Friday, January 20, 2017; 5-9 pm
Saturday, October 21, 2017; 12-4 pm
WARMER features a selection of modern weavings and quilts by four regional artists working in fibers. Their individual practices oppose the disconnect between work and meaning. Using traditional techniques requires long investments of time and careful consideration of materials. This collection of work is a comforting yet critical response to consumerism and industries that thrive on exploitation.
Work like theirs whispers to the person seeing or touching it. It vibrates with the energy used to create it; deep concentration, patience, tenderness, hopefulness, and time are vital to construction. The artists have developed unique approaches to fiber arts less through formal training than through their personal desire to create and explore.
MANDI SMETHELLS graduated with a BFA in printmaking from UW-Eau Claire , and currently reside in St Paul, MN. For the weavings in this series, she repurposed leather from five jackets found at thrift stores. Contrasting the texture of leather with colorful yarns transforms this unconventional pairing into delicate and beautiful wall-hangings.
AMANDA TOLLEFSON received her BFA in painting from Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 2003. She was inspired by ski fashion and the solar system as she designed the quilts featured in Warmer. They are made of recycled sweatshirts that would otherwise be destined for a landfill. The utilitarian aspect of these quilts is elevated by their intended potential to transfer love.
JENNA VALOE is a self-taught textile artist with a BA in Cultural Anthropology from UW-Milwaukee. She is a daydreamer who attributes her innate fiber skills to the abundance of makers in her ancestry. Considering place-making, symbolism, and magic in daily life, she employs large color planes in gentle combinations to capture the calm of rural skylines.
KELLY WANDERER is a weaver and musician with a BS in Film Studies from UW-Milwaukee. Her formal introduction to weaving began in a a class at ABK Weaving Center. She’s taught herself complex weaving skills through analysis of 1960s and 70s weaving books. Her techniques produce technically sound fabrics using modern yarns and historic patterns. She’s drawn to the immersive nature of the act of weaving.
Leslie Vaglica, the curator of Warmer, lives in Milwaukee. She holds degrees in drawing, political science, and apparel design. She currently works in costuming for dance, opera, and theater.
Fridays 5-9 pm, Saturdays 12-5 pm and weekdays by appointment.
Show Runs through Saturday March 18, 2017.