Artist Biographies and Statements
West Palm Beach
About the Artist
After receiving a degree in home economics education from Florida State University, Cindy Bartosek worked as an extension home economics instructor teaching classes for children and adults. She later earned a Master of Public Health degree in Nutrition from UNC-Chapel Hill and began a 30-year career in public health. Photography became her creative expression.
After retiring, she began exploring a wide variety of fiber techniques through classes and workshops with nationally and internationally recognized instructors. She enjoys working in multiple mediums, including tapestry weaving and botanical printing, both of which she teaches. To merge her interests in photography and fiber art, she is working with multiple mediums and techniques to incorporate her images in her fiber work.
Cindy has won numerous awards for both her photographs and fiber art which have been shown in juried and invitational exhibitions and group shows around Florida and in New York City. She has added another dimension to her fiber art experience by curating and jurying fiber art exhibitions. Cindy teaches at the Armory Art Center and other venues around the state.
In addition to creating art, Cindy is a founding member of the South Florida Fiber Guild serving as social media administrator. She is a member of the Surface Design Association and the South Florida Surface Design Association.
It was an honor and a pleasure to curate Contemporary Fiber in Florida 2020 at Florida CraftArt. This exhibition celebrates the evolving field of fiber art and the remarkable creativity and innovation of Florida artists who are pushing the boundaries of their chosen media. More than 170 pieces were considered for the exhibition. The selected 67 pieces by 40 artists highlight the diversity of the genre today, expressing a wide range of ideas, inspiration and personal stories and giving a modern sensibility to ancient techniques and time-honored traditions.
In the three years since our previous Contemporary Fiber in Florida Exhibition, fiber and textile art has continued to enjoy a resurgence in interest and popularity. Not only are galleries eager to show works in this medium but the fiber arts have exploded into the mainstream art world. Artists have embraced the nearly unlimited possibilities presented by fiber materials and techniques. The traditional tools of craft (yarn, thread, textiles) are being used to make compelling statements about socio-political, cultural, environmental and economic issues as a pathway to positive change and a tool for enacting social justice.
The work in this exhibition includes pieces that are reflections of cultural heritage and international sensibilities; they are thought provoking pieces and conversation starters around state of the world issues. Some are pieces that stretch our imaginations, others remind us of the beauty and wonder of the world around us.
In selecting work for this exhibition, the challenge was to identify individual work that demonstrates not just technical proficiency but also innovation and self-expression in the concept and design and the choice and use of materials. From there, the goal was finding a balance among formats and techniques and achieving an overall visual coherence: choosing works by different artists that looks as though they were meant to be together.
About the Artist
Bobbi Baugh creates textile artworks from her home studio in DeLand, Florida. She is a graduate of Stetson University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art and Speech Communication in 1976 and a Master of Arts in Teaching in Humanities/Education in 1979. As an undergraduate art major, Bobbi focused on watercolor. A thirty-year career in commercial printing and stationery design preceded her fulltime studio practice. She has focused on textile art and collage since 2010.
Bobbi has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, Colorado (2015) and at Arts on Douglas Fine Art Gallery, New Smyrna Beach, Florida (2016, 2018.) She is a juried artist member of SAQA, Studio Art Quilt Associates.
Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including: “America Is” at Touchstone Gallery in Washington, DC (2019), “Perspectives” at LeMoyne Arts in Tallahassee, Florida (2019), Hilton Head Biennale (2019), National Juried Exhibition at The Delaplaine in Frederick, Maryland (2019), “Fantastic Fibers” at Yeiser Art Center in Paducah, Kentucky (2019), ““See My Voice – QSDS” at the Ross Art Museum, Delaware, Ohio (2018), ““Women’s Works” at the Old Courthouse Arts Center in Woodstock, Illinois (2018), “Immigration Stories” at the GWU National Textile Museum in Washington, DC (2016), and Florida CraftArt Gallery (2016, 2017). Her work has been included in three traveling SAQA exhibitions: “Balancing Act” (2015-2016), “Piecing Together a Changing Planet” (2014-2016) and “Redirecting the Ordinary” (2014-2016.) Bobbi has participated in numerous juried outdoor art festivals in Florida since 2011.
She is active in the arts community as a volunteer and also enjoys volunteering in a first-grade classroom in DeLand.
I create collaged textile artworks for exploration of memories and dreams and for storytelling. The works are built from hand-printed fabrics and finished as art quilts. I believe this mixed media method of artmaking is the perfect vehicle for the explorations that interest me. Textures and rich colors become the vocabulary for digging into stories.
My quilt-building methods draw on the traditions of printmaking as well as art quilting. My surface design methods include monotype, photo transfer onto muslin, relief print, resists, stencils and direct painting. All images are created with acrylic paints. I collage the compositions. Generally, the works are created and quilted in sections then stitched together.
Since 2018 I have been developing a vocabulary of images that are entry points into narratives of home, personal journey, and the way they intersect in memory. Viewers will find windows, child-like images of homes, unexpected elements (such as trees and water) within the homes, and a repeating character of a young girl. I invite viewers to enter the quilts and the memories and dreams they inhabit.
Lake Clarke Shores
About the Artist
Gin Blische is a wool sculptor who lives in West Palm Beach, Florida. Born in Bronx, NY and raised on the South Shore of Long Island, she is no stranger to the world of art. The sixth child of painter Herbert Weintraub, she developed a love for creating art early on. Gin studied Fashion Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC before working for Liz Claiborne and then designing children’s wear. She moved to South Florida in 1992 and created a musical group, INHOUSE, with her twin sister. She went on to open for artists like Fleetwood Mac, Peter Frampton and Sarah McLaughlin. They released three cds and toured up and down the East Coast. When the group disbanded, Gin was hired by the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. She worked there for 17 years. She began sculpting ten years ago when her love for Halloween prompted her to sculpt large displays for her front lawn. It awoke an interest in sculpting she didn’t know she had, but working large scale was not conducive to year round work at her home in South Florida. She chose wool because of her love for the texture and convenience of travel. She could push her supplies down into a bag and work on long road trips. She has not wavered from her interest in the medium and looks to perfect her style with every piece she creates.
Gin Blische’s work is created using naturally dyed wool, sculpted on a wire armature. The wire enables her to pose her sculptures. She uses a single steel felting needle, continuously poking the wool until it is tightly compressed. Layering the wool creates a three dimensional work that reflects her love for color and whimsical character. Truly unique, her style is easily recognizable. The daughter of a professional painter, she is inspired to give her carded blends of wool an almost painted look. The eyes on Gin’s sculptures are always felted and filled with life.
About the Artist
Kim Borowy has a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin Madison in metal sculpture. Even while pursuing a metal sculpture degree in graduate school, Kim worked with fiber creating pieces with woven wire. After moving to Florida, fabric became her media of choice. She started creating patterns and art fiber pieces shortly thereafter, and has had pieces exhibited in Florida and around the country. Some of them became award winners.
I create with fabric, thread, and batting. I surround myself with fabric of all colors and pull them from the stacks, cutting and layering to bring them together. They can be flat or they can become three dimensional. I am a woman of few words so my quilted art is a way for me to share my ideas in color and form.
About the Artist
From the day her father gave her a Brownie camera, photography has been a part of the Bonnie Bruner’s life. As a young adult, she spent hours in her father’s darkroom experimenting with new techniques. While attending the University of Florida, the she had the opportunity to study under the renown photographer, Jerry Uelsmann. His original approach and style inspired a new direction and fueled her passion for photography.
Throughout her career as an artist, Bonnie has exhibited her photographic works at galleries both locally and nationally. As a multi-disciplinary artist, she has continually sought to integrate multi-media into her creative visions.
To push the boundaries of her photography, she introduced the elements of collage and embroidery to her works. This union of materials creates a new and unique three dimensional effect that expands the range of her photos. Bonnie has received recognition and awards from the Florida Humanities Council, Continuum Art Exhibition, Lighthouse and Armory Art Centers. Bonnie received an Associates in Art degree from Miami-Dade State College. She was granted a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Florida Atlantic University and an Master of Arts in Education from Nova Southeastern University.
When I look through the lens, I am not simply seeking an image, but a composition of light, shape, texture and color. I then take that photogenic composition and break the bonds of tradtion. By manipulating the print, I create a unique photo collage enhancing the lines and shapes with embroidery. This technique creates a textural three-dimensional quality that expands the image, moving the vision and the mind in a new direction. In the end, the work is not so much about the photograph itself, as it is about juxtaposing the photograph and the embroidery to intrigue the eye of the viewer.
Andy Brunhammer and Jim Smith
About the Artist
Andy and Jim began quilting some years ago when Jim as a part of his 1996 Masters’ thesis project worked on the construction of a cottage industry to a corporate concern. Due to the demands of their respective banking careers, quilting, fabric, and thread were the farthest thing from their minds, hands, or time. Now retired bankers, and as of 2010 and 2017, Andy and Jim decided to try and spend as much time as possible creating and experimenting with quilt designs, fabrics, their machines, and thread.
Jim’s degrees are Bachelor of Education – Secondary English and Communication and Master in Organizational Management. Andy’s degree is in the field of Textile Engineering and both worked on their Master of Business Administration. All of their quilt projects are completed in Tampa. Andy and Jim try to create, design, borrow, and beg their ideas from the past, the present, from those artists much more experienced, and at times from that which takes their fancy. Jim is constantly saying that he now understands why he took so many trigonometry and analytical geometry classes in the past.
Both are always eager and willing to learn with each new quilt project, and now spend as much time as possible honing their skills. Jim and Andy are currently working on their Crane Project which is a portfolio of origami cranes on quilts and wall-hangings. The project will include about 50 cranes quilts designed and created by them both.
Quilts SB at http://quiltsb.blogspot.com; Quilts SB Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/QuiltsbySB/; Current memberships in SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates)
Our “June 19th “original quilt design is a concept created of many thoughts. We are both long-term HIV survivors, and our end of the world has always been just around the corner. We chose Kaieteur Falls in Guyana, the country where Jim’s Father grew up, as the background. The Falls is one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world. Our arm is reaching out with the cascading red ribbon symbolizing the flow of our blood. The clusters of pills are our life-force. June 19 is Andy’s birthday.
About the Artist
Marilyn Conklin was raised in Chicago, Illinois and attended Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, Michigan majoring in English. She lived in Avalon, New Jersey for 25 years working as Director of Marketing & Sales for a home builder. For the past 20 years she has been a resident of Punta Gorda, Florida.
In the early 80’s, Marilyn became interested in fiber art when her mother-in-law was visiting and washed her wool sweater in hot water and put it in the dryer. It shrunk so much that it would not have fit her daughter’s doll. It was then that she started knitting with wool and other fibers to create felted handbags. One thing led to another, and she experimented with various materials to create felted scarves, necklaces, shawls and soaps. For the past four years Marilyn has been designing one of a kind felted scarves to compliment Nina McLemore’s Clothing Line in Vail, Colorado.
Marilyn is a member of the Common Threads Group and has entered several fiber art shows at the Visual Arts Center, Punta Gorda. Awards include Honorable Mention and Third Place for my creations. She is honored and humbled to be chosen to display her work at the Contemporary Fiber in Florida 2020 Exhibition.
Marilyn’s fiber art is sold at the following locations:
Visual Art Center Gift Shop, Punta Gorda,
Florida Craft Art, St. Petersburg, Florida
Nina McLemore Shop, Vail, Colorado
Marilyn Conklin, Fiber Artist
My love for knitting and crocheting began when at 9 years old, I was fascinated by my grandmother and mother’s ability to create dollies and tablecloths on very small crochet hooks.
My interest is in color, fiber and texture and I enjoy the challenge of knitting and crocheting three dimensional. Working without patterns allows my imagination and creativity to produce wearable art in felted scarves, shawls, handbags and jewelry. Felting has become my passion where combining imaginative techniques produces interesting three dimensional results. Using various yarns, fabrics and ribbons gives me the opportunity to experiment with every piece I create. Each felted piece develops its own unique personality and no two are ever the same. It is an exhilarating feeling to see the finished result that is truly a surprising joy.
About the Artist
Suzanne Connors is a professional textile artist who embraces the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-Sabi, an aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. She works primarily as a Shibori artist using natural Indigo dyes and the manual resist technique to create her original designs and patterns on various natural materials. She was instinctively drawn to Japanese textiles after seeing the similarities between the American Arts and Crafts Movement and Traditional Japanese Design. It is important to her to utilize traditional ways handed down through generations while adopting sustainable practices.
She has an academic background in architecture and design and has worked as an interior designer and director of a fine art gallery. Suzanne has been sharing her passion for texture, colors, technique and design through workshops since 2010. Her teaching experience includes studio and professional practices at institutions throughout the U.S. These include The Arrowmont School of Art & Craft, Gatlinburg, TN, River Ridge Retreat Center, Menominee, WI, Carrborro Art Center, Carrborro, NC, Morakami Japanese Museum, Palm Beach County, FL, Foosaner Museum, Melbourne, FL, Lighthouse Art Center, Tequesta, FL and Aya Fiber Arts, her own studio, in Stuart, FL.
She hosts national and international artists at Aya Fiber Arts giving work-shops to over 500 students from all over the country, annually. As founder and current President of the Martin Artisans Guild, Suzanne is an advocate and mentor for “working artists,” helping them achieve their fullest potential and constantly looking for showcase opportunities. In this vein, she founded the Martin County Open Studio Tour, now in its fourth year and more successful than ever. Membership to the guild has grown as has the participation for each tour. Suzanne is also the South Florida Regional Representative for the Surface Design Association and serves on the board of the Florida Chapter of Silk Painters International. She lives and practices her art in Stuart, Florida surrounded by her family.
My name is Suzanne Connors and I am a Fiber Artist! I love art and I have always enjoyed making art. I have tried many different mediums but always return to fiber and textile art. I am a seamstress and a designer and I have always been intrigued by textiles; and especially if the fiber has a beautiful texture that makes you want to reach out and touch it! I love layering color and combining different tactile fibers. My work is inspired by my life in South Florida and my times living in the Caribbean islands. I am drawn to the colors of a setting sun and the Indigo blues of the sky and the sea. What I love about fiber art is the surprise element – the mixture of the fabric, the dye and the resist create different combinations and patterns that are only revealed at the final step.
The magic when the freshly dyed indigo comes out of the vat and turns from green to blue right before your eyes! It is always a surprise when I unwrap a freshly dyed piece of fabric! Like opening a Christmas gift! Another thing I love about fiber is that there are no “mistakes”! It is just like life; everything is always subject to change, and the mistakes lead to growth in my art. The imperfections are all part of the creative process. I typically use African Adinka symbols as inspirations in my batik prints and create my own stamps. I am always learning new techniques and experimenting with them. Every piece created is a unique one of a kind original!
Port St. Lucie
About the Artist
Born in Italy and currently living in Port St. Lucie, Florida, Liliana Crespi obtained her USA citizenship in 2008. Due to her family commitments she lived in other countries: Germany, Switzerland, and Mexico. She took art classes and workshops whenever possible to satisfy the need to further improve her knowledge of art and cultures and to learn the language of the country hosting her.
Liliana always had an interest in fibers and during her travels, fiber became the main focus of her work. The path from scarves and sweaters to installations and woven sculptures became clear when she started taking art classes at Florida Atlantic University where she got a degree in fine art with a concentration in sculpture. She has been exploring also the potential of incorporating video and light into her owrk as an open door to the future and new technologies.
Liliana recieved several awards, including the Handweavers Guild of America Award and an honorable mention at the Florida Weavers Conference. Liliana’s work has been shown in several venues in Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Italy. Her current and past work can be seen on her website lilianafibers.com.
Threads have always intrigued me. What fascinated me most were the various techniques used to turn a skein of silk into a sweater or lace, or a bunch of leaves into a basket.
I began to weave tapestries when I moved to Mexico, and I have been enjoying it for more than 20 years. Tapestry weaving is the perfect merger of my passion for fibers and my pen drawings. Enhanced by colorful yarns, the pencil marks on the paper come alive.
Kathryn Hendricks Erickson
About the Artist
Kathryn Erickson presently displays her art in the Wild Child Gallery of Matlacha, FL, and Skaneateles Artisans of Skaneateles, New York, and the Venice Island Gallery, Venice, FL. She participates in juried art exhibits, gives demonstrations and teaches classes at the Visual Art Center of Punta Gorda, FL, and conducts many other workshops each year. After 600 pieces, her goal remains to create each basket as a unique art piece. Kathryn regularly enters juried exhibits at Art Center Sarasota, Visual Arts Center in Punta Gorda, Von Liebig Art Center in Naples, and other venues outside the state of Florida. She has entered 21 exhibitions in the last two years, winning six awards.
I have always been an admirer and collector of many pieces of art. A busy thirty-five years in the teaching profession in New York, Michigan, and Florida didn’t allow me a chance to pursue the arts on an individual basis until after retirement in 2002. I observed pine needle demonstrations at an art show and followed through with lessons for a short time. I never thought of myself as a potential artist, but my first juried show produced a first prize as an emerging artist. I knew then that creating pine needle designs were developing into something more than just a hobby.
I strive to develop innovative designs and blend the aspects of different styles of basketry, objects of nature, and hand-spun wool into my pine needle and native grass creations. Many pieces incorporate agate slices or stones slabs into the bases, sides, and covers of my baskets using no adhesives or epoxy overlays. I have developed my technique as an extension of the historical Florida pine needle basket, taking the folk-art craft to a higher artistic level. My innovative development allows the true beauty of the agates, stones, and three-dimensional minerals and fine designs of the pine needles and grass to truly make a statement, creating much more than a basket, but a work of art.
Muffy Clark Gill
About the Artist
Muffy Clark Gill is an award-winning artist who uses mixed media, photography, and batik on fabric to create images that combine her travel memories and love of color with her life experiences. Her paintings have been widely exhibited throughout Florida and nationally. She has had twenty-five plus solo exhibitions of her work, exhibited in prestigious venues including Arromount School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Sebastopol Art Center in California, Wichita Center for the Arts in Kansas, South Florida State College Museum of Florida Art and Culture in Avon Park, and the Florida State Capitol 22nd Floor Art Gallery, the LeMoyne Center for the Arts, and the Florida Department of State R. A. Gray Building in Tallahassee.
She is a member of the National Association of Women Artists– a national professional organization of women artists juried by her peers as well as a board member of Silk Painters International (SPIN). Previous board memberships included Region 7 representative, Florida Craftart.
Muffy Clark Gill received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Boston University College of Fine Arts, Boston, MA. She furthered her independent studies at the DeCordova Museum School, Lincoln, MA and with several nationally known fiber artists. She maintains her residence and studio in Naples, Florida.
“Shibuya” is from a series of mixed media artwork. A recent indigo, katazome, and shibori workshop trip to Japan provided the subject matter for the artwork. Chaos, clutter, and color were feelings evoked while viewing the scenes in transit at Shibuya Crossing: the world’s most heavily pedestrian trafficked intersection.
I While visiting an antique art gallery in Tokyo, several pieces of old peasant clothing known as “Boro” were examined. As fabric for clothing during the Meji period was in short supply and barely affordable, scraps of cotton, linen, hemp, and other locally sourced materials were recycled and stitched together by hand to create new pieces of clothing. Blue dye, or “Ai,” was often used from indigo plants as were other dyes made from vegetable materials to over-dye the fabrics and produce pleasing color combinations.
For the “Shibuya“ series:, “something old, something new, something borrowed something new,” relates to the recycled materials used to create this wall hanging. The butcher paper base was dyed with a sponge brush while hanging on a clothesline with the wind blowing. Fabric from favorite jeans, plus indigo, grey, and brown, dyed, torn or cut Japanese newspapers were collaged together. Accents were created with Sasheko-style hand stitching. Finally, the product was then backed with felt made from recycled plastic bottles. Professor Frances Gardiner made a comment about these pieces saying: “Robert Rauschenberg met the quilters from Gee’s Bend and had a baby.”
About the Artist
Marlene Glickman has been creating with fabrics for over 40 years. Her work has been exhibited in the US and internationally with her “Color Series: Day by Day-Pieces of Life” artwork consisting of 26 panels with 365 fiber collages (12’ x 7’) in the permanent collection of the American Embassy in Sudan, Africa. Publications include art compilations of the United States Embassy, America: From the Heart and Quilting Arts magazine. She has taught workshops in silk dyeing and collage around the US and has a Silk Dyeing DVD.
She loves to share what she has learned with others from her journey through fabric, dyeing, collage and 3-dimensional designs so they can tap into their own well of creative intuition. Numerous community groups have been assisted in creating art or comfort quilts and hand dyed silk scarves by Glickman; Brunswick, GA First night; Very Special Arts, GA; abuse shelters; public schools. Her artwork can be seen at www.SilkDyes. com where she can also be contacted for commissioned work or specialty workshops in fiber and dyeing.
Creating textile “paintings” and 3D sculptural forms using new, dyed, painted and re-purposed materials is a passion. I see things and am compelled to create with them. Too often we become spectators of life instead of creating it. Art, for me, is the act of expressing ideas regardless of the medium and sharing them with others.
About the Artist
Linda Golden is a passionate lover and collector of ethnic textiles, antiques, old books, and found objects. She reincorporates these objects, taking the original out of context and re-representing them in a new way. Linda Golden teaches art and fiber workshops in Michigan and Florida. Linda’s work has been published and shown in galleries and shops throughout the US.
I am a passionate collector of small things. Old thread, yarn, textiles, paper, books, found objects, and other people’s discards form the basis of the work. My interest is in taking original materials and re-representing them in a new way. Many of the pieces deal with memories and transformation.
About the Artist
Amy Gross was born on Long Island, New York, and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Cooper Union in New York City. After a residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, she started a graphic design company, and for over twenty years worked as a surface designer, specializing in textiles and children’s products. In 2000 she moved to South Florida.
Fascinated by the subtropical environment and intimate, accelerated natural growth, she began making hand-beaded jewelry. Her work expanded to embroidered canvases and sculptures that merged observable elements with invented life forms. In 2006, Gross received a grant from the South Florida Cultural Consortium. Her mixed media sculpture is represented by Momentum Gallery in Asheville, NC, and Watson MacRae Gallery in Sanibel, FL.
She recently completed an installation for Culture Lab West Palm Beach that “grew” over a period of six months inside a vacant department store. In 2019, she was named Florida Fellow and Finalist for the Southern Prize. Selected exhibitions include the Craft and Folk-Art Museum of Los Angeles, the Minnesota Museum of Art, the Mesa Contemporary Art Museum, the Rockland Center for the Arts, the Boca Raton Museum of Art, and Art Wynwood and SOFA art fairs. Her work is part of the permanent collection of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the American Embassy in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, and has appeared in Fiber Arts Magazine, American Craft Magazine, The Washington Post, and the art and culture blogs Colossal and TreeHugger.
She was profiled in an article in the Spring 2016 Fiber Art Now Magazine and was the issue’s cover artist. She is featured in two recent Schiffer Publishing books, “Artistry in Fiber, Sculpture “, and “Dimensional Cloth, Sculpture by Contemporary Textile Artists”. She lives and works in Delray Beach, Florida.
My hand-embroidered and beaded fiber sculptures are my attempt to merge the natural world and my own inner life. Their symbiosis suggests not only what can be seen, but also what cannot: the early alterations of time, the first suggestions of disintegration. My elements cluster, tangle, cling and multiply. They adapt to the environments they are placed into and become hybrids in their desire to survive and thrive. And yet, paradoxically, they are the result of an exercise in human control – they are completely unnatural. I never collaborate with the nature that fascinates me, the myriad visible and invisible interactions that lie at the heart of every insect, bacteria, tree and spore. I use no found objects, nothing that was ever alive.
All are constructed with craft store yarns and beads and wire and paper. So, my organisms will not die. They’re still and silent proxies, fictions frozen in the middle of their suggested transformations. I know that my making these objects will not stop or slow the clock, but I need to hold things still, to try to have a say in a volatile and increasingly uncontrollable world of change.
Amy Hemphill Dove
About the Artist
Amy Hemphill Dove is a fiber artist and a graduate in Textile Design from Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science. In the 1980s, Amy spent several years as a Jacquard fabric designer for a major eastern mill, creating many contemporary, abstract, floral, and more traditionally patterned interior decorative fabrics for select furniture manufacturers. She then developed ‘Weavart’, in which she laid her fabric designs into a collage and hand loomed them. These pieces demonstrated her artistic and technical expressions from fabric design and collage piecing to hand weaving, stitching and mounting.
Since relocating to northeast Florida in 2010, she has become a felting fiend. Amy is fascinated with wet felting and the various textures and blends achieved through the process. She finds, dyes, felts, and stitches fine fibers to create layers of new textural expressions while embracing the visceral nature of her fiber artwork.
Her passion for combining many fiber art forms is demonstrated by her love of using different dyeing, felting and weaving techniques as well as creating with different types of fibrous materials. She incorporates combinations of these disciplines in her artworks to create layers of colors, shades, textures, and shadows, often using translucent silks as a substrate.
A consummate experimenter, Amy’s fiber artwork has branched off in several directions as she learns and plays with new approaches. Her design background helps lead her in a cohesive direction but does not dictate her creativity.
Much of Amy’s creativity flows from the magnificent beauty of nature: The variety of colors and textures in flowers, trees, and creatures are her never-ending sources of inspiration. The power, sound, smell, and sight of the sea, the rustling of the forest, the singing of birds, and the beauty of sunrises and sunsets all lay an indelible imprint on Amy’s work and is reflected in the textures, color palettes and compositions she creates.
I am compelled to create and work with my hands! As a kinesthetic and empirical type of learner, fibers and textiles being tactile and malleable in nature present me with so many creative possibilities. Hand-dyed silk and wool fibers and fabrics are the basis of my artworks. This choice comes from both tactile and aesthetic considerations.
Much of my creativity flows from the magnificent beauty of nature: The variety of colors and textures in flowers, trees, and creatures are never-ending sources of inspiration. The power, sound, smell, and sight of the sea, the rustling of the forest, the singing of birds, and the beauty of sunrises and sunsets all lay an indelible imprint on my artworks and is reflected in the textures, color palettes and compositions I create. When I see or witness something that I find intriguing in nature, I am compelled to express that experience through fibers and textiles as surface design.
Through felting, I build my concepts into form and dimension, while creating rich textures and patterns of saturated colors. The work of making felt is physically demanding but at the same time magical and sensuous.
Silk has luminosity – it can be sheer and translucent, letting light through. I use the reflective qualities of silk fibers and position them to shim-mer and to create highlights. I dye textiles using a variety of methods, most often botanical contact printing where I steam the tannins and natural pigments from fresh leaves onto cloth. I also employ shibori (the Japanese art of resist dyeing and texturing) techniques by folding, pleating, binding and dyeing fabrics to achieve colors, patterns, and textures in my artwork.
I aspire to create lively and interactive artwork in which the interplay of light and shadows, colors and shades, layers and textures enters a dialog with the viewer to create an atmosphere. I strive to let light and air through in my artworks, while movement and reflective qualities intrigue and evoke emotion.
Carole Hetzel and Ledy Feliciano
About the Artist
Carole Hetzel grew up in New Jersey where she earned her Bachelor of Arts at Trenton College. She taught elementary school in New Jersey, Charleston, South Carolina, and Florida. Upon moving to Florida, the interest in basket making was born. Carole studied basketry at the John C. Campbell Folk School and metal smithing at the Armory Art Center. Ledy Feliciano, a friend of Carole’s late son, assisted Carole in the creation of her baskets. This collaboration between Carole and Ledy is also metaphorically a representation of inter-connectivity between generations. Carole is honored to have her work exhibited throughout the US, to be part of permanent exhibitions, and to be shown in several books on basketry.
Baskets are emotional for me as they reflect my story. The baskets have evolved over time; they have changed in shape and texture just as I hope I have changed and grown.
The Brendan Basket is about peace and harmony, the unrelated matter, symbolizing how everything in life is perfectly interconnected. Currently, I am thrilled to include the young with the old to work in harmony.
About the Artist
Andrea Huffman received a master’s in Art Education from Florida International University and taught art in Florida Public Schools for over 30 years. She has exhibited her art throughout Florida and nationally, receiving numerous awards and recognition, including several grants and a residency at the prestigious Hermitage Artist Retreat in Englewood, Florida.
Although Andrea has retired from teaching in the public school system, she continues to share her passion for art, teaching classes and workshops in fiber art, printmaking and mixed media at museums, guilds and community outreach venues, including the Boca Museum Art School. Andrea is currently a studio resident at The Bailey Contemporary Art Center in Pompano Beach and a founding member of 6 Hands Collaborative.
Intuition is a deep impression or understanding. Much like our own intuition, my work incorporates sheer silk organza as a metaphor for what lies beneath the façade. Using a variety of techniques on fabric, including hand dyeing, printmaking and painting, along with hand and machine stitching, I attempt to convey my impressions of the natural world and the passing of time.
About the Artist
Jane Jennings has an Associate of Arts from Daytona Beach Community College in Visual Arts, and is a Bachelor of Fine Arts Candidate at the University of Central Florida. She completed the Master Artist Program at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Jane has taught numerous workshops across the state of Florida and has a decades-long career exhibiting her work in solo, group, and juried exhibitions. Jane’s work is part of several permanent collections, including the Walt Disney Corporation in Orlando, Florida. She is represented by Arts on Douglas Fine Art Gallery in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and Piedmont Craftsman in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Having been a lifelong “maker” of all things art, I have spent the past 10 years working in fiber as an art form. My current work entails printing personal photographs on cotton and silk organza and then applying the fabric to box forms for the wall. The resulting original work is varied and unique, marked by digitally layered images on cotton and figures boldly printed on semi-transparent silk. The delicate silk pieces hang freely, floating with the air currents.
People and their life events, their challenges and joys, inspire much of my work. The inspiration for the piece, “Movin’ On” comes from considering how each of us comes to a place in our lives when we know that something needs to change. It’s time to move on to another person, place or thing. We all go through this at some point or another on our life journey.
Ultimately, I find great joy in making art and I aspire to create work that makes people think, makes people surprised and makes people smile.
About the Artist
Ms. Kianga Jinaki is a self-taught fiber and mixed media artist, born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. After moving to South Florida in the mid 80’s she was inspired to create Black dolls at the request of her 5-year-old daughter. In 1991, her dolls won both 1st and 2nd place awards as a part of “Dark Images Black Doll Art Show and Sale” in Philadelphia. In 1997, Kianga had expanded her textile work to include story quilting and her works were included in “Daughters of Harriet Power’s Story Quilt Exhibition,” held at the Museum of African American Art in Tampa.
Her works have continued to be exhibited both nationally and internationally. In 2013, she traveled with her quilt “Adowa” for the exhibition “Contemporary Quilts from Traditional Textiles,” at the Dei Centre for the Study of Contemporary African Art, Accra, Ghana. She also contributed to the Juried Fiber Arts show “Perspectives in Fiber,” West Palm Beach, FL. From 2015-2018 Jinaki Exhibited in “Diaspora,” an annual show produced by ATB Fine Arts in West Palm Beach. In 2018 Kianga’s works were a part of the juried show, “Contemporary Fiber in Florida.” Currently her quilts are on exhibition at Hannibal Square Heritage Center in Winter Park, Florida as a part of “Soul Utterings:Creative Works by Kianga Jinaki and John Mascoll.” The exhibition runs from September 20, 2019 – January 11, 2020.
Kianga has also been a teaching artist since 1994 and in this capacity has worked with the Center for Creative Education, the Norton Museum of Art, the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, The African American Resource Library and Cultural Center, and Spady Museum just to name a few. She currently resides in Rivera Beach, Florida.
I am a storyteller who tells her story through cloth. My work includes the historic and cultural traditions of my ancestors both here in America and in Africa. My heritage is brought to life by using traditional and contemporary African textiles, as well as those I create by dying, sun print, patch-work, stamping and appliqué. When I am pulling needle and thread through cloth or beads, I am connecting to an ancestral rhythm.
Some of the stories that I tell with my work express the struggle and the beauty of my life as a member of the African Diaspora. Other stories are directly from African historical and cultural references. I love color and dimension and enjoy creating it from an ancient rhythm within me. Being a self-taught artist, Africa is the internal and external map that guides me. Whether I am making art with cloth, paper, beads, or words, it is the heartbeat of me.
Prior to starting on a new work, I get pregnant with an idea. Something touches me deeply; perhaps it’s a song, a poem, a cultural or historical experience. I start collecting the things that I want to be a part of the work I’m creating fabric, beads, trinkets, words and the surface design techniques I want to include. Sometimes it takes days, sometimes it takes years. I sketch things out also – and then birth. Once it takes form, I work on it until it sings.
About the Artist
Growing up in the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago to be exact, was one of the main factors that has molded Nneka Jones into the artist she is today. Her astounding love for color and special attention to detail, as influenced by her culture, has always been prominent throughout her artistic journey. The artist was never one to accept mediocrity, not only in art, but also in her everyday life and has always been willing to take on a challenge. This led her to take the risk of leaving behind her family and friends to travel the world in pursuit of both sharing and gaining versatile experiences that would enhance her artistry.
The twenty-two-year old artist graduating in May 2020, now pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Tampa with a minor in Marketing, is fascinated with contemporary portraiture and how that interacts with mixed media artwork. This is highlighted in her recent creations using the technique of hand embroidery to create works that mimic the realism of an oil painting as well as her use of condoms to comment on social issues of sexual abuse.
After entering and being accepted into her first public art show, The Gasparilla Festival of Arts (GFA 2019), Jones was awarded the William O’Dowd Memorial Emerging Artist Award and featured in two articles by the Tampa Bay Times. One of her most recent works, “Colorism” was also named Best in Show at the Albrecht-Kemper (AKMA) Juried Undergraduate Exhibition 2019 at Missouri State. Jones has also exhibited at the Tampa Bay Coffee and Arts Festival in St. Petersburg and looks forward to sharing more of her work beyond the Tampa Bay Area.
She quotes, “There is the artwork, the story behind the artwork and the story that the artwork tells.” She believes that her artistic journey has only just begun, and she is eager to explore her creative purpose in life, to reach her ultimate goal of being an internationally renowned artist.
The Caribbean is often praised for and advertised as the stereotypical “tropical” and “vacation paradise”, while simultaneously overlooking and erasing the rich, historical culture and the social and political issues that connect it with the rest of the world. As a Trinidadian artist seeking to make connections with wider regions, my artwork serves as a response to this as each piece is used as a tool or referenced as a “conversation starter”.
Throughout my artistic journey, my art style has evolved from a deep appreciation for two-dimensional works to an intense fascination with textures and how this can be married with realism and symbolism. This is evident in my most recent works as I explore different materials and how these can be manipulated to communicate with the viewer. My most recent works explore the social issue of “victims” in society targeted and abused emotionally, physically and psychologically. It highlights concepts that I have personally experienced within my home country, Trinidad and Tobago, and that other women have experienced in many other cultures across the world. These are issues that not many people are comfortable speaking about, and my work is used to counteract this. The pieces, therefore, not only serve as a statement being made about a particular social issue but also can be used to create connections across many different cultures, encouraging individuals to open up, as seen with other movements such as “Me too”.
My artistic process is one that involves intense, preliminary research which manifests into a very physical creative process. This is highlighted in my most recent series of works exploring “targets” and its relation to sexual abuse victims where I use condoms as my “canvas” and a victim is placed at the center. I adhere hundreds of condoms to a canvas in a specific pattern that draws the viewer’s eyes directly to the eyes of the victim, forcing them to feel the pain that the victim has endured. This has also translated well in my hand embroidered portraits where the target symbol is also prominent and the textural surface, instead, is created using thread.
Although I embrace my flamboyant, Caribbean roots, I thoroughly enjoy my intentional use of mixed media to create commentary on a particular social issue affecting my culture and by default, the wider regions.
About the Artist
Irene’s mother taught her to sew and knit at a very young age. As a young child, she was drawn to all forms of fiber crafts: making books with fabric pages, the ubiquitous loom to make potholders and hand sewing doll’s clothes. Irene’s curiosity led her to study sculpture, printmaking and painting in New York and later in San Francisco. Continuing to explore her desire for self-expression led Irene to study creative crochet with Dell Pitt Feldman, the well-known fiber artist and author. Irene has not stopped crocheting since then.
Using wool, rayon, cotton, angora, mohair, plastic, and anything she can hook, Irene has created wearable art, utilitarian pieces, sculpture, wall hangings and “stuff.”
Irene has sold her unique design, one-of-a-kind pieces at Lord and Taylor, Bendels, Bergdorf Goodman and Nancy and Co. in NYC.
Her work has been exhibited at the Chafee Art Center, Rutland Vermont; the Gail Wilson Gallery, Southampton, N.Y.; East End Arts Gallery, River-head, N.Y.; The Armory Arts Center, West Palm Beach, Fl., The Cultural Council of Palm Beach, Lake Worth Beach, Fl.; Florida CraftArt Gallery, St. Petersburg, Fl.
Years ago, I lived in India for some time which has greatly influenced my work.
Visions of the stupas and temples along with the lush vegetation of India have stayed with me and are expressed in my current work. The vivid colors, excitement and explosive energy of daily India, juxtaposed with the timeless beauty of these shrines and landscape is inspirational.
In my work, I have an idea and then I let the hook and materials magically lead me. I try to stay out of the way.
Gillian Kennedy Wright
About the Artist
Gillian Kennedy Wright is a mixed media artist who focuses mostly on fiber collage and paper works. She was trained at the Edna Manley School of the Visual Arts, in Kingston, Jamaica in Graphic Design and Textiles. She has since gained a Bachelors in Organizational Management from Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, Florida: Masters in Sports and Recreation Management & Landscape Architecture Training, Florida International University, Miami, Florida; University of Florida, Florida Master Gardener, West Palm Beach, Florida, She is also a proud graduate of the Art Serve DBA. Her notable achievements are a series of solos and group exhibitions ranging from Parkland(Florida) Library; Jamaican High Commission, Solo Exhibition, Toronto, Canada; Collaboration: African Diaspora, West Palm Beach, Florida, Continuum, West Palm Beach, Florida, Lighthouse Art Center, Tequesta, Florida, Palm Beach Arts Council, Lake Worth, Florida. Color, fiber, patterns, texture and semi-flora abstractions enhance her present focus of portraying faces.
Life’s cultural experiences have influenced my art. As a member to the African Diaspora Culture, I focus predominately on portraiture and flora. The active collection of African fabric, (interspersed with hidden Adinkra symbolism) vintage semi-precious items and fiber sources throughout the world home my fabric collages. Bright, bold colors, spaces, lines and forms are entwined in the portrayal of my life’s theme as well as the Jamaican motto “Out of Many, One People”. The ideas of portraiture as it links with plants and faces, lines and forms are also recurrent themes in my work.
About the Artist
Cassia Kite is an interdisciplinary artist who created Soundstitching, a multimedia project that transforms color from a hand-stitched image into a musical composition that can be interpreted by a musician and/or performance artist. Kite has collaboratively produced large-scale work for chamber ensemble and dancers using color-coded graphic scores derived from her hand-stitched tapestries. Kite’s work was premiered at the KANEKO in Omaha, Nebraska in July of 2017. She has been featured as an experimental composer and visual artist in music festivals, museums and universities.
Kite has been awarded artist in residence at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in 2018 and The Hambidge Creative Residency Program in 2019. She is the recipient of the Paul J. Smith Excellence in Fibers Award from the Fiber Art Network 2018 and the Dixon Ticonderoga Award of Excellence from the Florida Art Education Association in 2019.Kite was born in Auburn, Nebraska. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and sculpture, and a Bachelor of Science in Art Education from Northwest Missouri State University in 2003. She completed her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Florida in 2010. Currently, Kite is a Visual Art Instructor in the fine arts program at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida and resides in Sarasota, FL.
“Soundstitching” is an interdisciplinary, multimedia project that transforms color from a hand-stitched image into a musical composition that can be interpreted by a musician and/or performance artist. The result is a combination of three forms of art into one collaborative, multisensory experience.”
About the Artist
Carolyn Kossar is a fiber artist and photographer based in the Tampa Bay area. She has been working in black and white and color photography, woven fabric, contemporary tapestry and unconventional fiber forms since 1973. Carolyn holds a degree in Humanities from Barry University in Miami. She studied photography at the University of Massachusetts, Broward Community College, and Barry University and independently with professionals in the field. She has studied fiber arts and textiles at Parsons School of Design in Lake Placid, New York; the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina; and Snow Farm Art Center in Williamsburg, MA.
Carolyn has served as Art Gallery Director at Hillsborough Community College’s Ybor City Campus in Tampa for the past 20 years, where she has curated and designed over 180 fine art exhibitions in all mediums.
Textural surfaces can be seductive and sensual. Breaking away from traditional tapestry techniques, I am focusing on spontaneous improvisation, incorporating alternative fiber and mixed media in my fiber structures. The materials favor my desire to create three-dimensional works. The inner structure has strength and harmonious integrity, while the paper adds new dimensional planes. Innovation works through traditional forms towards radical change. My work is a voice in the conversation around convention and contemporaneity, always with the goal of delighting the eye and surprising the mind.
About the Artist
Leeann Kroetsch has always been an artist. Her mother says that as a child she chose crayons over Barbie dolls. Growing up, she was encouraged to express her artistic ability even when she used the living room wall as a canvas to create her first masterpiece crayon drawing. Shortly thereafter, with the guidance and coaching of her father, she transferred her creativity to paper where she entered and won the local newspaper’s art competition almost every week.
While at University pursuing academic courses, Leeann took art classes at night to satisfy her creative spirit. While following her passion for textiles, she discovered the magic of felt making. In 2015, she was awarded an individual Artist Grant from the Hillsborough Arts Council which allowed her to study with master felters visiting from Germany and Australia. She advanced her approach to her craft by integrating the knowledge gained through this study with the techniques she developed through experimentation and play.
Leeann’s current focus is on the collaboration between silk fabric, obtained by deconstructing vintage dresses, and collage while felting to give new life to these discarded items and create sustainable art with a renewed purpose. She is interested in preserving the ancient technique of felt-making and offers classes to promote emerging felt-makers.
Over the past four years, Leeann has won numerous awards for her work at high level art festivals across Florida including Best of Show in the 2019 CraftArt Festival, 2017 Santa Fe College Art Festival, the 2016 SunFest Juried Art Show and the 2014 Palm Harbor Chamber of Commerce Art Festival. Her work may be viewed by appointment and during Group Exhibitions within Florida.
I have always been an artist. As a child, I experimented with creativity and used our living room wall as my canvas to produce my first master-piece. As a teenager, my grandfather bought me a sewing machine (which I still use) so that I could design and sew my own clothes. Over the years, the intensity of my artistic endeavors has continued to grow with my chosen medium in textile arts, specifically felting. I am most inspired and captivated by the magic which happens while I make fabric out of wool fiber. What inspires me with this technique, is that I can transform fiber into sculptural shapes using natural materials and the simple recipe of hot water, soap and agitation. My eye for detail, along with my ability to integrate color well, inspires me to fabricate wondrous wearable art pieces which contain richly layered texture and unique surface design for my art, I seek materials from all sources and I am most thrilled when I can regenerate a vintage thrift store find into a renewed and uniquely beautiful new element. I approach each new creation much like a child who is looking at the wonders of the world for the first time and I feel refreshed and inspired knowing that felt making has limitless possibilities.
About the Artist
Karol Kusmaul has been a traditional quilter since making her first quilt in 1978. Her most recent work is making art quilts and reflects her delight in pattern, contrast and variety. Themes relate to: faces, figures, travel scenery, issues of aging and dementia as experienced by her parents. She also enjoys photography, which helps provide direction in her fiber work.
Mrs. Kusmaul’s work has been published in several books and magazines and shown in many juried shows throughout the world. She has had several solo exhibits including College of Central Florida, Dunedin Fine Art Center, Art Center of Citrus County, and the World Art Quilt Show in Tampa.
Art teacher – 32 years – elementary/high school levels – retired
Quilting instructor – 21 years
Longarm machine quilter – since 2007
Studio Art Quilt Associates – Florida Representative
Founder of Cloth in Common www.clothincommon.com
As a retired art teacher, I am delighted to finally have the time to spend making my own artwork. (I do love that I had the opportunity to work with young artists for so many years.) As a new member of the world of art quilters, I look forward to learning from other quilt artists.
I especially enjoy making fabric collages and I seem to gravitate toward people as subject matter. I am crazy about collecting fabrics – particularly re-purposed thrift store fabric hunting. I find that I take pleasure in all the facets of the quilt making.
A great day for me is one in which I can play with my collection of thrift store shirts, skirts, pants and dresses, cutting the fabrics and arranging scenes onto batting for a new art quilt. My art quilts reflect my delight in, and my focus on pattern, contrast and variety. I enjoy raw edge hand appliqué, collaged pieces made with re-purposed fabrics.
I am fascinated by human figures and faces. Many of my quilts tell personal stories of my family and experiences. As a retired Art teacher, I am thrilled to commit time to exploring my own artistic expressions.
I am grateful to be a member of Studio Art Quilt Associates, as the organization is constantly challenging me with thought provoking themes for their exhibits. SAQA has enabled me to share my art quilts with others worldwide.
In 2017, I founded a group of 12 international quilt artists called Cloth in Common. Every two months, we each create an art piece based on a theme given by one of the members. Our work can be seen on our website www.clothincommon.com
Mary Jane Lord
About the Artist
I’ve had the pleasure of studying with tapestry masters at Penland and Arrowmont craft schools, and am lucky to be part of two wonderful tapestry communities, Tapestry Weavers South and the American Tapestry Alliance. I also occasionally enjoy teaching basic tapestry skills. My tapestries have won awards in area juried exhibits, most recently an honorable mention in the 2019 Florida CraftArt juried members show and third place in Art in Gadsden at the Gadsden Art Museum in Quincy, FL in 2018. In 2014 I participated in a two person show called “Threads of Light,” at the ArtPort, a dedicated art space at the Tallahassee Airport. In 2015 I was included in Small Tapestry International 4 put on by the American Tapestry Alliance. In 2017 I exhibited about 15 large and small tapestries at the Gadsden Art Center in a show called “Warp Weft Image.”
I have been a weaver since I was given a small loom for Christmas at age ten. Over decades of practice, I’ve experimented with complex woven structures, but found that what I enjoy most is exploring color, texture, and pattern using the simplest plain weave structure. Tapestry has been my obsession for the past 20 years. There is the process itself, the rhythm and the sound of weaving, the handling of fibers, and the creation out of nothing of not just the imagery, but the canvas itself. It’s a challenge, too, to fit curves into the naturally square and linear grid of warp and weft. For several years I focused on animal portraits, but recently have decided to try portraits of people, in particular, older women with stories to tell.
About the Artist
Susan Lumsden has been a professional artist since 1995 with a focus on textiles. Her work has earned her three national awards as well as numerous others at fiber art and multi-media exhibitions and fine art festivals across the region and state. Susan was a founding member of the Tampa Bay Surface Design Guild over 20 years ago and is a Juried Artist Member of SAQA.
Her commitment to the arts has resulted in her being on the boards of five non-profit organizations. Her work has traveled the world and is in public, corporate and private collections. Several pieces were selected for display through the State Department’s Art in Embassies Program. She now teaches workshops on various surface design techniques and creates new work in her home studio.
I love exploring the world around me and using my insight and voice to bring attention to the plight of our natural habitat. We are destroying our world at an alarming rate. These days, my focus is on using various methods to add color and imagery to fabric. I utilize linocuts to print as well as breakdown screen printing with thickened MX dyes. My free motion stitching adds dimension.
About the Artist
Ellen Nepustil is a retired software engineer who recently relocated from Boulder, Colorado to Bradenton, Florida. She currently manages a commercial office building in downtown Bradenton where her wet studio is located. She has always loved to sew and create; be it garments or bed quilts. Ellen’s current passion is creating her own fabric for my art quilts and garments. She has been experimenting with dyes, chemical and botanical. Her goal is to use her own hand dyed and hand painted fabric in her art quilts.
I love combining paper and fabric with found objects to create unique pieces of art. I am inspired from the places around me, especially when walking on the beach or hiking in the foothills. My work is a combination of collage and stitching. Each layer is added based on an intuitive feeling from the previous layer, resulting in a unique piece reflecting my impression of the world around me. The end result is not predetermined; it changes and emerges as layers are added. I like to explore to see what happens if I do this or that with the materials, if I stitch now or add stitch later, always looking for that little something that makes this piece different than the last.
About the Artist
Ramona Pelley comes from a long line of strong women who loved to sew, weave and create a happy home with fibers. Her grandmothers quilted, braided rugs from old pieces of cloth and sewed every piece of clothing she ever wore. Ramona likes to think that her love of color, texture and experimental cloth manipulation is a result of all who went before her. Nothing makes her happier than to walk through a fabric store and collect small pieces of cloth, thread, buttons, and trims.
Ramona happily was a high school art teacher for 38 years. Now retired, she has collected, filed and sorted a great collection of thoughts and objects, from cloth to bones in the studio that she uses to inspire ideas. She states that “the inherited artist” has kicked in and is amazed at how many hours she can fill with the simplest of tasks, either carving a tiny fish or sewing layers of cloth together. All of the lessons that she has taught for so many years are now hers to use, and the time is finally hers to use them. She spends her days arranging her favorite things like color, texture, wood, cloth and metal into the creations that make her happy.
Cloth has been the canvas of woman for many years. Quilts, curtains, clothing from daily wear to wedding dresses have been used to showcase our skills and love of life. Like Betsy Ross with her first flag of the Stars and Stripes I have tried to create my version of concern and love for our country. From the starry eyes of all that are watching, to the many ethnic souls working to make our country great. The words of our fathers are still inspirational to all that take the time to just read a few lines. Visual art is powerful!
I am a retired professional woman who loves our country and am concerned for her condition. I walk my dog together with other dog walkers and discuss the daily news along with gardening tips and recipes several times a day. With the current troubling news and conversations with my neighbors this artwork has been created. I have protested, gone to rallies, carried signs and even made T-shirt’s, but have just gotten lost in the crowd. Luckily, I have other ways to express what is in my heart, because “talk is cheap” but Visual Art speaks volumes!
About the Artist
Alice Pickett has had a life-long interest in fabric, textile techniques, and sewing. She was a pro-duction rug weaver, selling through numerous galleries across the US for 30 years. She decided it was time to create more spontaneously than weaving allowed. Now she is learning and experi-menting with many textile techniques.
Alice earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Textile Design from Rhode Island School of Design. She has participated in Gallery and Fine Craft shows throughout the northeast US before moving to Florida this past spring.
I have had a life-long love of fabric, texture and color. Rich saturated colors evoke strong emotional responses; color and texture combined create multiple layers of visual interest. I want my pieces to create an immediate visual response from across the room, with hidden details to be revealed from close up. I use a variety of materials and techniques in each piece.
My current work begins with a base of painted fabrics, using a lot of recycled fabrics chosen for their deep color. Details are added by printing, stenciling, layering, cutting and stitching fabrics with different weights and textures.
I am fascinated with the repeated patterns in nature. My current inspiration is drawn from natural elements such as seed pods, coral reefs, cellular structures and animal fur. I am influenced by the reflections of light and water. My work is a suggestion of the natural world, an abstraction of color, texture and light.
About the Artist
Meg Maher Pierce grew up in Buffalo, NY. A graduate of the College of New Rochelle, she went on to gain a Master of Art and Art Education from Columbia University, NY, NY and a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn. She was a teacher of art the Herricks Schools, New Hyde Park, on Long Island from 1969-2001 and found teaching to be an extraordinary source of energy and pride. She lost her husband Vernon Pierce in 2008, and she now devotes herself totally to her art practice. Other studies in art include the Vermont Studio School, Johnson, VT, Sun Valley Center for the Arts in Idaho and the Oxbow Workshop, Saugatuck, Michigan, and study abroad in Italy and China and India.
Residencies and Awards: Hambidge Center for the Arts/ GA Residency Sept 2019 – Tyrone Guthrie Centre/ Ireland /Residency June 2018 – Weir Farm National Historic Site/ CT Residency April 2017 – Hambidge Center for the Arts/ GA Residency Sept 2016 – Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts/ WY Residency January 2016 – Millay Colony for the Arts/ NY Residency September 2014 – Weir Farm/ CT: Artist in Residence, February 2012 – Florida Artists Group Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation Award Jan 2010 – John Ringling Towers (Sarasota FL) Individual Artist Award: Visual Art 2010 – Hermitage Artist Retreat/ Fine Art Society of Sarasota FL Residency 2010 She has shown widely in the NY area, as well as recently at Gaze Modern, Sarasota, FL, Weir Farm Wilton, CT, 621 Gallery Tallahassee, FL, Florida CraftArt St Petersburg, FL, Selby Gallery, Ringling College of Art & Design, Sarasota, FL, Harmony Gallery, Sarasota, FL and Art Center Sarasota, FL.
Her latest work has been with hand stitching, mixed media, installations, collage and painting featuring vintage fiber, silk flowers, leaves and found objects.
My focus has become more intimate as I aged. Early watercolor paintings were inspired by NASA mosaic photos from space. My complex mandala collages using photos and maps are archetypal forms. But recently I use the more personal (and feminine) vintage lace and fabrics, sewing notions, and stitching along with paint on canvas. Three-dimensional expressions have followed. Beyond a nostalgic appeal of historic fiber, I respond aesthetically to the delicate variations of color and line of embroidery and lace. I do not use these resources ironically. I have come to own this delicacy and its floral femininity as formal qualities. I have found inspiration in the complex patterns of vintage lace, its feminine aura and textural richness. I honor the work of the anonymous women who have left us an art of subtlety and quietude.
Other influences are the richly decorated Indian “palampore” bed covers of the 18th century. All complex curvilinear floral botanical themes delight me. However, the grids and muted colors I use form counterpoints to floral arabesques. The repetitive grid and a limited palette reveal a contemporary viewpoint and represent my reverence for Agnes Martin, a personal hero. This body of work creates a complex visual experience. But on another level the stitching, fabric, lace, string, pins and layers of paint are also my metaphors for a woman’s interior life. Our spirit is constructed year by year with levels of experience and feeling. They become woven together and defend our center. The intricacy of this web often remains hidden, discovered only upon careful reflection. I feel that in this later work I have found a way to align a contemporary aesthetic with a deep personal expression of my history and self: a delicate, meditative and peaceful art.
Rebecca Levine Quigley
About the Artist
Rebecca Levine Quigley received a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art Textiles, as well as a Masters in Architecture from the University of Mexico. She has shown her fiber work in multiple juried exhibitions, including Made Fresh in Sarasota, at which she received Honorable Mention. She has been selected as a featured artist in the third edition of Salann Magazine. She was a featured artist at St. Pete ArtWORKS in February of 2020, and will be the featured artist at LEXOW Gallery in Sarasota, Florida in September.
I was educated as a weaver. My eye was drawn to the tactile, colorful nature of my surroundings. Later I trained as an architect. Tempering my vision with the norms and the utility required was a challenge. I had been learning new techniques, exploring materials and combining mediums all along. Now I have begun producing a new body of work, one informed by the same influences as before, but now I am able to express my visions much more freely. This vision is new and old at the same time, driven by delight in the color and texture that has always been evocative to me, but in a way that is more playful and less constrained by boundaries than ever, I work with clear vision, free of boundaries, I am drawn again to fiber, to wool, to silk, to bamboo and to the ancient practice of felt making, as well as the equally ancient activity of papermaking. Layering, stitching, combining texture, color and mark making with a freedom that is only restricted by the physics of making an object, is a celebration. Giving my work titles that are to some degree enigmatic is a delight. It translates into a description of the alienlandscape, and of its daily life and of the stories it can tell, colored by the viewer’s own vision and experience.
Technique and Concept
Felting is an ancient technique, predating weaving by millennia, although it uses many of the same raw materials. Working in felt is a natural progression from my initial training as a weaver. Using needle and thread is a part of textile history. Mark-making is part of the evolution of art and indeed of human communication. Using a needle and thread to make marks on cloth is part of that vocabulary. Related to these works in fiber, weaving, felting and sewing, is the use of fiber to make paper. Civilizations are often judged in history as those who made paper to record their cultural milestones. By using this family of techniques, I can speak to the concept of time and of place, to the ephemeral, and to my personal, evolving, reaction to the world that I see around me.
About the Artist
Amber Quimby is a native of Florida and a life-long artist. She earned her MFA degree in Printmaking from the University of South Florida and Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ringling College of Art and Design in Printmaking and Painting. With over a decade of combined teaching and management experience, she was a full-time faculty member at the AutoNation Academy of Art + Design at the NSU Museum of Art Ft. Lauderdale from 2011-2014 before being named its Director of Education and Programming in July 2014. In August 2015, Amber returned to the Ringling College of Art and Design as a Fine Art Instructor, faculty member. Currently, Amber teaches courses at Osceola Fundamental High in printmaking, painting, ceramics, photography, drawing and digital design.
In this body of work the concept of growth is under investigation. The animate and inanimate object the fantastic and the everyday are bridged. Through the medium of sculpture and printmaking visual metaphors are simultaneously alive and ethereal. The casting suggests the passing of time and the dissolution of memory. These artist books explore issues of preservation, the fragile nature of our physical bodies and our relationship to the natural world. I am interested in the garment as a metaphor for the fiber of our being. Art is a kind of forecasting. It can lift us up from apathy and enable us to navigate frontiers of hope.”
About the Artist
After exploring many different creative mediums while her children were young, Susan discovered quilting in 1982. She soon realized the potential of combining her passion for color, graphic design and sewing and started making original art quilts. Susan’s love of sewing started at a very young age, learning how to sew in elementary school. By high school, she was focused on making art.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Susan graduated Fashion Institute of Technology, NY with a degree in Fashion Design, and continued on at the University of Georgia, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design.
She has exhibited in juried shows throughout the U.S. and internationally, and is published in many quilt publications.
I work intuitively trying to capture a playful spirit, fusing colorful bits and pieces, and sometimes including surface design scribbles I made. A colorful, saturated and whimsical palette is my source of inspiration and delight My palette of vibrant saturated color, and joyful novelty prints, has infused my fiber art with a spirited and joyful energy that expresses my distinct voice.
Port St. Lucie
About the Artist
Esta Rubin studied fine arts, graduating from Hofstra and C.W. Post Universities. A year at the University of Americas, Cholula, Mexico rounded out her education. Graduate work in printmaking at Stony Brook University in lithography and etching developed her love of printed work and she found her stride in monotypes. The cultural experiences and many varied landscapes she encountered during travel around North, Central and South America, Europe and North Africa proved inspirational.
In addition to her love of printmaking, Esta taught art at all grades for 35 years, inspiring many pupils to follow her passion for art. The work ethic and social interactions acquired during a stint living in a kibbutz probably helped her in dealing with her students!
Esta’s life experiences are deeply reflected in her art. Shortly before retiring, she developed an eye disease similar in effect to macular degeneration that left her legally blind. She pushed through that and lymphoma to continue to express her inner artist through Art Quilting. Esta likes to say that she swapped the engraving needles for the sewing needles.
I am an artist who loves printmaking. Etching, lithography and monotypes are my passion. After becoming legally blind this avenue was no longer an option as the chemicals were too dangerous for me to use. Learning to quilt gave me a new outlet and fiber art gave me the way back to my passion. Using the textures and colors I can now do my landscapes and my view of other cultures with the richness they demand.
I taught art for 35 years. I worked with all ages and media. My passion has always been printmaking. My focus has been etching and lithography. Working on the litho stone was magic for me. As I approached retirement, I learned I had contracted a disease that would take my eye sight. It was caused by mold in the clay in the ceramics room. I met my husband in Paris. He understood what was happening to my eyes. Six months after I retired, I was legally blind. The early treatments were tough. A neighbor taught me to strip quilt. This was in 2003. In 2005, we moved to Florida. Since then I was introduced to art quilts. I also saw videos on collage quilts and this was right in my wheel house! My monotypes are collated. Through this I have been able to get back to the subjects in my prints. I do not see my sewing needle. My lines are never straight and my edges never perfect, but I feel this is my pathway to use my artistic vision.
About the Artist
Stephen Sidelinger is an artist/designer/educator/architectural colorist/textile artist/ embroiderery and book artist. Stephen draws on these vast and varied disciplines to create his one-of-a-kind, fine, hand bound books of contemporary illuminated manuscripts, which are in public and private collections throughout the world. All of his works have Sidelinger’s distinctive personal vocabulary or visual language. After twenty years of embroidery, his workmanship becomes finer and more elaborate with each piece. He has published a book to aid others in discovering their own Visual Language based on his highly subscribed course of the same title. Sidelinger is already the author of the book Color Manual published by Prentice-Hall Inc. and was also the artist in residence to Tina Beebe for the renowned L.A. based architectural firm of Charles Moore, Ruble, and Yudell.
Stephen Sidelinger received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design form Syracuse University and a master’s in Design from The Illinois Institute of Technology. He was a Professor of Design for 14 years at the Kansas City Art Institute and for the last 20 years in the Communication Arts Department of Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles California. Stephen moved from Venice California to Venice Florida in 2007 and taught at the Ringling College of Art + Design and Penland School of Craft before he opted to work full-time on his art.
Stephen Sidelinger has used his distinctive Visual Language for the last 30 years to investigate topics that range from common icons to the complexities of the human condition. An Internationally recognized book artist, Sidelinger’s pieces have an increased beauty in series and groupings, as well as individual decorative panels. His media ranges from multiple gouache techniques on paper, to encaustic and embroidery. As a devout follower of William Morris, Stephen Sidelinger makes his images to grace people’s environments, to bring an intrigue of design and the enigmatic questions of fine art to their daily lives.
Stephen Sidelinger is an artist/ designer/ educator/ architectural colorist/textile artist/ embroiderer and book artist. Stephen draws on these vast and varied disciplines to create his one-of-a-kind, fine, hand bound books of contemporary illuminated manuscripts, which are in public and private collections throughout the world. All of his works have Sidelinger’s distinctive personal vocabulary or visual language. After twenty years of embroidery his workmanship becomes finer and more elaborate with each piece. He has published a book, Visual Language Workbook, The Step-By-Step Method For Finding Your Own Distinct Art Style, to aid others in discovering their own Visual Language based on his highly subscribed course of the same title.
Mei Ling St. Leger
About the Artist
Mei-Ling St. Leger was lucky to have a genius father and a very intelligent artist/anthropologist mother. She believes they influenced her continuing desire to explore and challenge herself to solve problems. She went to the University of California, Berkeley, to get a Bachelor of Architecture degree. That explains a propensity for 3-D kinetic hangings, as well as 2-D work. All her life, she has been exposed to the artwork of others and making her own. At the end of the 1980’s, she shifted her primary focus to fiber art, and started teaching silk painting. Later, Mei-Ling also taught batik and screen painting, and then a variety of surface design techniques. She discovered a love of sharing knowledge. The compulsion to make art continues.
I have always been intensely involved in color. Once I started using dyes in batik, silk painting, screen printing, and shibori, I realized I was drawn to layering and transparency. I have been doing various forms of shibori for 30 years. Shibori is shaped pressure resist: by stitching, binding, folding, clamping, and pole wrapping. Despite experience and planning, there is always an element of serendipity in shibori that makes every opening of a resisted/dyed piece very exciting. Frequently, a phrase or mention of a subject will trigger a compulsion to use fiber art as a commentary. Then it’s a matter of choosing a medium or techniques to express my ideas. Sometimes a found object will produce the design response. I enjoy continuing exploration of the myriad techniques in fiber art and surface design.
About the Artist
Emily Stehle is a basket maker who finds that what she creates is no longer considered a basket in the traditional sense. Emily is challenged and encouraged to partner and collaborate with other artists, perhaps other environmental activists, to create installations that have the power to positively influence viewers. She has taught numerous basketry workshops, and she has shown her work in multiple juried exhibitions across the state. Emily’s work is part of the permanent collection at Florida CraftArt.
An ever-evolving creative basketmaker, I find and see new inspiration in nature and the world every day. I’ve been weaving traditional baskets for more than 20 years and have experimented the last several years using non-conventional materials. I had a vision that discards could become art and would prove it by doing. This environmental voice came to be my reason and inspiration for creating.
I upcycle non-conventional weaving materials (items found in the trash) and mix them using traditional weaving techniques with the typical natural fibers used in basket making. I reuse; a former beader, I use tiny glass orbs to embellish my paper baskets and create paper “tassels” for reed baskets. I like to juxtapose unlike items.
On the other hand, I also make fine craft baskets in a knotless netting technique (similar to coiling) which takes inspiration from fishing nets made years ago from fishing line, string and rope.
I’m exploring how to continue a basketry craft heritage unlike what is expected. I intend to continue using discards, upcycling trash and other items incorporating them with the typical Florida naturals and commercial bamboo material.
Already my vision and focus has changed: Three years ago I began showing baskets from recycled paper and other found items for a serious environmental message. Last July I created an installation of basket-like forms not used to hold anything as a collaboration amongst 11 other basketweavers. Now, I’ve found myself using my work to share another story that’s conveyed by the art itself!
The irony is that my messages are playful and humorous…totally unexpected! The reality, however, is that this playfulness seems to engage people in a serious discussion about my work, how I work and my recycling efforts to make beauty out of trash.
About the Artist
Susan Vazquez was born in New York City and lived there for 28 years before moving a little further north to Westchester County and then Putnam County, New York where she lived with her husband until they moved to Delray Beach after retirement.
As a child, Susan was taught to knit and made sweaters, hats, socks and blankets through high school, college, graduate school and after hours while working. She was introduced to spinning in her 30’s and found her next addiction: turning fiber into yarn, starting with wool and then other fibers. When she found herself wanting to do something different with her yarns, she started the next phase in her fiber journey by studying weaving at The Weaving Center at Marymount College in Tarrytown NY (then known as the Craftskellar) and has been weaving ever since. Over the years, she has moved from a 4 harness treadle loom to a 32 harness computer assisted loom weaving rugs, blankets, shawls, scarves, dishtowels, placemats and fabric to be sewn into garments, playing with pattern and usually designing her own weavings. It’s only been since retirement that she has become a full time weaver.
She is currently weaving shawls and scarves but also does blankets and dishtowels as well.
Inspiration comes from a variety of sources: the texture and color of a particular yarn, a pattern that I’ve been playing with that suddenly works and designs from nature that I find intriguing. Finding the interplay of the texture, yarn and pattern often create surprising and pleasing results in the final product.
There are many stages involved in the weaving process and working through these stages to the final product is what I find most enjoyable and stimulating. The designing of the item, selection of the yarn, warping of the loom (with the inevitable changes that seem to come from the evolution of the project), weaving it and the final finishing of the item is challenging and exciting.
Designing patterns for a multi harness loom with a computer dobby mechanism is a freeing experience. I am bound only by the width of the loom and the number of harnesses that are on the loom. There are an infinite number of combinations that I can create and use.
About the Artist
Dawn Waters came to make art relatively late in life. There were no art classes in her past although she dabbled in various craft forms for years – mosaics, jewelry and wire art. Her education and career path involved communications and advertising. It was only after she left her “real job” that she began making fiber artwork after being introduced to felting and immediately becoming obsessed.
For years, Dawn promoted the art careers of others, as she was communications director for a top university art school. She never imagined creating art of her own, and certainly did not foresee having anything she created shown in exhibitions.
Dawn lived most of her life in the beautiful state of Virginia. In 2017, she became a resident of Gulfport, Florida. Her studio is in her home there.
Think Martha Stewart and Snoop hanging out, making unexpected things happen. Sugar coated bundles of detail and slight oddness combined to make work that is arresting and uncanny.
I’m Dawn Kraditor Waters and I paint with fiber. I was first exposed to felting on a trip to Amsterdam. A friend then taught me the basics of wet-felting and I created scarves and swanky wraps.
I wondered if I could make a portrait with a felting needle. I had not seen one made of fiber, had never used a felting needle for more than five minutes, and I had never created a portrait with paint, pencil or anything else. My chihuahua, Chico, was my first subject. It worked. The next few…not so much. I kept at it until the likenesses were recognizable.
I use fiber, usually wool, and a felting needle. The process is like tattooing, but with wool. Viewers often think my work is painted, until they get close, or touch it.
About the Artist
Malle Whitaker is a basket weaver and fiber artist. Originally a tapestry weaver, she transitioned to basketry and is currently creating small-scale fiber vessels made of waxed linen threads.
Malle is an Estonian-American, born in Germany. She resided in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, has now lived in Palm Beach, Florida for the past five years.
She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Advertising Design from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia. After a long career in publishing and advertising design in New York City and New Jersey, Malle developed a strong interest in weaving and basketry and continued to explore fiber as an art form.
Malle is a member and officer in various basket and fiber guilds, and she enjoys exhibiting and selling her work in fine craft galleries and museums. Her creations are shown throughout the USA and in private collections. Most recently, “CrowBell #20: Ocean Pineapple” was exhibited at the National Basketry Organization’s 10th Biennial Exhibition, “Basketry Now,” at the Kentucky Museum in Bowling Green.
I discovered my passion for basketmaking about twenty years ago, weaving traditional, utilitarian forms. My sculptural pieces evolved from my need to “change the pattern a little bit” or add different materials with the reeds.
Baskets can provide an extremely fertile area for experimentation, and I often build my basket shapes on stoneware or wooden bases using natural and dyed round reed with materials that include feathers, husks, draceana and iris leaves, horsehair, and broom straw.
My latest series of waxed linen thread vessels, each containing a jingle bell, was inspired by a crow who left a shiny bell on my balcony in exchange for a forgotten bowl of nuts. I created the closed-form vessels to honor and protect the bell (I purchased more), and . . . just for fun.