On April 26, 2022 a new exhibit opened at the Virginia Quilt Museum in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The exhibit, “Something New is Looming”, will be up until June 18. It features nine contemporary weavers living and/or working in Virginia. I am honored to be one of the nine weavers.
The museum chose work that I have been focusing on during the pandemic. Since all of my shows and in-person classes were canceled for two years, I took time to explore ideas that had been brewing for some time.
During the pandemic I took a look at the leftover yarns and materials I had in my studio. I wanted to create work that incorporated texture as the main design element. In addition to the smooth, fine commercially-spun yarn that I normally work with, I played with unspun wool roving, handspun yarn, and bark. The two texture studies in the exhibit are just a couple of examples of what I wove in my explorations. They highlight how I use the weaving technique called double weave to incorporate bits of texture.
Color is an integral part of my weaving, and I had been purchasing hand-dyed yarn from other textile artists. During COVID I had time to try my hand at dyeing. I invited a friend over and we spent a spring morning outside socializing at an appropriate distance and dyeing thread. I prepared quite a few warps that I could combine with commercially-dyed yarn to weave the scarves that I usually sell in November at the Charlottesville Artisans Studio Tour. The two scarves in this show are just some of the results of that morning of dyeing.
If we weren’t anxious enough about the worldwide experience of COVID, we could add to our worries by reading about the polarization of political discourse in our country as we approached elections in 2020. A group of textile artists reacted by creating The Violet Protest and chose the color violet as a symbol of the combination of blue and red. Textile artists from across the nation created 8” X 8” squares created from equal parts blue and red. These squares were displayed at Phoenix Art Museum in 2020 and then sent to the 117th Congress in November of 2021. We hope to encourage politicians of different backgrounds and political leanings to work together to make the fabric of our nation strong and united. The Violet Protest piece in the quilt museum exhibit is a replica of one of the five squares I sent to The Violet Protest Project. I chose a traditional overshot pattern called American Beauty. We are, indeed, a beautiful nation when we work through our differences by listening respectfully to each other.
I am thrilled to be included in the Virginia Quilt Museum exhibit. I’m glad I took advantage of the slower pandemic pace to explore new possibilities and I look forward to going over to Harrisonburg to see what other weavers have been up to recently.