“Continuing Conversations” Group Exhibition Opens in the Barton Art Galleries on March 16

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This project’s printed materials were supported by the Arts Council of Wilson and the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

WILSON, N.C. — The Barton Art Galleries is pleased to announce the opening of “Continuing Conversations,” a group exhibition at Barton College featuring works by members of the Southeast Fibers Educators Association (SEFEA), scheduled for Sunday, March 16. The exhibition will run from March 16 – April 11 and will feature the works by Jeanne Brady, Susan Brandeis, Edwina Bringle, Miyuki Akai Cook, Jennifer Crenshaw, Candace Edgerley, Catharine Ellis, Susan Fecho, Robin Haller, Susan Iverson, Jess Jones, Jo-Marie Karst, Jeana Klein, Kate Kretz, Lisa Kriner, Carol LeBaron, Patricia Mink, Amy Putansu, Jennifer Sargent, Tommye M. Scanlin, Katherine Soucie, Janie F. Woodbridge, and Christine Zoller.

An opening reception for the exhibition will be held on Sunday afternoon, March 16, from 2 – 4 p.m. in the Barton Art Galleries in Case Art Building. A gallery talk is scheduled for Monday morning, March 17, from 10 – 11 a.m. in the Barton Art Galleries. There is no charge for the Sunday afternoon event or the Monday morning gallery talk, and the community is invited to attend. For additional information about the exhibition or opening reception, please contact Bonnie LoSchiavo in the Barton Art Galleries at 252-399-6477 or artgalleries@barton.edu.

On Sunday evening, March 16, at 5 p.m. the Barton Art Galleries and the Barton College Friends of Visual Arts will welcome Friends of Visual Arts members for a wine and cheese reception in the Barton Art Galleries. At 5:45 p.m., Barton Art Galleries and the Barton College Friends of Visual Arts will host a Panel Presentation in the Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell Theatre, featuring Jeana Eve Klein, Robin L. Haller, Lisa L. Kriner, Tommye M. Scanlin and Katherine Soucie.

Dinner on Sunday evening will immediately follow in the Bridgestone Americas Atrium of the Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell Theatre. The Barton College Friends of Visual Arts events are by invitation only to members. To make reservations for the panel discussion and dinner or to receive additional information about joining the Barton College Friends of Visual Arts, please contact Frances Belcher at 252-399-6357 or fbelcher@barton.edu.

Featured Artists:

Jeanne Brady, a professor of fibers at Tennessee Tech University’s Appalachian Center for Craft, has been a professional artist for more than 34 years. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking & Drawing, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Surface & Textile design. She is represented in numerous collections and has been published in various books and craft magazines. Brady’s style encompasses her favorite techniques of painting, printing, and drawing, which creates a unique style and originality of design. She approaches her fabric designs much as a painter approaches a canvas, a surface upon which to build the ideas, very process-oriented. She takes an initial thought and explores it, responding to the medium of dye, pigments, resists, etc. as she works.

Susan Brandeis is distinguished professor of Art & Design at North Carolina State University, where she coordinates the Fibers and Surface Design Program. For nearly three decades, Brandeis has combined a lifelong love of fiber with a fascination for natural places and forms. Brandeis has chosen to work in textiles because they provide a breadth and flexibility of expression, which makes all other materials seem limited by comparison. For her, textiles combine the texture and relief qualities of sculpture or pottery, the color range of paint, and the literal expressive potential of photography. Her work is an attempt to describe with fabric her intense visual experience of the Earth: everyday experiences elevated and intensified. Brandeis uses color, layers, juxtaposition of patterns, exaggeration of detail, and complex textures to re-create the dichotomy of what she sees in nature.

Edwina Bringle has enjoyed being a studio artist and living in the Penland community near Spruce Pine, moving there after 24 years of teaching at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. As a fiber artist, she has focused on the use of color and design in the creation of woven textiles and mixed media stitched pieces. In 1964, she was introduced to weaving while in a class at the Penland School of Crafts. Later, she became a resident artist and first taught there in 1969. Bringle’s work is in the collections at the North Carolina Museum of History, Greenville County Museum of Art in South Carolina, Gregg Museum of Art in Raleigh, the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, and in numerous private collections.

Miyuki Akai Cook, an instructor at Marshall University, was born and raised in Japan. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design from Osaka University of Arts in Japan. In 2000, Cook took a journey to the U.S. to explore a different culture. In 2006, she received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Fiber/Artisanry from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. In her artwork, she tries to express the coexistence and dilemma between human society and nature’s gift of life, and works to find and visualize cohesiveness between the two.

Jennifer Crenshaw is a visiting assistant professor in the Fabric Department of the University of Georgia’s Lamar Dodd School of Art, and is the owner of Constance Crenshaw Designs. Her fiber interests include weaving, screen-printing on fabric, surface design, and material manipulation utilizing a sewing machine. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing from the University of Georgia, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Textile Design from Rhode Island School of Design. In her work, Crenshaw believes that beauty is in the layers of stitches and in the decorative embellishments and forms they create. She feels compelled to free the stitches from the fabric so one can experience the embroidery as an independent textile.

Candace Edgerley teaches at the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C., and at the Art League School in Old Town Alexandria, Va. She has recently been exploring monoprints and deconstructed screen-printing on textiles. Edgerley’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in Korea, Japan, Germany, and France. Her work is in private and permanent collections, including the Corcoran Museum, Kaiser Permanente, and David Copperfield. She has served as President of the International Surface Design Association and is a member of New Image, a local group of artists that exhibit nationally. Edgerley has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Education from Northern Illinois University, with additional studies at the Corcoran College of Art + Design. Edgerley enjoys exploring a variety of textile techniques. One of those techniques is deconstructed screen-printing. Using various textured materials, thickened dye, and a silkscreen, an image is created and screened onto fabric. After processing, the fabric is layered with a thin batting and free motion machine quilted.

Catharine Ellis has been a weaver and dyer for more than 35 years. After many years of teaching the Professional Craft Fiber Program at Haywood Community College, she now divides her time between studio work, research, and specialized teaching. Ellis is the author of “Woven Shibori,” and her work has been featured in “Fiberarts” magazine and “Surface Design Journal.” She teaches workshops and exhibits nationally and internationally. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Marymount College and continued her education at Penland School of Crafts. After many years, Ellis decided to return to the roots of her first dye experience and work with natural plant dyes. The challenge of using these dyes effectively on cotton fabrics compelled her to travel and study with masters, who have helped her develop an effective process for mordanting, dyeing, and discharging.

Susan Fecho, professor and chair of the Department of Art and Design at Barton College, trained as a printmaker and surface designer. She is intrigued by the richness and diversity inherent in varied techniques. Fecho has exhibited regionally, nationally, and internationally and has received numerous awards, grants, and residencies. In her recent work, Fecho interprets the past as a personal, cultural, and archetypal artifact. Through her work, the familiar reappears in unfamiliar configurations; a new sense of significance is imparted to an otherwise everyday object. In Fecho’s work, there are varied layers of material and multiple facets of meaning.

Robin Haller, assistant professor in the School of Art and Design at East Carolina University, teaches weaving and feltmaking within the Textiles Program. In her weavings, the strong inherent grid of the medium is used in tandem with the matrix of digital design. The mathematics involved in all aspects of the process provides a foundation of logic and order that influences her design choices. A network of pattern is created in response to the grid through the layering of motifs that exist both on the surface and within the structure. The layers of pattern are generated by her interest in the relationships and dualities of systems of pattern. For Haller, these systems of pattern are metaphors for time and memory.

Susan Iverson is a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Colorado State University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Tyler School of Art, Temple University. Her work has been exhibited widely throughout the United States and is included in many collections including the Art in Embassies Program and the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. Iverson attributes a move from the city to the country as the impetus for her altered way of viewing and interacting with the natural world. She is intensely interested in the physical layering of visual information that leads to an abstract or altered reaction to this environment. In her recent tapestries, there are reflections of her observations and ruminations. A sense of place and her attachment to the environment are major aspects of this work.

Jess Jones is an assistant professor of textiles at Georgia State University in Atlanta. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Fibers from East Tennessee State University. Her undergraduate work was in painting, drawing, and printmaking, and she often combines all of these media in her textile work. Her work can be seen in exhibitions and publications such as “Quilt National.” Her imagery contains information that is both retrieved and created, using visual and physical textures, like the enjoyable confusion of an image of concrete and the structure of lace. Jones is interested in how the form of mapmaking has a dual nature; isolation as well as connection, communication and miscommunication, orientation and disorientation. She enjoys softening the aggressive territorial language of the city by recreating it in the structure of a quilt, which signifies comfort and familiarity. These sewn structures become an album, an atlas, an emotional archive, simultaneously recording and redefining her thoughts and experiences.

Jo-Marie Karst teaches textile design, weaving, and color theory at North Georgia College and State University, where she also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Marketing and a Master in Education degree. Her work has been exhibited throughout the Southeast. In her artwork, she seeks to develop a uniqueness that can be found in the common and “ordinary” weave structure of plain weave. By applying outside pressures to the woven cloth, patterns emerge and the flat landscape of plain weave is transformed. Karst’s weavings are not meant to make social or political statements. Instead, they are merely the language from internal places that flows from within and finds voice through the cloth.

Jeana Eve Klein earned a Bachelor of Art and Design degree from the School of Design at North Carolina State University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Arizona State University. She currently works in Boone, where she serves as associate professor of fibers in the Art Department at Appalachian State University. The majority of Klein’s studio practice is devoted to mixed media quilts. The work straddles the line between textiles and painting, realism and abstraction, fact and fiction. Her technique is often obsessive, with layer-upon-layer of tedious hand processes.

Kate Kretz’s work has appeared in more than 95 international newspapers and has been featured repeatedly in the “New York Times,” “ArtPapers,” “Surface Design Journal,” as well as “Vanity Fair Italy,” “ELLE Japon,” and “Pasajes Diseño” magazines. Her controversial painting “Blessed Art Thou” appeared in hundreds of international news sources and continues to be published in university textbooks worldwide.  After working as an associate professor and as the BFA director at Florida International University for 10 years, she relocated to Washington, D.C. Kretz currently works in her studio while giving workshops and lectures at various universities. She believes that one of the functions of art is to strip us bare, reminding us of the fragility common to every human being across continents and centuries. Often, she will meet someone, and the visible weight of his or her life becomes almost unbearable to her. She feels as though this visible weight emotionally rips her open. The objects that she makes are an attempt to articulate this feeling.

Lisa L. Kriner is an associate professor and director of visual arts at Berea College in Kentucky. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Textile Technology at North Carolina State University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Fibers at the University of Kansas. Kriner’s fiber art explores the formation of identity through tensions between being rooted in community and the desire for personal movement and freedom. She portrays this conflict to be challenging as she is equally moved by strong roots—the big white oak in her yard and the deep-rooted grasses of the western planes—as by the constant movement of migrating birds, ocean tides, and wind and water currents.

Carol LeBaron is a professional artist, educator, and curator. She received her Master of Fine Arts degree from Rhode Island School of Design.  Her clamped wool and jacquard work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and has won several awards.  Her work has been published in “Surface Design Journal” and “Fiberarts Design Book 7.” She has taught at several art schools and universities, including Rhode Island School of Design, Appalachian Center for Crafts, East Tennessee State University, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She has received a major research grant for her resist explorations on wool and has completed several artist residencies. Currently LeBaron is a full-time artist, creating large commission pieces, as well as participating in museum shows at the State Museum in Nashville, Tenn., and the William King Museum in Abingdon, Va.

Patricia Mink is an associate professor and head of the Fibers program in the Department of Art & Design at East Tennessee State University. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Kalamazoo College and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Eastern Michigan University. Her current work explores the traditional layered quilt form, employing new digital techniques for weaving and/or printing fabric, as a means of establishing a visual dialogue addressing issues of contemporary culture. Drawing from historic associations with domesticity, comfort, and home, she believes the quilt form offers unique possibilities for developing content when combined with non-traditional techniques and unexpected imagery. Mink is interested in the relationship between surface and structure. This can manifest in several ways; the images she chooses, the materials she works with, and the layered forms they take.

Amy Putansu was born and raised on the coast of Maine. The shoreline and seascape influence her aesthetic above all else. Her format for expression began its development at Rhode Island School of Design, where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Textile Design.  Putansu worked for cottage industry before operating her own studio practice, Putansu Textiles. In 2008, Putansu became a full-time faculty member at Haywood Community College in the Professional Craft Program.  Putansu currently explores ondulé weaving in the form of exhibition pieces or yardage lengths, working with fine natural and alternative fibers. Her design choices are informed by a combination of practice, knowledge, and intuition. Putansu believes that cloth is the most expressive of craft forms in its liquidity, dimensionality, and encompassing quality.

Jennifer Sargent is an artist and independent curator based in Memphis, Tenn. Previously, she was associate professor and director of exhibitions at Memphis College of Art. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Woven Textiles from Middlesex University, London, England, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Fibers from Arizona State University. She has received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Tennessee Arts Commission and an Artist Residency at the Vermont Studio Center. Her work centers upon the structural and conceptual possibilities of fabric. Processes are chosen so as to allow her to compile time and make memory through the accumulation of small, repetitive, and absorbing actions. In her work, subject matter and personal interests continually intersect. She investigates myths and fairy tales, stories that speak a universal language and capture a sense of universal dilemmas.

Tommye M. Scanlin is professor emerita at North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega, Ga. She has worked primarily with weaving since 1972 and has used many weaving methods through the years to allow her to weave pictorial images before she moved to tapestry in the late 1980s. Scanlin designs through the use of various media techniques such as painting, photography, collage, and computer-aided design. Scanlin’s tapestries are mostly pictorial, with images drawn from events, objects, people, and places meaningful in her life. These tapestries are a response to her perception of these resources. By the slow and precise process of tapestry weaving, she feels specific moments may become more universal.

Katherine Soucie is an artist, designer, and writer who specializes in transforming textile industry waste into new textiles. Currently, she is a visiting lecturer in textiles at the Welch School of Art at Georgia State University. Soucie studied fashion design in London and Toronto before furthering her studies in textiles and visual art in Vancouver. Her zero waste philosophy allows for the unexpected to emerge and has led her to produce work for film, television, dance, and theatre. Mending has been the driving force behind her creative process, where it continues to inform her evolving work. From clothing she remade as a child to salvaging discarded waste hosiery, textiles, and garments, she views the act of mending in her practice as a tool of creation that inevitably leads to the ability to (re)imagine.

Janie F. Woodbridge is a textile designer, artist, and teacher currently living in Durham. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Textile Design from Rhode Island School of Design. While in school, she learned many textile design techniques but found her passion in weaving.  After working in the woven textile design industry for 10 years, she is driven by the idea of combining the technical knowledge of the industry with traditional textile techniques. Color theory, woven structure, and the beauty in the natural world inspire her work.  She has shown her artwork in North Carolina, New York, Rhode Island, and Chicago.

Christine Zoller is an associate professor and Textile Area Coordinator at East  Carolina University in Greenville.  She has taught at other universities and has conducted workshops for Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, Penland School of Crafts, and the Quilt Surface Design Symposium.  Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and can be seen in the “Surface Design Journal” and “Fiberarts Design Book 5” and “Fiberarts Design Book 7.” She obtained her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Georgia.  Her current work is generated from watercolor paintings, and she establishes the image by digitally printing it onto fabric before it is quilted and beaded. This work is about creating a sense of place. Her body of work celebrates the landscape, where a viewer can look and find a place of energy and excitement, but also of peace.