The Re/New Festival September 9 – October 9, 2016

12489182_10153386487211973_8098208007962318097_oBig news!  Downtown Pittsburgh will be jumping this September, with the opening of the first Re/New Festival featuring the North American premiere of DRAP-Art, the International Festival of Recycling Art, held annually in Barcelona, Spain.  According to their website “Drap-Art has established itself in recent years as a showcase of the trends in art that use objets trouvés and discarded materials as a resource. It has become a platform for emerging artists, designers, craftsmen, and other creative professionals from Europe and elsewhere who seek trash as their raw materials. From these premises, it functions as a campaign to make people aware of the fact that we must consume more responsibly and respect the theme of the three Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle).”More Information

Clean out your studio–it’s potluck time!

Potluck 4_edited-1 The holidays are over, it’s cold, snowy, and gray — so you know it’s gotta  be time for our potluck fundraiser at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts!  This annual event is one of our most cherished traditions.  Just when the doldrums of winter start to settle in, we gather together.  We clean out our studios, bookcases, and cabinets then pack up the surplus supplies for the Paperbag Auction. This year we’re spotlighting YARN so make sure you bring along any extra from your personal stash. And don’t forget books, patterns, tools, and other temptations. It’s all good!

Potluck 3We donate our beautiful artwork, fine crafts, dyed fabric, hand-crafted jewelry and wearables, plus our skills and services to the Silent Auction.  AND we bring a dish to share because no guild function is complete without tasty treats.

On Saturday, January 30th 10:00 am – 3:00 pm you can catch up with your pals, meet new members, and take home intriguing new treasures — for next to nothing! Auction tickets (5 for $1) raise money for guild programs and exhibitions. Guests are free, the more the merrier.

Potluck 2Don’t forget to bring address stickers for your auction tickets and a tote bag for your winnings, along with your potluck dish and studio supplies.

After lunch, you’ll get the latest scoop on Fiberart International and In Bloom and see where you can fit into our big event of 2016. Your fellow members would love to have your help. Mark your calendar and come prepared to schmooze, shop, and snack!

 

Help make FI16 the best Fiberart International ever!

Rebecca Hebert, Camilla Pierce and Lauren Sims

Rebecca Hebert, Camilla Pearce, and Lauren Sims, the three top execs who run opening weekend.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about Fiberart International (FI), the amazing show our guild produces every three years. The exhibition is so big, it takes up two simultaneous venues: the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and Society for Contemporary Craft. But what you may not know is that we are famous (yes we are!) for hosting a great opening week-end where FI artists from all over the world gather to meet and talk about our beloved medium – fiber art.  And the best part is our members are deep in the thick of it all. We all have the awesome opportunity to shmooze, help out, and participate as much as we want. On Sunday January 10th volunteer guild members old and new gathered together to learn all about FI2016.

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Happy 2016! Time to PoP, Open FI16 and Meet the Steel City Fiber Collective!

Happy New Year! There is so much to look forward to in 2016. FGP’s public art installation PoP des Fleurs ,designed by Rae Gold, opens at the Carnegie Library main branch in February and continues to PoP throughout the library system leading up to our critically acclaimed Fiberart International 2016 opening at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and the Society for Contemporary Craft in May.

1486678_603550193081916_5088803417974705189_nBut we are not the only group with big plans for the new year. Recently FGP President Susan Swarthout and I met with the newly formed Steel City Fiber Collective. Anna Sylvester, Becca Kreiger, Cheryl Koester and Nora Swisher met through a local Stitch n’ Bitch group and together they saw a need for a warm and inviting place where fiber artists and crafters could meet and share.  Members would join for a fee and have access to space, tools and equipment that is often too expensive or cumbersome to buy as an individual; think Tech shop but devoted to all things fiber and is affordable.More Information

Akiko Kotani and Risë Nagin: Group A “Works”

Black on White #1 2004 Akiko Kotani

Black on White #1 2004 Akiko Kotani

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to get out of the studio during the dark and dreary days of winter to see more art. There is so much going on in the region, beginning in our own back yard: the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. Now through January 17th you can see works by two of our most accomplished members, Akiko Kotani and Risë Nagin, who were selected to participate in “Works,” juried by Todd Keyser.  Group A is a small invitation-only guild which “…provides exhibition opportunities for its members and fosters an active dialogue about visual art concepts and practices.”

Akiko Kotani’s series Black on White is breathtaking in its simplicity.  She uses black silk thread on hand woven white silk canvas to create a bold line that references organic forms yet has a contemporary graphic appeal.  In the first work of this series she creates the feeling of movement by working predominantly with one shape as it appears to replicate itself across the canvas.More Information

FI16 Awards fund

FI2016-LOGO

Dear Fiberarts Guild Member:
The holidays are upon us and before we know it will be 2016, the year of our triennial Fiberart International Exhibition and Forum, the 22nd in a series of triennial juried exhibitions sponsored by the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh, Inc.
Chosen by a distinguished panel of artists and curators, Fiberart International 2016 (FI2016) will feature works by established and emerging artists, providing a unique opportunity to see current trends and innovations in this constantly evolving medium including innovative work rooted in traditional fiber materials, processes, and history, as well as art that explores unexpected relationships between fiber and other creative disciplines.More Information

KtB and Allegheny County Council

County Council PresidentKnit the Bridge was in the Post Gazette once again — but we’re not so happy this time.  Diana Nelson Jones reported on the vote before Allegheny County Council to remove the never enacted 2% set-aside for public art. In the article, Amie Downs, official spokesperson for County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, cited KtB as an example of why the set-aside was unnecessary with an ambiguous description of the type of support the county provided to the project. “We have focused our time and efforts on cataloging and maintaining existing public art, while encouraging and supporting public art in the community. The Knit the Bridge installation is just one such example.”

FGP President Susan Swarthout contacted the KtB team concerned that using it as an example sent the wrong message to the arts community and the entire region. The KtB team agreed and on Tuesday November 17, Knit the Bridge lead artist and co-director, Amanda Gross, co-director Penny Mateer and current and former Presidents of the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh Susan Swarthout and Sherri Roberts all provided comment at the County Council’s bimonthly November meeting.  FGP recommended that County Council vote no to the elimination of the 2% set aside and yes to the creation of the arts board.More Information

Sherri Roberts shares her blogpost on Creativity and Productivity

sherri 5 uke_pin-martha-cleanAfter a crazy few weeks I needed a jump start back into the blog scene. Flipping through images on Facebook I caught a glimpse of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz and her words echoed “there’s no place like home.” So I turned to our guild for some help. Did you know that some of our members are not just amazing artists and makers but writers as well?  Well Sherri Roberts is one of them and with just one click I was immersed in her blog Galil Threadworks and got just what I needed. We asked Sherri if we could share this gem of a post and she graciously agreed, just in case you need to get your groove on.

 

Do Something!  by Sherri Roberts

After recently tweaking the “elevator-speech” description of my artwork, I was able to identify the latest bug in my brain; how to keep creativity and its fraternal twin, productivity, flowing. 
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Oh Those Last Minute Entries — it must be Fiberart International Time

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Penny Mateer’s FI-friendly design wall. Smaller than 8’6″, no problem.

The deadline for FI2016 is fast approaching.  Are you like me, do you wait until the last minute to enter? I know the deadline months in advance so I must be ready to upload today, right? Not exactly. What is this last minute business all about?

To choose the work, gotta look at the restrictions — and thankfully there aren’t many. The size limit is 8’6″.  I have that problem licked from the git-go, my design wall is only 7′ tall and 6′ wide when fully extended. “Can’t weigh more than 100 pounds and has to be easily handled by 2 people.” Last I checked I couldn’t find an assistant to help make that cumbersome piece, the help I keep longing for. You know that humble acolyte, the one you always see bustling around the huge, light-filled studios of major artists, effortlessly juggling huge elements, or better yet just listening intently as “the artist” brilliantly discusses the work, that person?  Not happening here. Definitely less than 100 pounds for this gal.More Information

Elisabeth Higgins O’Connor at SCC

Meet the artist and share her vision

At a recent guild-sponsored lecture at Contemporary Craft, featured Bridge 13 artist Elisabeth Higgins O’Connor talked about the evolution of her style and body of work. Guild secretary Wanda Spangler-Warren took her usual meticulous notes and lent them to us for this post. Thanks, Wanda!

The huge, grotesquely charming, animal-ish forms lumbering around SCC’s gallery owe their existence to a series of happy accidents involving drywall screws, the Iraq war, and a truckload of discarded cushions. Which is just another way of saying O’Connor never met a random input she couldn’t use.

Detail: Wanna do right...but not right now

Detail: Wanna do right…but not right now

As a resident artist in Kohler’s Arts/industry Program, O’Connor learned the slip casting method of making vitreous china, a technique she would later intentionally corrupt by using found objects, creating animal hybrids with ceramic heads and fabric bodies. Perhaps more importantly, Kohler made available to her a huge inventory of hardware – screws, wires, and grommets – which she used to assemble her figures in obvious and deliberate ways.More Information