Barbara Luderowski

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Barbara Luderowski.

We invite you to read more about her life and creative spirit here.

We will have information about our jurying soon.

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.

Read moreMy work is…….

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.

Read moreDown Fiberart International Memory Lane

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!

Read moreBehind the Scenes at Fiberart International

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!


Focus On: Beading, one stitch at a time

Welcome to the last entry in our August, 2015 blog series celebrating the final days to enter your artwork for consideration into FI2016! We’re highlighting different artist’s interpretations of fiber art that we’ve loved seeing in past Internationals.

According to textile scholar Elizabeth Wayland Barber (Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years), some of the very oldest evidences of fiber we know about are the strings and sinews that were used to link pieces of bone and stone together: the very first beads.

Textile artists have come a long way from stringing shells together. We’ve developed embroidering, weaving, looming, stitching: all ways of bringing thousands of glittering separate pieces together to create a work of art. Flat or sculptural, as an ornament for fabric or as a dense, shimmering fabric of its own, beadwork is a significant part of the fiberart tradition.

Urban Artifact Undulation
Annette Tacconelli, “Urban Artifact: Undulation” featured in FI2007. Found metal, beads, and thread; weaving with beads, loom construction and assemblage. 6.5″ x 1″ x 8″

Read moreFocus On: Beading, one stitch at a time

Focus On: Video

Welcome to our ongoing August, 2015 blog series celebrating the final days to enter your artwork for consideration into FI2016! We’re highlighting different artist’s interpretations of fiber art that we’ve loved seeing in past Internationals.

OK, really? Video? Wasn’t the last post bad enough with the lottery tickets and the glass? Where’s the fiber art?

Hear me out. It won’t take long!

Ritual often makes use of fabric. Maybe it’s a piece of special clothing adorning the body, like a baby’s christening gown, or a cloth that’s employed in ceremony, like a chuppah at a Jewish wedding. Or the bit of lace veil that both conceals and reveals a bride’s face in many traditions.

Video is a wonderful medium for recording the act of ritual itself, and April Dauscha uses it to great effect when she films the use of her unique handmade needle-run lace artifacts. April uses her custom-made ceremonial garments to stage intimate personal rituals of penance, contrition, dressing, and undressing.

Act of Contrition still
April Dauscha, “Act of Contrition” (still). Featured in FI2013. Video; handmade needle-run lace veil

Read moreFocus On: Video

Focus On: Fiber content… or technique?

Welcome to our ongoing August blog series celebrating the final weeks to enter your artwork for consideration into FI2016! We’re highlighting different artist’s interpretations of fiber art that we’ve loved seeing in past Internationals.

All work must be either fiber in content or executed in a fiber technique.

Sometimes artists ask if the International accepts multimedia work, and we point them to the above line from the Entry Requirements page on the FI2016 prospectus. Does it sound prescriptive? Restrictive? Well, this is a show about fiber art, after all. The host galleries, the Society for Contemporary Craft and Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, should be full up with cottons, linens, wools, and silks. Right?

Sort of. And sometimes they are. But sometimes, they are full of other things. Like moss. Lottery tickets. Glass. Plastic feed sacks. Metal tape measures. Zip ties. Pipe cleaners. Anything, in fact, that can be woven, knotted, stitched, quilted, felted, dyed, spun; or made to look like it is. Anything that makes use of our human relationship with fiber to comment on the world. Anything that uses or references a fiber technique. What seems restrictive on the surface can be a pretty deep pool.


New Natural Occurence
Claire Taylor, “New Natural Occurence” featured in FI2010. Crushed plastic lid, cotton thread, french knot embroidery. 6″x5″x1″

Read moreFocus On: Fiber content… or technique?

Focus on: Embroidery: a “gorgeous gut punch”

Welcome to our ongoing August, 2015 blog series celebrating the final month to enter your artwork for consideration into FI2016! We’re highlighting different artist’s interpretations of fiber art that we’ve loved seeing in past Internationals.

The Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh, who produce the International, started life as the Embroiderer’s Guild back in the ’60’s. As embroiderers, they were technically excellent at their craft.

But something happened to change their focus. Jay van Wagenen writes in the Summer 2015 issue of Fiber Art Now:

Back in 1976, the needlewomen of what was then the Embroiderer’s Guild of Pittsburgh looked forward to their biennial member show. Their best work, meticulously crafted over the previous two years, had been submitted to the juror and preparations for the event were well underway. But the juror declined to cooperate. Instead, he delivered the verdict that changed the direction of the group: Technique is not enough to carry the craft to art form.” There was no show.

A period of voracious research and reevaluation followed, and by the 1980’s, the Guild was producing Fiberart International in the more expanded, challenging format we’d recognize today. But even though the tablecloths and pillowcases disappeared, embroidery remains.


Last Word
Kate Kretz, “The Final Word” Featured in FI2013. Black cotton velvet, French knots, embroidered. 20″x16″ United States

Read moreFocus on: Embroidery: a “gorgeous gut punch”

Focus On: Using Fabric to Tell a Story

If you’re just joining us, this is Entry #2 in our August, 2015 series celebrating the different interpretations of fiber art that we’ve loved seeing in past Internationals.

Fiber artists are particular about sourcing our materials. Mindful material use might enrich a work that focuses on a specific time or place, or help us achieve just the end result we want. We can grow our own dye plants, spin our own thread, weave just the right fabric to carry our point across. That’s part of the beauty of fiber as a medium.

But access to ready-made materials is an important part of our tradition too. The same eye for detail that leads one artist to hand-gather thousands of seeds for a project can lead another to source a pre-made fabric that infuses a piece with meaning and creates just as much impact on the viewer as something custom.


Oh, You Know... The Colored Girl
Joy Ude, “Oh, You Know… The Colored Girl”, featured in FI2013. Nigerian fabric, etched brass plate, printed jacquard fabric. 9″ x 27″ x 9″

Read moreFocus On: Using Fabric to Tell a Story