Thursday, September 10, 2009

EXHIBITING GALLERY: St. Louis Artists' Guild
TITLE OF SHOW: Couture Threads of Democracy
OPENING DATE AND CLOSING DATE: September 20th, 2009- November 7th, 2009
CURATOR: Nina Ganci of SKIF International
The designers selected for the show have maintained a reverence to reality throughout their fashion career. Their personal work stretches the conceptual boundaries of beauty, culture... and politics.

I appreciate that each designer has remained true to their ideal style . All of them work here in the United States and have significantly contributed to the evolution of our artistic vision.

The pieces in the show reflect our culture, history and fashion. As a collection, it represents an expansion of our perception of fashion and opens up a space in the viewer's mind to see both - the style and the design's structure to fit the human form.

As designers, we're responsible for making our own choices and creating clothing for the people we know. With western wear, we've inherited our sense of dress - a grand responsibility for the way we look, work, and behave.

St. Louis Artists' Guild
Two Oak Knoll Park
St. Louis, Missouri 63105

Submitted by Artist: Loretta Warner

First Inspiration:
As a child, growing up in a big family, we used to get hand me downs from a family, no kidding, with the name “the Bumbs”. They were richer than us. Also, on many occasions, my mother dressed my sister and I (who is my Irish twin) alike, which I disliked even at a young age. I wanted to be me! I remember my father giving me my first Vogue magazine. The magazines were so big and beautiful, back then. I soon discovered Vogue patterns and scotch tape and newspaper. My first pieces were rather funny looking, but shortly, I was copying the beautiful pictures in the magazines!

Cherished possession:
I suppose if I could be buried with one possession it would be my sewing machine. My great industrial Singer machine sits by the window and never fails me, in the beautiful sewing jobs it does for me. Please see self-portrait, in which I took “Photoshop license” of changing Singer’s name to “Killer.”

To keep creative:
I walk early morning and often. I have a great mountain hike about a mile from my live-work studio, called Claremont Canyon. I like to shake the rocks out of my head - meaning, too much thinking does me no good! I leave my thoughts there, on that good, well traveled, dirt path, and then, am clear to create. It is about a mile walk each way to and from, and then a good zigzag hike, up to the top. Many people do it. The truth is, it kicks me in the buttocks every time–and I have been walking it 3 to 4 times a week for years! Please see picture, which is a view from the little bench at the top. Sometimes you can see the whole Bay Area, not always!

Source of my creativity:
I think that the source of my creativity is those moments when I am truly present to what I am doing, there. I am no longer myself. I am One, meaning I am you and you are me. Time doesn’t exist. Work is not work. Life is being. I am always surprised, too, by the results!

Did you chose or were you chosen to create art?
I think that everybody in the universe is chosen to create. As Saint Paul wrote to the people of Corinth “There are different gifts, but the same spirit; there are different ministries but the same Lord; there are different works but the same God who accomplishes all of them in everyone….” One can substitute the word “dog” for God. It makes no difference. The point is that I am here to use my gifts, as are you.

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.“

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

St. Louis Chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art- Nino Hecht

EXHIBITING GALLERY: St. Louis Chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art at Crossroads Gallery

TITLE OF SHOW: Made by Hand

OPENING DATE AND CLOSING DATE: September 8th, 2009 - October 8th, 2009
Opening Reception: Friday September 11th, 7-9pm
IT8 bus tour: Saturday, October 3
Felted Teka workshop with Nino Hecht: Sunday, October 4, 1-4pm


SHORT BYLINE/ DESCRIPTION OF SHOW: A regional juried exhibition sponsored by the St. Louis Chapter of the Women's Caucus for Art. Juried by fiber artist Jo Stealey.Stealey is an art professor and head of the fiber department at the University of Missouri - Columbia. Featued in the exhibition into the exhibition: Roxanne Phillips, Pat Owoc, Jennifer Weigel, Virginia Dragshutz, Clairion Ferron, Nino Hecht, Lydia Brockman, Linda Elkow, Jean Mills, Janice Nesser, Kathy Weaver, Betsy Dollar, Christine Ilewski, Trish Williams, Lisa Becker, Marie Samuels, Evie Shucart and Leslie Hume

Crossroads Art Studios and Gallery
501 N. KingshighwaySt. Charles MO 63301
Gallery hours: Wed - Fri Noon-5pm; Sat by appointment
call 314 581-3748

Submitted by Artist: Nino Hecht


  • Tell us a bit more about yourself: your location, professional affiliations, personal stuff…

I am a felt artist from the Eastern European country of Georgia currently living and working in St. Louis Missouri. I am a member of the Women’s Caucus for Art and my work is featured at the Art Glass Array on the second floor of the Crossroads Art Studios in St. Charles, MO. I mostly work in my basement and use my kitchen floor for wet felting. I have a husband and a 2 year old son who is usually asleep when I felt otherwise we end up with wool and silk fibers all around the house. Felting is very kid-friendly and makes art projects fun and exciting. I will be teaching introduction to felting class as part of Innovations in Textiles 2009 on October 4, 2009 at the Crossroads Art Studios. I also teach introductory felting, felting jewelry and nuno-scarf (felted scarf) class at the same location couple times a year and felted jewelry class at the Adult and community education of St. Charles.

  • What first inspired you to become an artist?

Wool fiber has been used for wearable items and home d├ęcor from ancient times. Wool fleece is a warm, dynamic and creative organic fiber from right off the sheep's back. My passion for organic fibers originated from a childhood encounter with nature and cultural harmony. Born and raised in beautiful mountainous country of Georgia, I was fascinated with rich cultural heritage and abundance of folk craft techniques. I was introduced to felting as a child and rediscovered it a few years ago when I started experimenting with natural and hand-dyed wool and silk fibers. I am fascinated with textures, shapes and blends achieved by wet and needle felting and I always look forward to unfolding my final product after rigorous process of wet felting and seeing how multicolor fibers emerge into one solid pieces of felt.

  • Please describe your creative process: how you create, when, where, with what materials…

I work with ECO-FRIENDLY wool and silk fibers including exotic fibers like Karakul wool and Tussash silk.

Thin multicolor fibers are built up in alternate directions and then wetted. The process involves rubbing, beating and rocking until the fibers mat together and fleece fabric emerges. Vigorous agitation and soap lubrication allows movement of fibers through organic fabric to create stunning hand-felted textiles. I use wet- and nuno- felting (laminate felt) techniques with subtle needle-felting touches to create two- and three- dimensional art. I also integrate various natural and artificial fibers and fabrics to diversify surface design.

  • What are your favorite materials to work with?

I like blending coarser wools with softer wools and silk fibers. Exotic Karakul (Mongolian sheep breed) wool creates very rustic surface and unique blends with other softer fibers like merino and mohair. I use Tussash silk because it is a ‘vegetarian silk’ or type of silk collected after silkworms live their full life and leave their cocoons

  • What is your next project?

My next project will continue ‘Housewife’ (piece selected for the WCA ‘Made by hand’ exhibit at the Crossroads Art Studios and Gallery ) series and will explore character and visual images of the early 20th century Georgian female roles and personality.