"Interwoven V:" Fiber Artists Display Their Talents at 18 Hands Gallery

The Family Album
The Family Album

This weekend 18 Hands Gallery opened its annual commemoration to all things fiber. "Interwoven V" showcases a variety of fiber arts ranging from traditional quilt work to clothing to surrealist mixed-media wall pieces. The show, once again, was a juried exhibition with the requirement of fiber being a main component, which may include cloth, yarn, paper, basketry, felt or leather. Mary Welch juried this year's collection, which runs through October 27.

The winning piece of art is a photomontage coat created by artist Charlene Kolb entitled "The Family Album." According to the artist, the coat is a reproduction of a 1950s favorite "Easter coat." The jacket is splayed open to reveal a montage of the artist's family. Old black and white images are sewn into the fabric, including old childhood prints. The jacket is a lovely homage to a family tree.

Ginny Eckley's "Ruby Crowned Kinglet"
Ginny Eckley's "Ruby Crowned Kinglet"

One of the quilt pieces showcased in the exhibition include Ginny Eckley's "Ruby Crowned Kinglet," a long hanging, scenic illustration comprised of exquisitely delicate handiwork. Dried grass and wild flowers blow in the breeze against a rich blue background. In the corner, a small bird stares in awe. It is lovely enough to get lost in.

Macarena Smartt's mixed-media piece "Hummingbird with Hydrangea," combines a painted floral panorama with crocheted hydrangeas blending into the scenery. Another interesting take on the "fiber" theme was that of artist David Vollmer and his "Sea Urchin 2." Vollmer has intertwined metal discs, think chainmail, into a large freestanding multi-colored sea urchin. It is quite impressive to think of the labor that must have gone into this creation.

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Of those chosen to have honorable mentions, Patricia Hinojosa's piece "Azteca," a combination of yarn work and quilting, felt out of place in its esteemed category. While the work is whimsical, it feels somewhat immature next to some of the other pieces in the show.

Overall, the show is a very nice mix of styles and themes, regardless of the artists' aptitude, fiber art is one of the most difficult to master and all of the artists chosen for this exhibition exhibit talent in their respective mediums.

"Interwoven V" is on display at the 18 Hands Gallery through October 27. Open Wednesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday 12 to 5:00 p.m. For more information visit 18handsgallery.com.


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