Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Art St. Louis- Alice Zrebiec

Joy Deeann Carson, Brentwood, TN. Holding it Together. 2008. Machine Embroidery, Acrylic on Panel, 36”x36”. $600.


TITLE OF SHOW: Fiber Focus 2009

OPENING DATE AND CLOSING DATE: September 14th, 2009- October 15th, 2009

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, September 25th 6:00pm to 9:00pm

CURATOR OR JUROR: Dr. Alice Zrebiec

SHORT BYLINE/ DESCRIPTION OF SHOW: Fiber Focus 2009 is the 8th biennial presentation of this nine-state regional juried exhibition focusing on fiber works by artists from MO, IL, KY, TN, AR, OK, NE, IA, KS. Art Saint Louis introduced Fiber Focus in 1995 as one of the many exhibition/venues in the inaugural Innovations in Textiles collaborative. Fiber Focus was and continues to be an opportunity for regional fiber artists to exhibit along side the national and international artists featured at other venues in the collaborative.

Art St. Louis
555 Washington Ave, Suite 150
St. Louis, Missouri 63101

Submitted by Juror: Alice Zrebiec

Juror’s Statement

“On my first look at the entries for “Fiber Focus 2009,” I was struck by the incredible variety of the work submitted. Frequently a juror will encounter specific themes or techniques predominating in a competition. This field of entries was quite the opposite and demonstrates the wide range of innovation that exists in art in fiber today. In selecting objects for this exhibition, therefore, I thought the best service I could provide was to convey that bedazzling creative breadth.

Technically, the work includes tapestry and other weaving techniques: hand and machine embroidery; beading and quillwork; netting; felt; dyeing and printing; quilting that demonstrates a new take on traditional patterns, creates a new composition, or is used a part of a mixed media work. Extending the technical and material scope even further are works in handmade and cast paper, basketry, and the incorporation of photographic processes. Many of the works are mixed media and inventively combine different materials and techniques.

Conceptually, the work is equally varied and ranges from realistic representation to abstraction. Some artists take their primary inspiration from the natural world, while others explore color, form and texture or seek—and succeed—in conveying the intangible realm where emotions, memories and imagination live.

Further enriching the possibilities of artistic expression are the scale and dimensionality of the works. Ranging from miniature to massive, the chosen pieces are planar, multidimensional, wearable, or sculptural. Working with digital images, I considered all these aspects: concept, technique, scale and size. I looked for those examples that succeeded the most in combining these harmoniously. A good idea well executed becomes more than the sum of its parts as shown by the fifty-seven entries selected.

I would like to thank Dion Dion, Executive Director of Art Saint Louis, for inviting me to juror this exciting competition, and Robin Hirsch, Associate Director and Gallery Director, for her wonderful organization that made the jurying process so streamlined. And of course, I want to thank all the entrants: keep imagining, keep experimenting, and keep creating!”

Alice Zrebiec

August 2009

About the Juror

Serving as juror for “Fiber Focus 2009” is Dr. Alice Zrebiec. Dr. Zrebiec received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts–New York University. Her dissertation, American Tapestry Manufactures–1893-1933, examined the work of three prominent ateliers and the artistic and cultural milieu in which this work was produced. For sixteen years she was curator of textiles in the department of European Sculpture & Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she was responsible

for textiles, tapestries, carpets, ecclesiastical vestments, and fans from the Renaissance to the turn of the 20th century. Her own interests, however, have a wider scope and include ethnographic textiles and contemporary works of art in fiber. A recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, Dr. Zrebiec has lectured internationally and published widely on diverse aspects of textiles and tapestries. She is currently a curatorial consultant based in Santa Fe and consulting curator of Textile Art for the Denver Art Museum.

Nicole Ottwell, Columbia, MO. Definitions—Web. 2009. Jacquard Woven Cloth (Oriole Mill), 46”x38”. Not for Sale.

Shanna Burton, Belleville, IL. Shaman Rabbit. 2008. Wool Felt, Wooden Buttons, 9”. $60.

Artist's statement: “The rabbit metaphor has often been used in mythology, literature, and art to recall intuition, rebirth, and redemption. I am particularly interested in the use of rabbits in art. The shaman rabbit is inspired by Joseph Beuys' performance How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare and by vanitas (17th century Dutch genre paintings). This soft sculpture was made to be posed as animated or quite dead and fits nicely in one's hands.“

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