Pittsburgh Obama school residency

As part of the Fiberart International educational outreach, 90 students in grades 8-11 from Pittsburgh Obama school, an International Baccalaureate World School,  participated in a residency with fiber artist LaVerne Kemp as the International  community infusion project.

LaVerne Kemp – artist in residence at Pittsburgh Obama school

The residency merged the students’ study of Japanese language, craft forms and traditions with contemporary fiber art. Katsuko Shellhammer, from the Japan Society of Pennsylvania gave a lecture about Boro fabrics, dying and sashiko stitching and how it relates to Japan’s history and the current trends in the fashion industry especially with denim jeans.

During the 20 day residency,  students learned various Japanese textile techniques such as Shibori fabric preparation, Indigo dying and Sashiko stitching.

Students turned their fabrics into a pillow project.

Thank you Laverne for an amazing residency!

We are very grateful  to our funders:  The Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh, the PA Council for the Arts, and Pittsburgh Center of Arts and Media – Artists in Schools and Communities Program the immersive program linked traditional textile techniques to contemporary expression.

Opening weekend

We had an amazing weekend at the opening and the Fiberarts Forum!

Exhibition directors Rae Gold and Risë Nagin with juror Jane Sauer.

Thank you to all who came, the artists, guild members and public!

If you couldn’t make it, don’t miss the exhibition!
Brew House Association- 711 South 21st Street
Contemporary Craft- 2100 Smallman Street

See you at the opening!

Today is the day! We hope to see you at the opening this evening from 5:30 to 8 pm at Brew House Association (711 South 21st Street) and Contemporary Craft (2100 Smallman Street).
Want to read about it? Check these out:
*Pittsburgh City Paper: Fiberart International weaves its way back into Pittsburgh with new partnership and textile works 
* The best things that are happening in Pittsburgh this weekend in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: May 30-June 2: http://bit.ly/PG-05292019
* Entertainment planner: May 30-June 12 in Trib Live http://bit.ly/TL-05302019
Here is a little teaser from Contemporary Craft:

https://www.facebook.com/SCCPgh/videos/467619944065040/?t=3


And some images from The Brew House Association

Technology

Written by Jean Thomas

How about techniques fiber artists choose?
Exploring digital techniques.
Once more I consulted earlier FI catalogs.

Starting in 1999 there were two samples, Denis Sargent with a digital print.Continue Reading

Materials

Written by Jean Thomas

More about material fiber artists choose.

Lori Lupe Pelish FI07 artist

In my recent blog post I wrote about some of the unusual fiber materials that were chosen by artists whose work is in previous Internationals. So now it’s time to survey the usual or more frequent choices.Continue Reading

UNUSUAL FIBER

Written by Jean ThomasMany of us who identify ourselves as a fiber artist have encountered this question:  What is a fiber artist or what exactly do you mean by fiber.  We could reply with one of these definitions of fiber:

Continue Reading

Browsing the catalogs

Written by Jean Thomas

Ever so often I browse through my collection of Fiberart Intertational catalogs, starting with 2001. I joined the Guild in 1999 or thereabouts. So here are a few statistics and observations. The 2001 and 2004 catalogs were a modest 6×9 inches with 116 and 88 pages respectively. In 2007 the catalog size grew to 8 1/2 x 11 inches with128 pages.Continue Reading

Memories of Barbara Luderowski

Written by Jean Thomas

Memorial tributes to Barbara Luderowski continue to come from many sources–locally, nationally and internationally.

“Barbara was an artist—unique, highly perceptive and intelligent, feisty,—and always on the advance. May her creative, pioneering spirit continue to guide the Mattress Factory.” Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

In a 2002 interview with a Post-Gazette writer, Barbara said, “Art deals with the spiritual side, the gentler side of life.” The reporter went on to write:
“The woman who is totally devoted to the gentler side of life is a complicated mix of gruffness and compassion, anger and humor. Her gruffness is so pronounced that she’s been likened to a military commander.
“She’s like Patton,” said Thomas Sokolowski, then director of The Andy Warhol Museum. “We wouldn’t say that Patton was a sweet charming guy, ‘Father Knows Best.’ But he was a wonderful general, and he knew how to do it. Barbara’s the same way.

I first met Barbara in the 1970s when I was exploring Pittsburgh’s Northside thanks to Pittsburgh History and Landmarks.  Someone in their office mentioned that an old mattress factory had been purchased recently.  To find it I first had to locate the alley, Sampsonia Way (this was before Mayor Sophie Masloff made sure all streets AND alleys were signed.)  At that time the building had a loading dock, and as I approached there was this rather stern looking woman in jeans was standing on the loading dock eyeing me.  When I told her I was curious about the building and had heard rumors it was to be an art gallery of sorts, she welcomed me, gave me a hand up the dock and proceeded to take me on a mini tour of the place via the elevator.  The elevator was an open sided freight elevator, not for the faint hearted.  After the Mattress Factory obtained their non profit status, one of the stipulations was that there must be a Board of Directors.  I was one of the early Board members.   We mostly listened while Barbara laid out her plans, some of which seemed quite   audacious.  Many of us never dreamed that the Mattress Factory would achieve national and international fame.  Barbara made it happen!

Barbara’s vision, tenacity and vast experience will be sorely missed by many, including those of us involved in Fiberart International 2019 who had looked forward eagerly to her participation as juror.

Jean Thomas

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.

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