The Betty Mae Kramer Gallery was abuzz! Walls covered with wonderful textile art, room filled with people engaged in deep conversation. Amina K. Cooper, the Public Art Manager, curated a wonderful show honoring the works of five artist: Judy Kirpich, Hillary Steel, Floris Flam, Betsy Packard, and Karen Schulz.
While many of us may be familiar with the traditional methods of textile design, Cooper focuses on highlighting innovative uses of such methods. The featured artworks showcase highly-mastered dying, weaving, stitching, and screen printing - with a modern twist. When I walked into the room, I thought I walked into an art gallery with the most delightful paintings as the pieces truly master contemporary views on abstraction, use of color and shape.
The artists present at the opening were delightful - so excited to share their art and creative process with all of us. I got to talk to them and admire their focus on learning the traditional techniques and then pushing forth with their own unique ways of manipulating fiber to create refreshing pieces of art. Scroll below and take a look at close-ups of these great works.
A Rectangle or 2, 2013
Hand dyed cotton fabric, machine pieced and quilted, couching
33" x 26"
Karen shares that her pieces start as studies in composition. She has no particular idea in mind; she lets the fabrics guide her to achieve balance and interest. The form then, in return, informs her feelings and promotes new ideas.
Indigo Composition No. 2, 2016
Chinese indigo cotton, Japanese handspun cotton, machine pieced, machine and hand quilted
84" x 61"
Judy educates us about the use of Chinese indigo cotton, which gets beaten with eggs to achieve a high shine finish ... One just wants to touch her pieces. Judy has such great understanding of texture and the visual effect of a variety of textile finishes.
Rhythm and Blues, 2016
Artist-dyed cotton fabric, fabric collage, machine quilted
16" x 10 1/2"
Floris, who dyes all of her fabrics, showcases truly colorful modern quilts. As she admits, her love of quilting started when she discovered that they don't have to be beige. And indeed, her works overflow with courageous use of any color.
Silver Spring Civic Building
One Veterans Place, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Monday – Friday from 10 AM – 6 PM