Exhibit Day at the Surface Design Conference

Exhibitions at the Belger
A wonderful warehouse space in itself, complete with old fashioned freight elevator and loading dock for trucks. Here’s a list of all the shows I attended.

Stitches in Time: The Art of Ray Materson: narrative embroideries that reveal a poignant story of renewal through creative work. A fifteen year sentence for drug related armed robberies, unraveling socks for embroidery on new boxer short fabric, minute stitching. Creative work became a source of power within a prison community. Importance of support for prison art programs.

  • Surface Matters: SDA Members’ Show featured 18″ square format pieces by 200 members. This show included a wide array of member styles, competencies and techniques and allowed all members an opportunity to participate in a conference exhibition. (image at left and below. Shown: Stone Silence by Luanne Rimel, cotton flour sack cloth dishtowels; digitally printed, collaged, layered, stitched.)

    El Anatsui, Three Pieces, 2009. This Ghanaian artist and teacher at the University of Nigeria, is now world known for large scale installation pieces using aluminum (from cans, etc) and wire. These are powerful, awe-inspiring pieces.

    Jennifer Angus, Small Wonder, Secrets of a Collector, Nova Scota native now teaching at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, installations using dead insects from around the world, choosing those only in abundant supply. These mirror the beetle art of 19th century.

    Alice Kettle, A Pause in the Rhythm of Time, from the UK: large-scale figurative machine embroideries, dyed backgrounds. Also collaged fabric portraits, very cubist, embroidered. Astonishing work.

    Elsewhere in Kansas City:

    Teresa Cole, Full Circle, another strong show at the Blue Gallery, relief & screen print on hand-dyed tarleton, BFK Rives paper. Trained as a fiber artist, now a professor of printmaking.

    Teresa Cole’s Full Circle, -she trained as a fiber artist and now teaches printmaking. Printed tarleton, below.

    Also notable:

    • Jerry Bleem shows that provocative sculptural forms can involve materials of humble origins, such as the staple. Bleem gave a stunning performance in a lecture later in the conference.
    • Daniella Woolf, Away with Words, featured encaustic mixed media works of great interest to surface designers with more of a mixed media bent.
    • Memory Cloth, Leslee Nelson’s embroidered vintage household linens, Lynda Barry-style.
    • Regina Benson, On the Curve, Dimensional Works from Nature’s Studio, rusted and discharged fabric in sculptural format. (Byron C Cohen Gallery)
    • Landscape with Floating Biology, mixed media installation by weaver Wendy Weiss, & Jay Kramer, Cocoon Gallery at the Arts Incubator.
    • Evidently, the Dolphin Gallery’s show of Anne Lindberg, Asiatica and others drew gasps of praise- I was unable to see it.
    • I would have liked to see the International Student Show, Points of Departure, at Pi Gallery but didn’t make it.
    • Likewise, HEather Allen-Swarttouw’s Transition in the Community Christian Church chose several themes executed in different media (fiber, clay, etc) and was said to be a strong show. When I tried to attend, the Church was closed.
    • In the trunk show later that evening, Mary Hark’s indigo and walnut dyed papers.

    my view from my piece of pie: can’t escape the spool of thread!