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March 18, 2009 > Tremendous Textiles

Tremendous Textiles

By Mona Shah

Olive Hyde's current Textile Exhibit weaves a story of culture and tradition in keeping with the philosophy of the Gallery. The annual Textile Exhibit started with recognition by the original founder, Olive Hyde. A native San Franciscan, Ms. Hyde was described as an avid historian, conservationist, musician and teacher as well as Textile Art enthusiast.

Fabric and textiles infuse our everyday life. In this exhibit, these common materials are used in such unique and artistic ways that they are sure to titillate the senses. "This show has a history of 41 years and typically textile exhibits are geared to quilts. Though we have quilts, I try to incorporate artists who can use fabric literally, conceptually and metaphorically," said Sandra Hemsworth, Curator at Olive Hyde Art Gallery. Art in the Textile Exhibit is not presented as an abstract to be admired from afar but, by use of everyday textiles, is accessible.

One of the artists, Pamela Drury Wattenmaker, uses a combination of powder coated metals, miles of knitted wire and thousands of cable ties. "I consider the work to be an industrial form of fiber art. I enjoy mixing materials that will offer a variety of textures. It has been exciting to create work that gives an impression of softness, but on closer examination is quite harsh and prickly to the touch," she states.

Artist Julie V. Garner created the "Sugar Factory." Garner explains her artistic inspiration, "When I photograph a scene for a new piece, I want to represent it from many points of view or over a period of time. For "Sugar Factor" I planted my feet in one spot while photographing the refinery in sections. The prints were then sliced to create a warp and weft that were then woven back together to create the finished image. Along the way, elements were deleted while others were duplicated so that the original scene is redefined in a somewhat unreal manner."

Laura Kamian's sketchbook practice seems to be taking her back in the direction of how it all started for her. Combining the materials of textiles and painting she is committed to making work that bridges the gap between Fine Art and "crafts." Kamian says, "The abstract gesture, the power of color, and repetitive variations on a theme are the art problems that I wake up in the morning aching to solve."

Curator Hemsworth explains, "This is one of our largest and most unique shows yet. The intention of this exhibit is to show a wide range of artwork across the media of Textiles and Fiber Art. I focus my selection of work for the exhibit on showing the audience different techniques and ways of thinking within these materials. There is more traditional quilt work to more conventional and contemporary consideration. The installation view of the work is also varied from the expected wall mounted 2-D to suspended 3-D work."

This year's artists include: Thom Atkins, Marie Bergstedt, Edie Brown, Linda Cline, Julie Garner, Beverly Harrington, Laura Kamian, Barbara Kelley, Kendra Lizotte, Denise Miller, Patricia Montgomery, Lisa Paige, Roslyn Ritter, Sarah Roberts, Nancy Ryan, Susan Sanborn North, Bonnie Smith, Ruth Tabancay, Gertrude Turner and Pamela Wattenmaker.

The exhibit is as much about education as it is about marketing; the vibrant textiles should open our eyes to a vivid culture in our midst.

Tremendous Textiles
The Olive Hyde Art Gallery
123 Washington Blvd., Fremont,
Thursday through Sunday
Noon to 5 p.m.
(510) 791-4357

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