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.