Opening weekend for Fiberart International 2016 is steaming toward us like a freight train — packed with art, anticipation, and festivities! Lots of last minute preparations behind the scenes before the gala opening on May 6, just weeks away! A favorite part of every FI is inspection week-end when one of our jurors returns to examine each piece live for the first time.
Lucky Guild volunteers make up the white gloved crew who carry out this essential operation. We open each crate with special care, document the condition and note how each piece was packed. After inspection the work is re-packed for storage until installation. Not only is this an opportunity to check out the detail and incredible craftsmanship of your favorite artworks but also to engage with the juror about all things fiberart. Even if you’ve seen the images a dozen times, as some volunteers have — the scale, texture, and power of each piece is a joy to experience firsthand.
For FI16 Arturo Alonzo Sandoval was charged with the enviable task of certifying the artworks. With the guild’s help, he inspects each piece to make sure it matches and lives up to the image that was juried in. (In the past, pieces have been rejected at this stage so it’s always a bit of a nailbiter.) The process is a two day affair. Day one began at the Society for Contemporary Craft and finished with a lecture from Arturo who spoke about the trajectory of his work, art practice, and teaching. On day two we moved to the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts for more inspection and inspiration.
So now that we are ramping up for the main event and finalizing lists and volunteer assignments, be sure to register for the Forum, a day of community and conversation with more than 30 established fiber artists from around the country and the world. It begins with keynote speaker Tali Weinberg, one of our jurors who works between text and textiles to address gender, labor, climate change, the housing crisis, and other traumas and insecurities that are experienced on both social and personal levels. This is a rare opportunity to share ideas and inspiration with fiberartists at the top of their game — right here in Pittsburgh. Sign up online to meet the artists, ask questions, and make connections!