Fibre, earth and fire come together in a breath-taking display of visual arts at the Chilliwack Art Gallery in the Cultural Centre now through June 23.
Twelve Lower Mainland artists from Hope to Vancouver Island were hand-picked by Chilliwack Visual Artists Association members – and contributing artists Judy Hurley and Holly McKeen, to participate in the exploration of the textural topic of art.
The Visual Arts Association is a non-profit organization that functions separately from the Arts Council, and is run on a volunteer-basis.
“Although we enjoy working with the Arts Council,” says art gallery co-ordinator Marilyn Goodrich and Visual Arts Association member, the association offers other opportunities.
The exhibition is aptly named Fibre, Earth and Fire because the elements used to create the displays are a variety of fabric and clay pieces.
“’Fibre’ because fibres are in the fabric. And the clay, well that’s the ‘earth and fire.’ So we put our little noggins together and came up with that catchy phrase,” laughs Hurley.
The fibre artists were chosen because of their unique (pardon the pun) “spin” on creating displays of scenery and imagery on fabric tapestries.
“So each [artist] brought their particular expertise…, so the fibre show has such a variety. There’s quilting and batik and embroidery and appliqué and felting, weaving. There’s a bit of everything,” says Hurley.
The potters were chosen for their creations that mimic a texturized surface, including such styles as horse hair raku and crystalline glazed porcelain.
“We worked really hard to get a variety of clay artists… the potters we have in the show have textural themes that complement the texture and fibre artwork,” says McKeen, “I’m excited!”
McKeen has been creating pottery pieces since the 1970s and 10 years ago she was given the opportunity to create her artwork full-time. She has owned and operated Greendale Pottery for the last six years.
“The ceramics all have very distinctive styles, all individually hand-made, no copies, they’re all original creations of the artist,” adds Hurley.
As guests walk through the gallery, they’ll note the presentations have been designed to blend the clay and fabric pieces together. As their eyes travel from the clay pieces displayed on table-like pillars and up to the wall behind, the fabric and pottery will have a similar textural component; the layout almost seems to link the pieces together, to create a smooth visual transition from the hard, solid pieces to the soft and flowing ones.
The artists have been working hard for months to put the show together, and encourage the community to come out Saturday, May 28 for the Artists’ Reception. The artists will be available for a meet and greet, as well as discussion about the techniques used in their art.
“I expect it’s going to be one of the bigger openings this year,” says McKeen.
All items displayed are available for sale, and buyers can purchase their treasures from a gallery-sitter from the Visual Arts Association at the front desk of the Cultural Centre, to be taken home after the show.