(SUR)Face Forward Design Show

Heather Bromer - Crypsis
August 22 – September 29, 2013

A national Call to Artists with renowned artist Barbara Setsu Pickett serving as the juror. (Coincides with Quilt County and Surface Design Conference.)

Jurors Statement:

SurFace Forward brings together 34 artists from the Pacific Northwest who employs fibers in their artworks or use textile techniques in their expressions. At times it is apparent which specific traditions were the springboard for their innovations. For example, Karen Miller’s mastery of paste-resist honors the Japanese katagami/katazome traditions and the art quilt artists build on particular nuances of quilting, appliqué, patchwork, and stitchery.

First impressions are a hit of vivid colors, a broad use of raw materials, and an overlaying of multiple techniques. Raw materials are no longer confined to a single, local source. Felt artists apply layers of dyed fleece to achieve watercolor-like, alaghiz effects. Quilt artists often take powerloom fabrics and rework them by dyeing and printing, making them their own. Manufactured goods become the raw materials. In Bonnie Meltzer’s works the trash of our electronic age and urban life are repurposed. In Connected the torso form becomes Mother Earth and the continents tessellate with beaded seas. Heather Bromer’s Crypsis uses the tatters of found nylon.

The subject matter, themes, and content of the work reflect contemporary issues and mindsets. A sense of place and the power of landscape are recurrent. Annin Barrett’s feltworks, Red Volcano and Blue Volcano seethe with abstract rock made fluid; Nancy Bryant’s Fault Lines evoke the pent up energy that cracks and shifts strata. Janet Hiller’s Summer Solstice seethe with contrasting patterns, and Mary Ann McCammon’s iceberg landscape is far from idyllic.

Landscape become spiritual centers, personal symbols for Kathie R. Kerler in her Anasazi Roadways and in July Ness’ Celestial Navigation. Without the benefit of reading their artists’ statements, I feel the visual energy and soulful attachment.

Even more autobiographical are works that feel like private journal entries grounded in immediate experiences.  Barbara Neill’s Masks wrestles with the complexities of identity; Sherri Culver address the redefining moments of pregnancy; Christy Turner ‘draws’ with thread in her Family Photos; Laura Jaszkowski scribbling in Just Read Between the Lines, Dear feel like guarded, passionate outpourings.

In Wendy Huhn’s works the memories of the sweet innocence of childhood are fraught with danger and peril.

Sociopolitical issues are grass-rooted to local experience.  Feminist issues are internalized.  Pervasive is the deep regard for the environment, the appreciation of the bountiful planet, and the promise to defend it and cherish it.

Artists chosen to participate:



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