Monday, September 19, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Uncommon Threads at SPA in Barre

Through September 24: Fresh, modern, contemporary—not words that one typically associates with traditional needlework arts. However, in the 21st century, fiber artists are producing imaginative new and fantastic works that puncture those musty old conventions about needlework. Uncommon Threads, the current show at Studio Place Arts (SPA) running through September 24 celebrates the skill, imagination, whimsy and vibrancy of these artists and their work. Featuring 42 pieces from 18 mainly local artists, Uncommon Threads presents a wide array of surprising knitted, crocheted, sewn, and woven compositions.

To the right of the gallery, a vintage wooden table set invites visitors to discover its plentiful bounty. Artist Theresa Sinclair’s crocheted Bacon & Eggs seem freshly cooked in a cast iron frying pan placed on the table, along with a large basket of colorful knitted vegetables called CSA Share Veggies. Hanging on the wall by this table is Burlington artist Jude Bond’s Hunger is the Best Sauce, a curious mixed media piece consisting of an aged potato masher with wide ribbons of pink and taupe crocheted threads woven through and trailing from the metal tool. Two three-dimensional knitted constructions by Emily Stoneking; Knitting in Biology 101, and Knitted Lab Rat illustrate a softer, warmer approach to the often cold and sterile scientific procedure of dissection.

Middlesex artist Pria Cambio’s glorious mixed fiber Sunset over Lake Champlain is displayed on a wall next to Indiana artist Rob Millard-Mendez’s pink feathered construction, Soft Gun. A giant crocheted teacup (Tea Time) and peach colored furry ice cream bar (Ice Cream Bar) by Montpelier’s Mary Jo Krolewski evoke a whimsical, Alice in Wonderland ambiance. Two doily pieces, Jude Bond’s Home is Where the Doilies Are, and Wylie Sofia Garcia’s sequined Untitled Tata No. 1, demonstrate fresh and unusual techniques while still embracing this traditional form.

A glass case at the front of the gallery contains cotton crocheted and several metal jewelry treasures from Winooski’s Eliza Joy Collins, among them: Crocheted Copper Bangle, Fern Collar and Knit Brass Cuff. Gabrielle Dietzel’s crocheted, copper Christening Gown and tiny T-Shirt made of button thread grace the front walls of the studio, as Montpelier’s Agathe McQueston’s magnificent wire dress Party! adorns the front window.

This is not your great aunt’s hope chest. Come visit Uncommon Threads at SPA and experience the exciting new world of fiber.

SPA Hours: Tues-Fri 10AM-5PM; Sat: Noon-4PM

Rob Millard-Mendez,
Soft Gun, mixed media, 2010; and Emily Stoneking: Knitting in Biology 101, 3D knitting, 2011 and Knitted Lab Rat, 3D knitting, 2011
Anita Gangi Balkun,
Spontaneous Embroidery 3, mixed media, 2010
Wylie Sofia Garcia,
Untitled Tata, No. 1, lace, linen, sequins, thread, 2011