This Episode: “Fabric”

Event Date: Tuesday, March 20, from 7 to 9 pm

Admission is free. Tell your friends.

This roundtable conversation series happens at Vermillion, an art gallery, bar, and neighborhood gathering place at 1508 11th Ave, Seattle (http://www.vermillionseattle.com/). For more information on the series, call John Boylan at 206-601-9848. If you want to link to this announcement, you can do so at https://boylanconversation.wordpress.com/

This time, the topic is fabric, the power and beauty to be found in cloth. I’m not expecting a reprise of last year’s style conversation, though there may be a bit of that. Instead I want to go directly for the substance, the cloth, the fabric, and the roles it plays in our lives. Read on below.

The Guests (see below for guest bios)

Anna Rose Telcs, artist and designer

Lou Cabeen, artist and teacher

Cameron Anne Mason, artist and teacher

And a fourth in the works

The Story

We can talk about fashion, which we did in last year’s Style conversation. And we can look at fiber art, or surface design, as it is called. But I want most to have a conversation about the root, about fabric itself and our passion for it. I’m interested in how it feels, where it comes from, the amazing things we can do with it.

It’s no accident, of course, that Charles Schultz’s Linus went everywhere with a blanket, as opposed to, say, a pet rock. There’s something wonderful about the substance of cloth, whether soft or coarse, its strength, its pliability, the ways it protects, envelops and comforts, the ways it can challenge and terrify, and the ways it comes to life, as it must for any child who can’t leave a particular piece of it behind.

Paper can do something similar, sometimes. Both are grounds for painted, drawn, and printed images. Both can dazzle, and both can become furniture or shelter in ways that are often counterintuitive and frequently powerful.

But there is something about fabric. We often think of architecture as the enduring mark of any civilization, the way it has made its spaces, created its built environment. But cloth creates a more subtle, detailed, and homely mark of what a civilization is. I think of the beautiful, vivid clothing worn by the people who after death became the mummies of Urumchi (http://www.amazon.com/Mummies-Urumchi-Elizabeth-Wayland-Barber/dp/0393045218). I wonder how it must have been, living in villages where making beautiful cloth, and turning it into clothing, appears to have been the highest form of culture. (This clothing has survived, preserved for thousands of years in the desert air of Central Asia). Here was a world where a man’s most important possession was his collection of beautiful felt hats. What a passion.

Come and have a conversation about the fabric that surrounds you.

Plugs

The most excellent Circus Syzygy performs one more weekend at SANCA. Do not miss this. http://www.circussyzygy.com/

The most wonderful pollinator Sarah Bergmann speaks tonight (Friday) at 7 pm the Henry Art Gallery. http://www.henryart.org/events/show/517

Arts Corps’s truly amazing annual fundraiser, La Festa del Arte, is coming up on March 29 at the Triple Door. If you’ve never been, you’ve missed something deeply inspiring and empowering. http://www.artscorps.org/news/events_festa_2012.html

The Canoe Social Club is doing a membership drive. Canoe is a resource, a support structure for the arts, and a member-funded refuge. Let me know if you want more info. http://canoesocialclub.com/

Artist Kathleen Skeels has work showing in six places around the Northwest. She has set up treasure hunt for interested viewers: https://www.facebook.com/UpsideDownTime?notif_t=page_name_change

Open Flight Studio is doing another in its Here/Now series of pairings of dance and music this Saturday night. http://www.herenowonline.blogspot.com/

Manifold Motion’s new performance, Compos Mentis, opens on March 16. Check it out. http://www.ManifoldMotion.com/

The Guests in Detail

Working in New York as an industrial designer in the fashion industry, Anna Telcs has worked as Hardware Designer for London Fog Group, Production Manager for Thom Browne, Inc. and Accessory and Trim designer for Helmut Lang. She moved back to Seattle in 2009 to work as costumer for performance art group Implied Violence and has costumed and performed nationally and internationally in ‘The Dorothy K,’ (New Island Festival, NY, NY 2009), ‘Flinch Not and Give Not Back,’ (Donahue Festival, Krems, Austria 2010) and ‘Yes and More and Yes and Yes and Why,’ (Frye Museum, Seattle, WA 2010), with her design of a larger than life ball gown now part of the museum’s permanent collection. Her work was seen in New York this March at the Guggenheim’s Works and Process show as part of curator Robert Wilson’s, “Watermill Quintet.” In February of 2012, she attended a residency at the Watermill Center. Her personal work, brand Aesthetic Dowsing, is textile sculptures based around the Spring/Fall production schedule of fashion houses. http://annatelcs.com/

Anna Telcs holds a BA in Humanities from Seattle University and a BFA in Industrial Design from the University of Washington, where she received the Boyer Gonzalez Award given to the top design student of the year, presenting her work at the IDSA Western District Conference at Art Center, and was separately awarded an environmental research grant through the Striker Fund. She currently works as a contract assistant stylist for editorial at Nordstrom and has just completed an artist’s residency at Mighty Tieton, WA, with performance group Saint Genet.

Cameron Anne Mason creates artwork that delves deeply into surface design technique, and brings that depth to her sculptural work. Her artwork is inspired by the forms and textures of nature. Cameron’s work is deeply rooted by her exploration of marks on cloth.

Cameron was introduced to fiber art through using batik as a way to create large-scale elements for performance. Intrigued by the possibilities, she came upon Jane Dunnewold’s work with complex cloth. Through a process of reading and experimenting, Cameron has developed an extensive knowledge of surface design techniques, which she shares with students through her active teaching schedule and her blog.

Cameron Anne Mason shows nationally and internationally and is represented in Washington State by Foster/White Gallery.

Lou Cabeen lives and works in Seattle, where she balances her working life as an artist with her working life as an associate professor of art at the University of Washington. In both arenas she is a passionate advocate of the tactile joys of fiber and textiles, especially stitching. For the past several years she has been combining this passion with an equally avid attention to maps, map-making and the book arts. The sensuous surfaces of textiles are powerful metaphors for the tactility of the terrain we inhabit.

Lou’s work has been exhibited in a variety of venues including the Chicago Cultural Center, the Akron Art Museum, the List Gallery of MIT, the Museum for Textiles in Toronto, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the Art Gym, Western Washington Gallery, and the Bellevue Art Museum. She is currently part of a group exhibition titled “Text and Textile” at the Trahern Gallery in Clarksville, Tennessee.

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