EAC to showcase six textile artists
PUBLICATION: Edwardsville Intelligencer (IL)
SECTION: Arts And Entertainment
DATE: September 24, 2015
Six female textile artists, connected to each other through their experiences in art education, collaborated for the Innovations in Textiles 9 exhibit four years ago when Artist Pat Vivod pulled the group together for the show.
The Innovations in Textiles event, sponsored by the Craft Alliance in St. Louis, is a regional collaborative event celebrating fiber art. It involves many art events scattered over more than 15 gallery exhibits across the St. Louis metro area.
Vivod, a resident of Troy, has brought this group of women together again this year with only one artist change, as they reunite to present Material Revival at the Edwardsville Art Center.
The Material Revival exhibit runs through October 16.
The exhibit is also in conjunction with this year's Innovations in Textiles 10 event.
When Vivod decided to curate an exhibit for the Innovations in Textiles 9 event, she turned to five other female artist friends to join her.
The six were unique in that all of the women shared a teacher/student/mentor relationship.
They traded items from each of their studios with the idea of integrating these new items into new works. Vivod noted that the end result of that collaboration four years ago “exceeded all of our expectations and proved to be a tremendous learning experience. At the closing of the show we all pledged to continue the collaboration.”
Now four years later, although one artist dropped out, Vivod has brought together four of the five artists from the original collaboration and invited a new female artist to join this year's collaboration entitled Material Revival. The exhibit will be on display at the Edwardsville Arts Center in Edwardsville through Oct. 16, but it's also apart of the Innovations in Textiles 10 event.
Erin Cork Woolfolk, Sarah Gillespie (the new partner), Jo Stealey, Laura Strand, and Erin Vigneau Dimick have joined Vivod in creating a whole new body of work involving collaboration with materials from each other's studios.
Each of the women are connected ironically like a thread that weaves through their backgrounds. Cork Woolfolk has three connections to the Material Revival group. As an undergraduate she studied art education at the University of Missouri where she studied with Stealey. Cork Woolfolk then earned her MFA in studio art/textiles at SIUE where Strand was her professor. Then she worked with Vivod for two summers during grad school to learn about Vivod's natural dye printing and rusting methods.
Vivod earned an MFA specializing in printmaking, but her interest in textiles began years ago. It was during grad school that she developed alternative and organic printing techniques.
Vivod grew up on a farm and refers humorously that the process behind her art is “reverse farming.” Using “harvested” materials like tea and tree leaves, wild berries or fermented juices, Vivod pairs them with rusted iron objects to produce permanent color marks on silk. “Since 2007, I have also adapted shibori pole wrapping techniques to broaden the scope of my landscapes and farm stories which develop organically—outdoors, where, as in real farming, the season, temperature, humidity and timing affect the outcome,” Vivod writes about her art.
Vivod invited her former professor Strand, who has a passion for weaving, to join in the collaboration. Vivod pointed out that Strand not only was a “fantastic mentor and friend” but also was a staunch supporter in Vivod's transition from traditional printmaking to a fiber artist.
In addition to being connected to Cork Woolfolk and Vivod, Strand was also a mentor to Erin Vigneau Dimick.
Vigneau Dimick, who is currently head of the University Museum at SIUE, met Cork Woolfolk during the time Vigneau Dimick served as an adjunct in the SIUE textile department. Vigneau Dimick also recently curated a show at the EAC featuring renowned metal-smith Agnes Pal.
Vigneau Dimick will be exhibiting some of the recent work that she has continued to do since 2011 using materials she had left over from the artist swap during the first collaboration.
Stealey, who is head of the fiber program at the University of Missouri, is connected to the group through Cork Woolfolk who introduced her to Vivod. Due to a demanding work schedule and a very busy personal schedule this year, Stealey, like Vigneau Dimick has made work to display in the show that incorporates materials from the first collaboration in 2011. “She lives and breathes fibers,” Vivod wrote about Stealey. “She is an internationally known basket weaver, book artists, paper maker and has been teaching and serving as head of fibers at University of Missouri Columbia since 1992.”
Stealy's artwork in the exhibit will be comprised of processed pecan leaves, silk organza, and gold leaf on 16 panels. “This piece was made earlier this year for an exhibit in Cuba and this is the first time it's been exhibited in the United States,” Vivod noted.
Gillespie, the newest member to the group, was one of Strand's students as she worked on her MFA at SIUE, and she also worked briefly at Vivod's studio. Her work is especially close to Vivod's heart.
Gillespie is a farm girl working to eradicate invasive plants on her family's farm and makes work reflecting those beliefs.
The Material Revival reception takes place Sept. 18 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Edwardsville Arts Center located at 61695 Center Grove Road in Edwardsville. The EAC is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and is closed Sunday through Tuesday.
Visit Vivod's blog about the event at http://patvivod.blogspot.com/ and http://materialrevival.blogspot.com/ to learn more about the Material Revival exhibit. Information can also be found at www.edwardsvilleartscenter.com. The art from EAC Art classes will be featured concurrently in the DeToye Student Gallery.
Happy Up is sponsoring this exhibit.
Gallery photos courtesy of Pat Vivod.