Weaving Stories| by Anne Lee
The other night I went to a live performance of The Moth, a popular series dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. Ordinary people – a scientist, a car mechanic, a baker – stood on stage and shared true life stories. The narratives ranged from funny to tragic, dramatic to pedestrian, but all shared the common theme of “Occasional Magic” – those fleeting moments in everyday experiences when the special or extraordinary happens.
It occurred to me that fiber artists also find the magical in ordinary, often unwanted pieces of material. They pick up a thread – silk or plastic, hard or soft – and tell new stories with each stitch. And my goal as an author of books on fiber art is to share these moments through words and images on the printed page.
To produce three Artistry in Fiber books, my co-author E. Ashley Rooney and I sought out over 400 artists worldwide. As we got to know them, a common thread emerged (pun intended): fiber art is about connection, communication, and conversation. It’s no accident so many metaphors from the world of fiber refer to those human needs!
And as you put on a piece of wearable art, you not only wear the artists’ story, but you add your own. How you wear it, how you combine it, where you wear it, how it feels physically and emotionally, what you want it to say to the world – all of these aspects make the piece your story to tell, while also connecting you in an elemental and human way to its maker. So wear to share your story; it’s far easier than standing up in front of thousands of people to tell it!
Barbara Poole| Bringing the Beauty of India home & into her art!
Art and travel are my nourishment. I had the privilege to travel to India with my daughter and as a textile artist It was a visit to heaven. I had a difficult time finding yardage and then I had an epiphany when I realized that a sari is 6-7 yards of fabric I had to buy another suitcase!
We began our trip in Mumbai, there we toured the textile market which was completely overwhelming. I us mostly silk in my felting work so it narrowed down my choices as silk is generally used for weddings and high end sari’s, cotton, ramie and polyester are more common. Our next stop was Jaipur where we toured textile factories and took a block printing workshop. In Jaipur I visited many boutiques and bought more saris. We finished our trip to India in the province of Kerala where we toured a sari weaving workshop, unfortunately they did not allow pictures, but they did let me buy! I ended up coming home with 15 saris. I am busy using the gorgeous silks and silk/cottons that I bought. My designs for this collection are inspired by the fabrics and by my fond memories of India.
Kick-Off Art Week on Cape Ann with the seARTS Wearable Art Group
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Gloucester, MA – The seARTS Wearable Art Group will usher in ArtWeek Cape Ann with a newly-designed event – a Spring Kickoff which runs the full weekend of April 26-28. The core of the event is a wearable art marketplace housed at the Castle Manor Inn. The opening reception is Friday evening. For a $30 ticket ($40 after April 15th), attendees will enjoy a colorful evening that includes robust appetizers, a cash bar, and a first “look” at the artwork both on display and on local models wearing some of the artists’ spring designs. Opening night tickets here at Eventbrite!
To add to the elegant atmosphere, John Hyde will share his musical talents on the piano. A native of Beverly, MA, John has been playing piano since he was a child. At Berklee College of Music, he majored in composition while studying classical piano under Ed Bedner. After graduating from Berklee, he was swayed by jazz and studied under Charlie Banacas and Paul Schmeling. John has performed with a multitude of bands as well as doing solo work. His performing, directing, and arranging spans many genres of music including Jazz, R&B, Blues, Cabaret and Classical/Liturgical Music. In addition to writing and performing throughout the Greater Boston area, John has a roster of private students of all ages, levels, and styles.
The heart of the weekend is the Wearable Art Marketplace, which includes fourteen talented makers invited to show their work. Wearable art and fashion lovers will be enchanted by the variety of work from eight artists engaged in fiber and fashion and six focused on jewelry and accessories. There are several artists who have never sold their work on Cape Ann alongside returning artists, many of whom have new collections to share. (See full list at the end). Event chair Jacqueline Ganim-DeFalco encourages the community to visit throughout the weekend to enjoy the displays and shop.
Truly, the work itself is the centerpiece of the event and all are encouraged to interact with the artists about their collections. Creating intimate environments to view, appreciate, and connect with wearable art is at the core of our mission as a group. We designed this event to align with the goals of ArtWeek and make the weekend’s activities highly accessible keeping in mind the unique ambience we have always achieved. I love this saying on Barbara Poole’s website, ‘life is too short to wear boring clothing.’
One of the goals of ArtWeek is to provide access to the arts in new ways that are highly accessible, affordable, and interactive. With that in mind, the Wearable Art Group will have many special events throughout the weekend. There are two signature events scheduled for noon on Saturday and Sunday. The first is an interactive session with Martha Sutyak on Saturday: ‘Respect Your Work| Show it Well’. On Sunday, Anne Lee will conduct an interactive talk and book signing: ‘Artistry in Fiber| Wearable Art – An Author’s Journey’. Both will present a unique point of view and provide the audience new insights as to how to present artwork in new and creative ways.
Martha Sutyak resides in Beverly Cove (MA.) She is a freelance designer and partner of Smartly Staged and takes great pleasure in solving problems through design. She is an active volunteer, helping to curate the Celebrate Wearable Art Runway shows, moderating a panel of designers for the seARTS annual meeting, and styling events for the Spark Collective and other organizations.
Anne Lee resides in Lexington, MA. She and co-author E. Ashley Rooney had been casually acquainted for many years. Together, they edited Encaustic Art in the Twenty-First Century as well as this groundbreaking series on fiber art, Artistry in Fiber: Wall Art (1), Sculpture (2) and Wearable Art (3). As research director at Vose Galleries, Anne researched and wrote over 20 exhibition catalogs. In addition, she has published articles with Fiber Arts Now, Art Quilt Collector, and the NBO Quarterly Review. She participated in the 2018 Wearable Art Salon, a panel discussion organized by seARTS and the Cape Ann Museum. seARTS is pleased to welcome both Martha and Anne back to continue sharing their expertise.
In addition to these signature events, attendees will also enjoy “pop up” sessions with artists throughout the Marketplace hours on Saturday and Sunday. Jacqueline Ganim-DeFalco will have demonstrations on working with long hair and hair accessories while Queen will demonstrate how to create looks with African head scarves.
All of the artists have donated gift certificates and drawing tickets are provided to all pre-registered attendees and also for each purchase made at the event.
Below are the artists who will be available throughout the weekend in the Marketplace.
Fiber & Fashion:
- Pavlina Gilson (Manchester, MA) designer, P R I E M L O V – creates a fashion collection embodying timeless elegance with a modern edge.
- Christine Gauthier-Kelley (Manchester, MA.) is a life-long artist and a Master Silk Painter creating her work at Ten Pound Studio Gloucester. Her fantastic one of a kind hand-painted silks will be featured at the show – pure elegance in shimmering evening wear dresses, shawls, scarves and jackets.
- Jennifer Greeke (Gloucester, MA) creates a collection under the name Harpy. Harpy is a jacket fashion company that is dedicated to creating unique clothing that explores high fashion, art and history.
- Fran Osten & Mary Mandarino (Gloucester and Newtonville, MA) have been showing their work together for many years. They create a variety of one of a kind scarves, shawls, wraps and other wearable pieces. Using yarns they dye themselves, their complex designs can be worn casually or for more formal occasions.
- Queen Allotey-Pappoe (Littleton, MA) is focused on Sustainability and Innovative design, Queen Adeline explores Color and Clean lines in creating modern, versatile and timeless pieces drawing inspiration from her African heritage.
- Zainab Sumu (Boston, MA.) Primitive Modern fashion combines the indigenous and avant-garde to showcase the diverse cultural wealth of North and West Africa. Inspired by a love of textiles, art, architecture, music, dance, African tradition and lifestyle, Zainab believes in an aesthetic where tradition, modernity and elegant imperfections collide.
- Barbara Poole (Lowell, MA) has been creating fashion felt accessories in the Boston area since 2003. Barbara creates one of a kind and limited production felted art to wear. The pieces may begin as the same shape and size, but Barbara approaches each piece as a unique work of art; even a simple scarf will possess its own vision.
- Cindy Walsh (Framingham, MA) designs and hand-makes outerwear and accessories. The fabrics are Polartec and rain wear embellished with appliques, piecing, stitching and embossing.
Jewelry & Accessories:
- Jo Demetra (Rockport, MA) designs and creates high quality “empowerment” tools. Some people refer to them as accessories. They include quilted, artistic, eye catching leather bags and bold, unique and sophisticated jewelry.
- Krista Duhaime (Keene, NH), Focal Jewelry Designs create jewelry made with components from vintage and antique film cameras combined with semi-precious stones and metals.
- Jacqueline Ganim-DeFalco (Gloucester, MA.) under the umbrella Cape Ann Designs collection creates a full line of authentic sea glass hair accessories in jewelry. Jacqueline’s pieces are wearable art for all seasons.
- Kiki Taron Kinney (Marblehead, MA) is a metalsmith making handcrafted jewelry from high grade materials with specialized techniques. Inspired by nature, many of Kiki’s pieces have an aquatic theme.
- Marcie Rae (Gloucester, MA) Using Ancient and Contemporary techniques, Marcie Rae’s jewelry is hand fabricated in silver with precious and semi-precious gems, picture stones, pearls and beads.
- Beth Williams (Gloucester, MA.) creates art glass jewelry and beads in the Venetian tradition with a contemporary flair. Her collection is a kaleidoscope of color.
About seARTS and the Wearable Art Group
seARTS is a coalition focused on cultivating Cape Ann’s position as a world-class center for working artists. Established in 2000, seARTS is working to help to transform the region’s economy by bridging its maritime heritage and a future powered by the arts. The Wearable Art Group was formed in 2006 to bring together makers who create hand-made, one-of-a-kind art to wear including jewelry, clothing, and accessories. For more information on seARTS, visit seARTS.org for Wearable Art Group visit WearableArt.org
Presented by Highland Street Foundation and produced by the Boch Center, ArtWeek is an annual award-winning innovative festival featuring more than 500 unique and creative experiences that are hands-on, interactive or offer behind-the-scenes access to artists or the creative process. ArtWeek was born in Boston in 2013 and now serves over 100 towns across Massachusetts as the signature nonprofit community program of the Boch Center.
ArtWeek works to spotlight how the creative economy is thriving in Massachusetts by offering unique and affordable neighborhood-based events that provide increased access to art, culture, and creativity. Through community, artistic, and media collaborations, this festival provides experiences in dance, folk and traditional arts, fashion, media arts, spoken-word, poetry, writing, contemporary visual arts, music, opera, theater, design, film and much more.
Statewide champions include the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism and the Mass Cultural Council, who also serves as ArtWeek’s Creative Communities sponsor. Additional support comes from the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Foundation for MetroWest, DPA Communications, and Dartamon Consulting for technology services. Lead Media partners include WCVB Channel 5, Entercom, AdSpace, Improper Bostonian, Boston Metro, Boston Central, Boston Globe, Bay State Banner, Cape Cod Community Media Center and the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, as well as many others. ArtWeek’s expansion has also been powered by an extensive network of more than 110 creative collaborators at the statewide, regional and community level. To learn more about the festival and its growth, visit www.artweekma.org.
seARTS welcomes John Hyde to enhance our ArtWeek Cape Ann opening reception in Friday evening, April 26th.
A native of Beverly, MA, John Hyde has been playing piano since he was a child. At Berklee College of Music, he majored in composition while studying classical piano under Ed Bedner. After graduating from Berklee, he was swayed by jazz and studied under Charlie Banacas and Paul Schmeling. John has performed with a multitude of bands as well as doing solo work. His performing, directing and arranging spans many genres of music including Jazz, R&B, Blues, Cabaret and Classical/Liturgical Music. He has worked with Bobby Hebb, Maria Muldaur, Whoopie Goldberg, Harry Belafonte, and members of the Room Full of Blues Band. He also played at the “Cheers” bar in Boston for three years. Recently, he was the music director and keyboardist for the play “Bass Saxophone” in New York City, and has worked in New York composing and performing the music for outdoor productions at Lincoln Center. In addition to writing and performing throughout the Greater Boston area, John has a roster of private students of all ages, levels and styles. Follow John here on Facebook!
A Full Circle, by Jo Demetra – Bold & Sophisticated
For the past 10 years my creative expression, aside from gardening, has been very unusual, bold and sophisticated beaded jewelry. Beads that I had collected while working in the corporate world that sent me to the Far East many times. I loved it and will always love making jewelry. My jewelry is what got me involved with SeArts , but in the process I left behind a love..my industrial sewing machines that sat unused in my studio.
I would think about what a thrill it was to be the only and first textile artist to be part of Artweek over 40 years ago and to be part of a group wearable show at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA the following year. Not many galleries or museums were recognizing wearables and accessories as an art form at that time.
Life threw me a curve ball and I ended up working as a designer, product developer and director of international sourcing for 16 years. When those jobs ended I really began to miss my roots in design.
Several close friends encouraged me to go back to sewing..and making the bags that I had started thinking about years ago. They loved them and never saw anything like them. I had a lot of the materials to start sewing again…the only thing stopping me was me..So I jumped in with both feet and started with my favorite..the quilted leather bags.
I am not going to say it was blissful because it wasn’t. I had to retrain myself after 30 years. I was determined that all this knowledge was in my memory. So things came back..the pattern-making, the cutting ,the sewing and the quilting. I absolutely love making the bags. The bags are a combination of re-purposed and new leather and lined in leather or raw silk. A bit architectural, a touch of Deco and never mass produced.
So, here I am, 40+ years later, participating in Artweek on Cape Ann..Total full circle and I am in love again. I hope you come by and take a look….
Jo Ann will be part of the Spring Kick off Event April 26-28 at the Castle Manor Inn. Tickets available on Eventbrite!