My work is…….

As fiber artists  complete their entry forms for Fiberart International 2019 there is always that blank to fill out for an “Artist Statement.” For some it’s an easy assignment.  For others it poses a real challenge.  So here is a sample of opening phrases gleaned from catalogs for previous Internationals.
My work is a response to——–
Joanna Donchatz – FI13 artist
My work is a response to my family history and homeplace of Appalachia. The weavings are composed like collages from photographs, text, documents, drawings, and maps. My grandfather’s coal mining experience led me to reflect on its impact. The fractal-like image of the lung is a symbol of his illness and references veins, fingerprints, streams, trees, roots, mountain ranges, cracks, faults, and fractures. They map the destruction both of the landscape and of my grandfather’s health. The traditional quilt motif is an important reoccurring element as a metaphor for the landscape of Appalachia, comfort, and family.
My work consists of——
Marcy Sperry – FI13 artist
My work consists of complex clusters of fragments made from craft materials such as fabric and beads. These materials take on forms inspired by patterns and textures found in the natural world. They resemble imaginary topographies—I think of them as “mini utopias.” Rendering these complicated groupings of fragments with the slow, methodical traditional mediums of sewing and beading is a critique and a meditation on the contemporary need for immediacy, fast results, and easy answers.
The source of my work is—–
Naoe Okamoto – FI13 artist
The source of my work is landscape. The landscape is not only the image in front of me, but also includes the time. I am also a part of the landscape. When we are strongly attracted to a certain landscape, it resonates with great power. I want to express that power. This work is the scenery of the lake. Midnight in winter. Deep and clear sky. Trees look up to the sky, they seem to interact with the sky. I think they do.
My work investigates—-
Jiseon Isbara – FI13 artist
My work investigates habitual actions I experience in everyday life including compulsive planning, deficient communication, constant compromise, and repetitive and intuitive responses. These ideas fill my mind and produce the visual languages I use. The work holds residues of unreadable text, creating the intimate environment for viewers to contemplate the collected, processed, and archived information. The formal language expresses the paradoxes that collectively inform each other: longing, losing, accumulating, dissipating. While reflecting my experience of multiple roles in adopted culture, the work is the result of repetitive motions I take everyday, as an artist, teacher, mother, wife, and immigrant.
Steve Totin – FI16 artist
I am interested in our daily interactions with discarded materials and how they have, and continue to become, integrated into our environments. My work investigates the energy residing in the plastic objects resulting from our short physical interactions with them. An essential component of my sculptures is the community of more than 250 people who collect the material. Each discarded plastic object becomes a fragment of human presence, manufactured in space and time, contributing its physicality and energy to reality. Scattered across landfills and landscapes, those fragments and their energy meld with the earth creating a new geological layer.
Inspiration comes from—
Susan Hotchkis – FI16 artist
I construct abstract forms, fragments highlighting the beauty found in the inherent processes of aging and decay. They hover between object and image to create a unique visual and tactile landscape of form and texture. I’m fascinated by nature’s effect on the man-made. Embrace is at different stages of erosion, rich with the marks of time and transformation. Its inspiration comes from harbor walls, concrete piers, and stone blocks excavated from the sea, worn down to reveal delicate traces of coral, cracked and distressed; a monochrome vista of texture punctuated by
orange drips from the exposed oxidized iron within.
Ann Nyberg – FI13 artist
Inspiration comes from symbolic drawings on stone from the Stone Age. This weaving is a vision about a construction that would melt together in
color, form, light and darkness with a slight tendency of my impressions from the stone age drawings. My drawings are built up and developed out
of several strong lines. Then they are interpreted and transferred into fiber. The base is done in the weaving chair. But building up the picture is done mostly with needle and thread, when the weaving is back on the wall.
My work symbolizes—-
My work is composed of—–
My current work explores —–
My work examines the ways——
So if you are suffering from writers block when it comes to composing your statement, just pick one of these opening phrases and go from there.


Apply here


Down Fiberart International Memory Lane

One of our long-time members was doing some deep housecleaning recently and came upon a Fiberart International treasure trove from the past—a 20th century prospectus, invitation, catalog, and review. I was delighted to get my hands on these juicy historical treats. They conjure lost memories and significant milestones in Fiberart International’s history.

Continue Reading

Behind the Scenes at Fiberart International

Did you know that Fiberart International has been happening for over 50 years? It began as Stitchery International and evolved to include all fiber-related mediums. Twenty-three exhibitions later, FI has been pivotal in exhibiting innovative work from around the world. Do you wonder just what it takes to produce an exhibition of this stature?
You know the old adage, “Many hands make light work.” In the case of Fiberart International, it’s many hands, feet, arms, legs, eyes, ears, brains!Continue Reading

SYNERGY: Fiberart International 2019 is off and running!

by Mary Towner

A few weeks ago, the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh held its kickoff meeting for Fiberart International 2019. Setting the tone with her signature enthusiasm, FI Director Rae Gold presented with lots of information and more than an armload of volunteer sign-up clipboards.
Much of the FI2019 groundwork has been laid. We have three outstanding jurors; the prospectus and calls for entry have gone out; jurying has been structured; events are solidifying.
With five previous Fiberart Internationals under my belt, I was familiar with this meeting’s scenario, but each International begins fresh and new. As the meeting moved along and Rae explained the myriad of tasks and bodies needed, I was once again struck by two things: a) The sheer magnitude of this undertaking, and b) the unflagging commitment and enthusiasm of our Guild members. As often happens, I felt proud of our organization.
Then my mind went back to the beauty of those previous Internationals, and I felt gratitude and respect for past and future artists who share their work with us and our audience. A Christmas-morning type anticipation filled me over viewing the 2019 International artwork.
Then it hit me: Synergy.
Synergy is defined as, The interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their separate effects. Or more simply, The creation of a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts. More than mere cooperation or combined effort, Fiberart International becomes something magical that couldn’t happen without both its artists and its producers.
I for one am looking forward with great anticipation to the synergistic undertaking of Fiberart International 2019!