June 22, 2013

Knit the Bridge in Pittsburgh

I visit Pittsburgh, PA frequently, and have come to love the city more with each trip. I especially love photographing the architecture and the bridges.  I have a lot of fun with my fisheye lens:
So have been following with great interest the efforts of Knit the Bridge, a group of fiber artists with the goal of covering an entire bridge with knitted and crocheted panels--yarn bombing on a massive and completely wonderful scale.  It will be America’s biggest yarnbomb!  Even more impressively,  they have turned their project into a wonderful community outreach program, involving the majority of the communities in Allegheny County.
Recently they have reached an important milestone, as the Knit the Bridge ordinance was passed unanimously by the Allegheny County Council.  They now have official permission for the use of the Andy Warhol/7th Street Bridge.  You can read all about it in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  The panels will be up from August 5th to September 7th.  I will be making a trip specifically to walk the bridge and take photos.  I think it will be amazing.

You can follow the Knit The Bridge news on their Blog and on their Facebook Page

And if you can, please consider making a contribution, large or small, to their Indiegogo campaign, to help pay for installation costs, ensure public safety, and reuse the materials.  They have a lot of cool rewards.

Full Disclosure:  I have no connection to the project, aside from being an enthusiastic supporter, and my friendship with Penny Mateer, one of the artists who is making this happen.  Basically, I think it’s cool and I want to experience it.  Pass the word along!

June 21, 2013

An Award of Merit at Images 2013

It was with great pleasure that I discovered on opening night  that my Skunk and Garlic Mustard  won an Award of Merit at Images 2013, at the Robeson Gallery at Penn State University.  I think part of the credit must go to the gallery staff, who displayed it with such brilliance, hanging it a few inches out from a slightly curved wall and lighting it perfectly. The intensive stitching I did on this work was highlighted, giving it an almost sculptural quality, all without washing out the imagery.  I love and appreciate having my work in this all-media exhibit; the quality of the work is always excellent, and the space itself is wonderfully conducive to appreciating it. 
Another pleasure of attending the opening is seeing the work of my friends, such as fellow fiber artist Marcia DeCamp’s Earthquake Faults. Marcia favors strong geometric elements in her contemporary art quilts, and her color sense is superb.
Over the years of my involvement with this exhibit I’ve become friends with the lovely and talented Anni Matsick, watercolorist and illustrator extraordinaire.  It was fun to have a chance to chat in person and enjoy the artwork together.
Here’s a better look at the two paintings Anni had in the show, Say Cheese on the left, and Sleeping Infant on the right. Both show a great sensitivity for the subject matter and an incredible mastery of the medium.
Anni introduced me to her friend Thomas Mickle, and I greatly enjoyed speaking with him and looking at his incredibly detailed drawings.


Tom’s His Bones Did Not Regret All the Killing He Had Done received the William D. Davis Award in Drawing.
I also met Michele Randall.  We had fun talking shop, and she explained part of her printmaking process, which includes awesome activities like laser cutting.  Her gorgeous Soldier Parade, on the right, won an Honorable Mention.
My happiness in this picture comes not just from the award, which was very significant and meaningful for me, but also from the pleasure of an evening filled with art and the company of like minded individuals. Several people remarked on my work that it transcended the quilt making medium and stood on its merits as a unique artistic expression.  I spend countless hours alone in the studio crafting my work--to put it out into the world and have it understood and appreciated is truly priceless.

The reception was on June 7th (my post has been delayed as I left on vacation afterwards); it is up until July 14th to coincide with the nationally recognized outdoor Sidewalk Sale and Exhibition.  Stop in if you are in the area, it is definitely worth your time.

As always, thanks for reading and commenting!

June 7, 2013

Silk Mill #1 and Silk Mill #2 acceptance for New Legacies Contemporary Art Quilts

Two of my recent works, both from my ongoing Structures series of architectural art quilts, have been accepted into the New Legacies Contemporary Art Quilts exhibit.  Both Silk Mill #1 and Silk Milk #2 will be traveling to the Lincoln Center Gallery in Ft. Collins, CO for the exhibit, which runs from July 9th through August 31st, 2013
From the prospectus:  “Art quilts accepted for exhibition will exemplify innovation in quilting and surface design techniques as well as excellence in artistic composition and craftsmanship. The goal of the exhibition is to recognize the world's finest contemporary quilt artists and to advance the art form.”

It sounds wonderful!  I am honored to be included.

These works are based on photos I took of the abandoned Ashley and Bailey Silk Mill, in Columbia, PA, shortly before it was renovated and a portion of it was developed into a tourist destination for the Turkey Hill Dairy.  I was enthralled by the way the light shone through the missing windows, and the way trees and plants took advantage of the missing portions of the roof.  Despite the beauty in its decrepitude, I am delighted it has been saved.

After its stint as a silk mill, the building served as a garment factory. Recently when I was lecturing to a quilt guild and was showing these works, I met a delightful woman who grew up in Columbia. She remembered buying  children’s snowsuits at a discount  from a relative who worked in the factory shortly before it shut down in the 70’s.  I love it when my work makes connections!

To see more images and read about the works in progress, click on the Silk Mill tab at the top.

As always, thanks for reading and commenting.

June 5, 2013

The Susquehanna as Muse Exhibit

This exhibit seems custom-made for my newest work, In Dreams I Flew Over the River.  I am very happy that it will be a part of “The Susquehanna as Muse”, an exhibit by Artist Members of the Pennsylvania Arts Experience.
In Dreams I Flew Over the River
The exhibit opens this week at the beautifully renovated Marketview Arts Orientation Gallery in York, PA.
I am very fine company, with some of my personal favorite artists exhibiting their paintings featuring the Susquehanna River.

Do yourself a favor and take some time to check out their websites:

In Dreams I Flew Over the River, Detail 1
Due to a prior commitment, I will miss the grand opening on Friday, June 7th, but I will be there for the Patrons and Members Preview on Thursday the 6th.

For any of my local and regional friends, it will be well  worth your while to visit.  The exhibit runs through July 2, concurrent with the fabulous “Visions of the Susquehanna” exhibit in the Gallery Hall, on loan from the Zimmerman Center for Heritage.

As always, thanks for reading and commenting.