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Inspired Artworks

  • Post Date4/2/2012
  • AuthorKim Sheahan
  • Reading Time2 minute read

The 2007 Campbell Gallery exhibit Why Knot? was greatly enhanced by a strong Museum collaboration with the C-U Spinners and Weavers Guild. Member-led special events brought new visitors into the Museum, and the videotape The Ties that Bind, in which members shared the stories of how they began their fiberworking journeys, was a special exhibit feature. So when Guild member Jane Barry suggested another collaboration, Museum staff immediately responded, "Tell us more!"

The result? On August 20, 2013, the Museum will open a Campbell Gallery exhibit based on this new collaboration. Tentatively titled Inspired by…, the exhibit will feature artworks created by Guild members who took their inspiration from artifacts in the Museum’s permanent collections. Twenty-eight fiber artists are presenting forty different artworks. Kim Sheahan, Assistant Director of Education and coordinator for the exhibit, has been most excited by two of its most interesting features. "We’ve ended up not only with multiple Guild members giving their interpretations of one artifact," she said, "but also with one person who is creating multiple artworks inspired by a single artifact. I can’t wait to see them all on display together."

Like most temporary exhibits created by the Museum, this one will take between two and three years from initial planning to installation. Though its opening is more than a year away, the participants have been hard at work on their pieces for many months. In order to prepare all the display case designs and artwork mounts, the Guild members must turn in their completed pieces by July 2012.

Shown here are examples of two inspirations. Ann Bergeron holds up the weaving she created after choosing an Inuit bag from the 1913–17 Crocker Land Expedition as her inspiration. Influenced by the use of local materials in the bag, she decided to use pieces of local, recycled materials—such as zipper teeth, billboard vinyl, and shredded CDs—in her weaving, which will be folded to look like a bag with a flap. Beth Engelbrecht-Wiggans knitted several pairs of socks before she finished a pair she felt worthy of her inspiration—a colorful mola panel on a blouse from the San Blas Islands of Panama.