New exhibit at Craft Alliance overlaps art, craft, popular culture

    Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design announces a new exhibit, Speaking with Threads, which is presented in conjunction with Innovations in Textiles 10, a regional collaborative event celebrating fiber art.  Featuring work by Mary Bero, Sonya Clark, Kathy Halper, Cindy Hickok, Mark Newport, Carol Shinn, and Benji Whalen.

    Speaking with Threads features seven artists whose work incorporates utilitarian skills like embroidery, knitting, and sewing, and elevates them to a state of fine art. All these artists, although different in their aesthetic sensibilities and subject matter, build their work up from simple linear elements — small stitches become intricately detailed images. Curator Jane Sauer says, “I am fascinated by the end result from the accumulation of hundreds and perhaps thousands of small elements coming together to make a powerful statement. Whether diminutive or large in scale, the pieces draw the viewer to come closer and examine how the piece is constructed.”

    Visitors to the exhibition can expect to see embroidery that overtakes comic book imagery, creates detailed landscapes, “tattoos” stuffed arms, and imagines what goes on after closing at a museum from Mark Newport, Kathy Halper, Benji Whalen, and Cindy Hickok, respectively. There will be vibrantly colored mixed media work by Mary Bero and photorealistic sewn images by Carol Shinn. Sonya Clark will display several pieces, including works made from human hair.

    As curator Jane Sauer says, “It is my hope that this exhibit looks at the overlap between art, craft, and popular culture. I hope it is a peek at a healthy and rewarding cross fertilization.”

    The opening reception of Speaking with Threads will be on Friday, August 28, from 6:00-8:00 pm.


    Innovations in Textiles Keynote Speaker: Jenelle Porter

    Saturday, October 3, 9:30 am
    Contemporary Art Museum, 3750 Washington Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63108

    Jenelle Porter is the Mannion Family Senior Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Boston. Recent exhibitions include Fiber: Sculpture 1960-presentFiguring Color: Kathy Butterly, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Roy McMakin, Sue Williams, and one person exhibitions of Charline von Heyl, Mary Reid Kelley, Jeffrey Gibson, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Dianna Molzan, Christina Ramberg, Matthew Ritchie, and Arlene Shechet. Porter has written essays for catalogues and journals, as well as books on artists Charline von Heyl, Trisha Donnelly, Stephen Prina, and Matthew Ritchie. Prior to joining ICA Boston in January 2011, she was curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2005-2010), and from 1998-2001 she was curator at Artists Space in New York. She was a curatorial fellow at the Walker Art Center (1997-98) and a curatorial assistant at the Whitney Museum of American Art (1994-1997).

    FREE and open to the public

    Guided Bus Tour

    Saturday, October 3

    Bus departs from the Contemporary Art Museum 3750 Washington Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63108
    This guided bus tour stops at select galleries for artist and curator talks and includes lunch.

    Cost: $45

    Workshop: Finding the Magic in Disappearing Fabrics with Cindy Hickok

    Friday, October 2, 10:00 am-4:00 pm
    Delmar Loop Design Studio, second floor | 6640 Delmar Blvd

    Learn to stitch on water-soluble fibers to create free form images made of thread with visiting artist Cindy Hickok. Participants must know how to use a sewing machine prior to joining this workshop.

    $160, advance registration required

    Stitch in Verse

    Thursday, October 15, 6:30 pm
    Delmar Loop gallery | 6640 Delmar Blvd

    This poetry reading inspired by the work in Speaking with Threads is presented by the St. Louis Poetry Center.

    FREE and open to the public

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