What do textiles have to do with Organizing? Well nothing really on the surface but textiles are a part of the tapestry of who I am both creatively and professionally. I’m also fascinated by how many recycled textiles, other “found objects” and collections of “stuff” are making their way into the fine art world. I’m not sure if this is merely a trend or a theme that is communicating something about our relationship with “our stuff” as a culture. On my recent trip to NYC I found a tremendous amount of inspiration and specifically sought out exhibits that included textiles in one way or another.
My first stop was at Museum of Art and Design aka MAD where in the main stairwell a site specific installation of woven fabric had been threaded through the architectural elements of the building. It kind of reminded me of yarn bombing but on a more sophisticated interior scale…like huge dramatic drapes.
In addition to Museum, MAD is an educational resource for children and adults. They have an artist residency program including open studio times for artists and workshops all overlooking their location on Columbus Circle. Boy would I love to sit at that loom and weave while overlooking the hustle and bustle of the city!
Closing this Saturday is the exhibit Ebony G. Patterson: Dead Treez which was rich in layers of textures, found objects, recycled textiles and meaning. I’m a little obsessed with how textiles and recycled materials are making their way into fine art these days and this is one of the reason’s I really wanted to see this exhibit.
My next stop was the National Academy Museum, nestled between the Guggenheim and Cooper Hewitt. This was my first visit to this museum and school. I found myself drawn to exhibits at locations that favored the promotion of art through education, a coincidence perhaps but my mind is nothing if not curious to continue learning! I sought out this specific exhibit of Miriam Shapiro after her recent passing last year. She’s an epic, visionary artist who happened to work with textiles-once thread of her multi faceted life’s work. Below is one of my favorite pieces in the show, one of her “femmage” works that includes scraps of fabric.
And finally, the exhibit Beauty-Cooper Hewitt Triennial. I almost skipped this museum (although it’s one of my favorites) because I didn’t think I would have time. I’m so glad I didn’t since they recently re-opened after a major remodel. This expansive exhibit explores various themes of Beauty in multi- disciplinary works of art and design. One of my favorite aspects of the renovation is their use of technology. Along with each ticket sold, visitors are given a large stylist pen to “collect” images and text from throughout the exhibit. When they return home they can log into their specific user account (save your ticket!) and learn more about each piece of interest. I love that you feel like you are bringing home a little piece of the exhibit and there’s less pressure try to read all the exhibit info while visiting.
Over the weekend I hung out in Brooklyn and took a trip to see the Textile Arts Center. I’ve been wanting to visit this “maker-space” for several years now and am envious of such a wonderful resource for learning about all things textiles! This is the place to go if you live in NY and want to learn about textiles in your spare time…a great way to find out if you really like something before investing too fully into a lot of expensive equipment (space is a premium and having a floor loom in NY would be a luxury for some!).