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“Make it new.”
In this digital age, to make art by hand has gained fresh meaning. Now more than ever, art that emphasizes physical presence has a powerful resonance. New art made with old technology is imbued with a sense of continuity that links our own lives to the largeness of history. In a familiar context, personal invention can stand out with striking clarity. This is especially true of art made with textiles.
The binding of cloth with thread is as old as human history, and it has always married utility with design. These tandem concerns make textile artifacts seem deeply human. Methods of piecing, quilting, embroidering, mending and printing fabric have warmed both body and spirt for countless centuries. Our psychological relationship to these materials and techniques is an elemental aspect of human experience. Any artist who works with stitched cloth brings that reference into their art.
But the artists in this exhibition are also informed by contemporary ‘fine art’ practice in a variety of media. Although they work with materials and techniques associated with utilitarian textiles, their art is made for contemplation, not utility. And, while they share an affinity for the history and physicality of cloth, each has a personal approach to how it can be used to make art.
David Hornung, Guest Curator
Feature image: Gerri Spilka, URBAN FABRIC SERIES: Dog Park in South Philadelphia, 2018, MX procion dyes on cotton, 45″ x 45,”