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Announcing an Important Textile Arts Exhibition

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Four Weavers - Pathways in Contemporary Fiber Art

The exhibition, opening January 11, 2013 at the Petaluma Arts Center, features multi-dimensional, textiles by four contemporary artists: Candace Crockett, Ulla de Larios, Suki Russack, and Barbara Shapiro.

The lives and careers of these four women have intertwined for many years. Beginning as weavers, they have followed various paths in developing their art.  Each has a passionate and unique involvement in the contemporary fiber arts movement.  The exhibition demonstrates their commitment to labor intensive textile techniques as a means to building strong, contemporary visual statements.

Barbara Shapirois a weaver, dyer, and basket maker who works with and teaches indigo dyeing. The study of textile traditions has informed her artistic approach to the creation of woven silk textiles and plaited and coiled three dimensional forms. She writes on contemporary textiles for national publications and exhibits widely. 

Suki Russackuses warp ikat doubleweave to create life-sized images of women that chart an internal journey of discovery. She designs clothing constructed from narrow hand woven strips of fabric as well as costumes in hand-dyed fabrics for dance productions.

Born and raised in Sweden, Ulla de Larios brings her early textile experiences and an American under-graduate degree in painting to her contemporary textiles describing socio-political themes.  A computer aided loom has joined her Swedish looms and from these come a variety of two-and-three dimensional weavings of refined complexity and delicacy.

Candace Crocketttaught studio courses in the Art Department at San Francisco State University for thirty years.  An important theme in her career involves using historical and ethnic techniques and imagery in fresh new ways.  She works extensively with dyeing, repetition, and dimensional surfaces that absorb and reflect light.

The exhibition will be installed in the two well-appointed galleries at the Petaluma Arts Center; the North Bay’s most recent art space. The Community Gallery will feature a series of contemporary sculptural garments in hand woven fabrics, designed specifically for this exhibition. In the G.K.Hart gallery, an exhibition curated and installed by Kathleen Hanna, will showcase past and recent work by the artists.  The reception, Saturday, January 12,  2 to 4 p.m. includes dancers wearing dyed, printed and woven costumes created by the artists.

The exhibition will include workshops and demonstrations by exhibiting artists, docent tours and an after school program for children.

The Petaluma Arts Center is a non-profit organization, supported by the generosity of its membership, sponsors and grants. The 4,500 square foot facility boasts the large, well-lit G. K. Hart exhibition gallery, smaller Community Gallery, and classrooms.  Exhibitions include related workshops and demonstrations by exhibiting artists, docent tours and an after school program for children.

The Petaluma Arts Center is an intersection where people encounter, engage and enjoy a diversity of art experiences. The facility is located in the historic Railroad Building, at 230 Lakeville Street, next door to the Petaluma Visitors Center

Events, Workshop and Lecture Schedule

Opening Reception: Saturday, January 12, 2 to 4 p.m. as part of Petaluma Art Walk

January 19 – group demonstrations throughout the galleries 2 to 4pm

Feb 16 – group demonstrations throughout the galleries including 4 weavers and clothing  designer, Sandi Ericson

Feb 23 – Greener Indigo workshop with Barbara Shapiro

March 2 - Draping workshop with Sandi Ericson – draping a bias cut skirt

March  4 -  closing party 4-6pm

More informations:…….

Woven Fabrics for Contemporary Clothing

Weaving is an ancient activity touching on many aspects of daily life.  Traditionally hand weaving was connected to the home and practically always to women.  The Industrial Revolution (1750-1850) actually started with the mechanization of textile processes and resulted in a shift of weaving from home to factory and from female to male.  In England, The Arts and Crafts Movement (1860- 1910), led by William Morris (1834-1896), came as a response to this mass industrialization, preaching a return to the beauty of the hand made and to the work of the skilled, sensitive crafts person. 

This movement shifted to America in the early 20th century awakening a longing for beauty and a simpler life style.  Gradually, trained and educated designers emerged and a partnership was forged between designer and industry.  At the same time attention was focused on textiles from past cultures and how and why they were made.  From this information grew an awareness and desire to use weaving as a means of individual artistic expression.  The artists in this exhibition are part of this later movement. 

One gallery in the exhibition Four Weavers is devoted to the use of hand woven fabrics for contemporary fashion design suggesting unique modern possibilities for hand woven textiles and a return to one of the ancient purposes of the of the art of weaving.

Sandra Ericson, Director of The Center For Pattern Design in St. Helena, has collaborated extensively with Candace Crockett constructing one-of-a-kind garments.  Some of these will be shown at the reception and in the gallery.