And what a night it was…

My heart is full, and my gratitude endless at all who came out last night to celebrate my retrospective, and share with me a lifetime’s work. It was a fantastic party, magical, and probably one of the top ten nights of my career. So many of you have asked for more pictures, and specifically my mom, who at 92 can’t really travel to actually see the exhibit, I promised to do a lengthy blog post for those that feel like they missed out.

The show runs to the end of the month, when the college needs the gallery for their final student shows, and then it returns the beginning of May, and runs through the end of the summer. So there is time to go see it, and spend time with the work.

The gallery is quite large, and I stood in awe, when I walked in yesterday, to see my name in, as a friend described it, size 2000 font. And of course I’m wearing the dress I finished Monday night realizing I had nothing to wear to this monumental event.

The two garments flanking the title wall are Busy Bistro Walking Vest, and Wildfires. Details can be found in my website gallery, 2022-202* and 2011-2014

There is a long hallway in front of the title wall, and then side entries into the gallery behind.

There are fifteen groups or themes in the exhibit, plus a demonstration area, and I wrote an artist statement for each of them. I’m including a link to a PDF to each of the artist statements, in case you want to read more in depth about each theme. Most pieces in the exhibit are on my website in one of the many galleries, with professional photos, details, and descriptions, including the year it was made. I’ve linked each grouped theme to the gallery page or pages where they appear if you want to see each piece up close. The goal is to film a documentary, but that will be awhile coming. It will involve my daughter who is my film maker, editor and producer for all my videos, and right now, she is in Disney World. Incidentally, some of you are aware my son is deploying to the middle east and has been doing extensive training in the southwest getting acclimated to desert life again. He is heading to the middle east imminently, but two of his friends came to the opening, with a cell phone and my son was on Facetime, and I got to see him, and his friends walked the phone around the gallery showing him my work. Whatever I’ve said about the intrusion of technology into our lives, I take that back. I couldn’t stop crying at how special that moment was. Godspeed Eric. Stay safe.

Group 1 artist statement. Group 1 contains the following works, click on each work for an image from my website. The gallery pages are here, here, here, and here. Leaves and Berries Coat, Mitered Silk Twill Tunic, Autumn Plaid Tunic, Ikat Swing Coat, Forest Fire, Magical Bias Dress, Winter Florals Coat, Winter Florals Jacket, Autumn Patchwork Duster, Autumn Patchwork Tunic. These last four pieces are actually part of Group 10, which I’ll provide details when we get there. A handling piece was provided for each garment because we textile people need to touch!

Group 2 artist statement. Group 2 contains the following works, click on each work for an image from my website. The gallery pages are here, here, and here. Complex Wanderings II, Peacock Fantasy, Spring Rain Pieced Dress and Tote Bag, Slice and Dice, Cocoon. Peacock Fantasy was used in a County College of Morris Production as a costume for the God of Water, in Once on this Island, in 2009. Images are on the wall on either side.

Group 3 artist statement. Group 3 contains the following works, click on each work for an image from my website. The website gallery pages are here, here, here, and here. Note, this group was repurposed from other works, and images of the original work are included on the wall behind the garments. Frosted Florals Top, and Frosted Florals Bias Top, (reworked from Frosted Florals Gown), Spirit Mist, Jacket with Felted Collar (reworked from Amigas Virtuosas Dress), Vintage Revisited Vest, Vibration, and Color Blocked Dress.

Group 4 artist statement. Group 4 contains five art garments I created between 1996 and 2004. There is a gallery page on my website that shows all of them, with descriptions and details. Click here.

Group 5 artist statement. Group 5 contains a series of woven memories, using images printed on fabric, cut into strips and rewoven in an inlay technique. There is a gallery page on my website that shows all of them, and many others that have been sold over the years. That page has all of the descriptions and details. Click here. There is one piece, on the far right, that is a collage, and is found here, in the website collage gallery page. All of the works in this group are for sale, information can be found on the respective website gallery pages.

Group 6 artist statement. Group 6 contains three works, all created using one of my patterns, the 600 walking vest, featured here on the wall. Rather than take a photo of the door between the first and second of the walking vests, there are two images. Website gallery pages are here, here, and here. The three garments in this group are Fantasy in Fur Walking Vest, Checked Mohair Walking Vest, and Evolution.

In addition, there are two pieces that aren’t part of a group, a short jacket on the left in the first photo, Shadow Play, gallery page here, and The Journey, a digitally woven tapestry, gallery page here. The Journey is also for sale.

Group 7 Artist Statement. Group 7 contains works made in workshops with other instructors, included here because continuing education is critical for any creative person. There are two views as this group is freestanding in the aisle. The reversible doublewoven jacket is positioned so that one can view the inside as well as the outside. Gallery pages are here, here, and here. The first image features Bubble Cloth Vest, Krokbragd Tote Bag, Turned Taqueté Vest, and Doubleweave Patchwork Jacket. The second photo features Crimp Cloth Vest, and Huck Sampler Top. There is no image on my website for the Huck Sampler Top, it was never formally photographed.

Group 8 artist statement. The gallery page for this group of garments is here. All four were woven specifically for Silk City Fibers. Shadow Tapestry, Summer Rain Top, Confetti Vest, and Antique Jewels Swing Dress. PDF’s project sheets are available as free downloads from my eShop. Shadow Tapestry, Summer Rain Top, Confetti Vest, Antique Jewels Swing Dress.

Group 9 artist statement. This grouping celebrates my writing career, these garments were featured in articles that are paired with the pieces. Gallery pages are here, here, here, here, and here. From left to right, Surgically Tied, L. A. Attitude, Noro Flower Garden, Noro Jacket, Mohair Collared Vest, Mohair Coat with Hood, Fulled with Sari, Tartan Trench Coat. The first garment Surgically Tied was created from kumihimo braiding I did while undergoing out-patient surgery, and the experience with the nurses wanting to learn to do what I was doing, became an Endnotes column for a 2003 issue of Handwoven Magazine. You can read that column here.

Group 10 artist statement. Gallery pages on my website are here, here, here and here. Pendleton Worms Vest, from leftovers from a Pendleton Worms jacket featured in a Handwoven article, an Evening Top Commission, and Sunlight on the Water, from the scraps of that commission, which aren’t on my website. Splash Dress, which was woven from the leftovers from Amigas Virtuosas photographed with the dress. Around the corner are Driftwood Swing Dress, and Driftwood Motorcycle Vest, and Winter Sunset Coat and Winter Sunset Motorcycle Vest. Also included were Autumn Patchwork Tunic and Duster and Winter Florals Jacket and Coat. All four of those pieces were included in Group 1.

Group 11 artist statement. Gallery pages are here, here, here, and here. Garments featured here are Phoenix Rising, Dragonfly, Big Shirt, Vertical Barriers Swing Skirt, and Chaos Shirt. Included are two pages from one of my forecast columns for Handwoven Magazine.

Group 12 artist statement. This center display features an Inklette Inkle loom under plexi, and three garments that were made using commercial fabric with Inkle woven trim. Two of the garments were featured in a spread on how to weave trim, in Threads Magazine. The website gallery page is here. Lower front right is Vest with Inkle Woven Trim, back left on the form, Floodlights, back right on the form, With a Nod to Chanel.

Group 13 artist statement. There are three garments in this group. Gallery pages are here and here. Included is a photo of a County College of Morris intern, who worked with me and helped me felt the panels for Winter Landscape. Garments are Winter Landscape, Second Time Around, and Arctic Sky.

Group 14 artist statement. This group features felted artworks and can be found, with images, details and descriptions, along with prices as they are all for sale, on this website gallery page. In addition there is a small 4-shaft floor loom with a hand-dyed warp, and alpaca/silk weft from my previous blog post.

The last group of works are all from the early years. Because this exhibit will tie into the Morris County Teen Arts Festival in May, telling the entire story of my career should include work as far back as I could go. There is a macramé vest from High School, a couple of works from college, a couple of garment ensembles from my craft fair days, and some tapestries. Artist statement 15 is here. Because most of this work is not on my website, I’ve taken a few extra photos of the work. The tapestries are all on my website gallery page, and are all for sale.

There was a small corner when you first walked into the gallery, that featured a dress I made for a conference fashion show gala. I grabbed a piece of old production fabric from the attic and made a dress that wrapped around the body with one seam. It is featured here on the wall with my 9 page resume, which is on my website here, and a Lucite bin with rolls of handwoven yardage.

The last area of this exhibit is one I’m proud of, a hands on experience for everyone. My daughter and I filmed a 12 minute how to weave video, using a few of my Leclerc sample looms and my Structos. I set them up ahead of time, provided yarn, and let the public play.

And here is one more that was just sent to me from my friend and guild mate and fellow weaver Sally, who grabbed me holding court near the felted wall pieces. It was a grand night, I wish all of you could have been there, but I’ve done my best today to let you see what we put together. A huge thank you to CCM and Brian Sahotsky, Gallery Director among other things (he also teaches art history), for this amazing opportunity to bring what I do front and center. Overheard was someone who had a loom languishing in the basement and as a result of the exhibition, was inspired to dig it out and start weaving again.

I am very tired. It is time to close my eyes, get some sleep, and start on the dreaded tax season, which will then lead to glorious planting season and I will be off and running.

Stay tuned…