepared for Off the Grid include:

Jane Ingram Allen, Santa Rosa, innovative use of handmade papers from natural plant fibers:

“The daily scrolls were made during the early days of the pandemic quarantine and each day I made a handmade paper scroll using different techniques and fibers and sometimes drew or painted on it with pictures and words reflecting my thoughts for the day. 81 small scrolls, each about 4″ x 6″, are rolled up and placed in a recycled black shelf. People can take out a scroll, unroll it and read it, contemplate it, and then give it back to the next person. It was my way of sharing thoughts and connecting in a time of isolation.” Visitors will also have the chance to create and contribute their own paper scroll to the display.

Daily Scrolls, Handmade papers, Jane Ingram Allen. (Courtesy)

Elisa Reutinger, Sacramento, illustrates the Off the Grid approach with her freeform quilt:

“Free sewing shapes, textures, letters and lines continues to challenge me! With that freedom comes a way to express myself through stitches. With no pre-planned pattern to work from, organic stitch is a form of self-expression. Hand-dyed background fabrics (retro bedding and old quilt blocks) give the piece a monochromatic calm and modern feel. My inspiration is the book The Intentional Thread by Susan Brandeis.”

Avocado, Cotton fabric and threads, Elisa Reutinger.  (Courtesy)
Avocado, Cotton fabric and threads, Elisa Reutinger. (Courtesy)

Zen Du, Woodland, innovative use of felt and sculpture:

“Wool, with all its fascinating properties, has always been an amazing fiber for me. The interlocking scales of each wool fiber make this humble material an ideal building block for the environments I seek to create with small felt objects. These objects can be organized and reorganized into groups that I call Biopoiesis, which is a term borrowed from biology describing the natural process of life emerging from non-living matter, such as simple organic compounds, and is the basis of a theory of the origin of life on Earth .”

Biopoiesis, wave, Zen do.  (Courtesy)
Biopoiesis, wave, Zen do. (Courtesy)

Off the Grid continues at The Barn Gallery through February 11, 2023. Additionally, a new show, Stitched Together: Quilts from the Yolo County Historic Collection, opens at the Gibson House on November 10. This exhibition at Gibson House, built in the 19th century, will feature historic quilts and textiles showing the history of quilt making in the region and will run until February 3, 2023.

Regular hours for The Barn Gallery are Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2:30pm to 5:00pm, select Saturdays and by appointment.

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