Some of the most influential fiber artists in Upstate New York will exhibit their works in “Fiber Here and Now,” Sept. 7-Nov. 16 in the Crowell and West galleries in the Feigenbaum Center for Visual Arts.
Featured artists are Sarah Boink, Toni Bogran, Kat Howard and Susan Martin Maffe, whose works engage with themes of trauma and healing both in their creative process and their chosen subject matter.
“All four use fiber in a range of forms and techniques, from traditional woven textiles to immersive sculptural installations,” said Associate Professor of Art History and Visual Arts Department Chair Lorraine M. Cox, who curated the exhibition.
Boink, Bogran and Howard explore personal traumas of domestic violence, sexual assault, estrangement and grief.
“Their subtle and metaphorical approaches invite the viewer to reflect on these themes in relation to their own individual and shared experiences and also bring greater awareness and empathy for the traumas of others,” Cox said.
Boink is the founder of Sizz Handmade, a fiber studio located in The Brouwer House Creative, Schenectady’s oldest house. Howard lives in Kingston, while Bogran lives and works in Catskill.
Internationally recognized tapestry artist Maffei is based in New Baltimore, Greene County. She explores the environmental trauma created by the threat of climate change on various ecosystems.
In keeping with the theme of healing, all four artists work with sustainably sourced materials, including organic fibers, natural dyes and handmade yarn, and they repurpose discarded fabrics and textiles. Their objects carry associations with warmth, comfort and protection, eliciting works that are also extended acts of healing.
With all of the artists residing in the Hudson and Mohawk valleys, lands of the Mohican and the Haudenosaunee, an indigenous matriarchal society, Cox ask viewers to “consider the context of place and pre-colonial dynamics of power and belonging as we reflect on what we are all doing, here and now, for the wellbeing of our planet and each other.”
The four artists will take part in two interdisciplinary exhibition panels discussions with local professionals whose work intersects with the show’s themes. These events are free and open to the public. Both will be held in the Nott Memorial at 5:45 p.m.
“Sustainability, Fiber and Creative Practice” is set for Tuesday, Oct. 4. Boink and Maffe will be joined by Tegan Frisino, owner of Comfortcloth Weaving, and Cecilia Tkaczyk, owner of CeCe's Wool Farm Store.
“Art, Trauma and Healing” is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 25. Howard joins art therapist Alex Thompson and Sarah Caterina, director of clinical services and community engagement, both of YWCA Northeastern New York.
In addition, a student-only workshop, “Intuitive Weaving with Toni Bogran,” is set for Oct. 13, 3-5 p.m., in the Crowell and West galleries. There is limited seating, with registration required. Students may contact Professor Cox at email@example.com.