Thursday, January 12, 2012

PRESS RELEASE: Elinor Steele at the Jackson Gallery at Town Hall Theater in Middlebury

Elinor Steele: The Art of Tapestry

January 6 - February 26, 2012
Opening Reception Friday, January 13, 2012

Award-winning designer/weaver Elinor Steele combines a strong sense of color and composition with meticulous craftsmanship to create her contemporary hand-woven tapestries, on exhibit at the Jackson Gallery at Town Hall Theater at 68 South Pleasant Street in Middlebury until February 26.

Exhibiting nationally for over 30 years, she has been commissioned to create numerous works for corporate, healthcare, and residential settings. This exhibit features examples from several of her series, including abstract and impressionistic images, landscapes, and geometric compositions, along with information on the art and history of tapestry making.

The design process for the recent Reconstruction series involves deconstructing shapes and images until they are no longer recognizable, and then reorganizing them in a new composition which has strength and balance - a metaphor for rebuilding the fragments left by an act of violence. The Barns series combines abstract composition layered with representational images of hay barns, perhaps in an effort to preserve these images as they are disappearing from the landscape.

Working from a small scale printed color drawing and a full sized "cartoon" or line pattern, Steele interprets her designs while weaving by hand on a high-warp loom using traditional tapestry techniques. Combining several strands from a large palette of wool yarns to achieve the desired colors and gradients, she takes full advantage of the rich tone and texture that are inherent in the medium.

Steele studied Fine Art at the University of New Hampshire and Tapestry at the Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland. With creative interests in music and theater as well as art, she currently directs the Jackson Gallery and is the Box Office manager at the Town Hall Theater in Middlebury, Vermont.

The Art of Tapestry will be on exhibit at the Jackson Gallery at Town Hall Theater from January 6 through February 26, with an opening reception on Friday, January 13, from 5 - 7 pm. Gallery hours are Monday - Saturday from noon - 5:00 pm, and during theater events. The Gallery is located on the lower level of Town Hall Theater on Merchants Row, Middlebury. All exhibits are free and open to the public.

Images: Reconstruction and Autumn Leaves, Winter