Tag Archives: Jerome Grant

Jerome Grant Projects: Duet #2

My second project for my Jerome Grant is all about the story.  My partner Dawn and I have been friends since the 7th grade.  Dawn is now a professor, teaching art at a community college.  She isn’t a digital or fabric person at all; she gravitates towards printmaking and book arts.  I thought it would be fun to go “offline” with Dawn and write a series of postcards to one another.  I bought several packages of blank cards and a bunch of stamps and we mailed our conversation back and forth with one side of the card for words and one side for a sketch of something. She block printed, I water colored with tea and we talked about art.  Why do I hate working with the color red?  Do you have a “go to” doodle that you always draw when you don’t know what to draw?

Dawn really inspired me to do something hands on and get away from the computer a little bit.  So I started a series of designs based on cut paper collages made from found paper and junk mail.  I now have about 6 designs based on that idea and I am really loving that whole set of work.  We talked a little at the beginning of the project about making a garment that told a story. Could a dress be a book?

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This design is the base I started from.  Two sizes of circle punches and a stack of catalogs and envelopes.  I made 4 like this that became the final fabric design.  They alternate between bright colors with no text and grey/black/white with text on them.  I wanted to incorporate text into the design to refer to that book idea, but I didn’t want it to be a literal story that you would read.  So I used text as a design element throughout.

What kind of a story would a dress tell you?  It would have to be a “choose your own adventure”, where something you would do would be like turning the pages of the story.  So I created a text design from a torn up choose your own adventure book from the thrift store.  More text, but used in a textural way.  That is what makes the texture on the hem of the dress, which is shown here.  This is a screenshot of the actual dress panels as I was working on them.

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The origami butterflies came next.  I had made some fabric butterflies as a way of using up some pretty scraps for a show early in the spring.  And I loved that this design was evolving entirely from paper, so I made two kinds of butterflies.  These above were folded from origami paper and photographed to be layered into the design. And then I made 3-D fabric origami butterflies that embellish the dress.  (I have an affinity for origami butterflies.  My engagement ring was an origami butterfly folded from shiny silver paper.)

Finally I wanted to get our postcards incorporated into the design, so I scanned the text from several and created a final text design that is our handwriting with a color gradient over top.

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This design was printed on 2 yards of silk crepe to make a “scarf”.

Where does the “choose your own adventure” come in?  The dress is designed to be rearranged by the wearer.  Like a magnetic nametag, the fabric butterflies have neodymium magnets stitched to the back and another stitched to a felt backing.  The magnets let you put butterflies anywhere you like.  Up over the shoulder, all along the hem.  They also hold the scarf piece in place, so you can add a cowl back or an extra strap or a hood or a piece draped grecian style.

This one is called “Choose Your Own Adventure”.  (And I will post finished photos also after the show has opened.)

Jerome Fiber Artist Project Grants: You are invited!

On Thursday September 3 from 6-8 pm is the opening reception for “You Know Who You Are”, the final exhibition for the 2014/15 recipients of the Jerome Foundation Fiber Artist Project Grants.

I was one of this year’s grantees and I have been working on my project since January.  The program is designed so that you apply with a project plan.  Your project should be something that will help you take the next step in your artistic career, and you get to determine what that is.  I decided that my major goal was to have an exhibition of a small collection of my work. (That is a standard part of the program.)

The way I would create the new work would be through a series of conversations with three other artists.  In each conversation, my goal was to learn a new way of thinking about something, especially new ways of designing digitally. There are very few resources to learn digital design skills, especially if you are beyond the beginner “Photoshop 101” stage, so I chose a model of learning from my peers about the way they approach design.  I will post more about these conversations and the pieces that I created as “duets” with my partners in these next days leading up to the exhibition opening.

I would love to see you at the exhibition if you are in the area.

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Slideshow: Wrap Skirts, Designs in progress

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I am so excited about these skirts!  Here is a slideshow of some of the designs I have been working on.  I don’t know if all of them will make the cut but I wanted to share my favorites so far.  Each mockup has a couple of detail “swatches” so you can see a little more about the print and a very brief description of where the print came from.  Which is your favorite?

Jerome Foundation Grant: What a way to start off 2015!

retroFashion-18I have some exciting news to start the new year!

Fiber Artists on the Rise
Textile Center Designates 2015 – 2016
Jerome Fiber Artist Project Grant Recipients
January 7, 2015
MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Textile Center is pleased to announce the 2015 Jerome Fiber Artists Project Grant Recipients: Sarah Kusa, Becka Rahn, Jennifer Schultz, and Kate Vinson. Now in its seventh year, this program is designed to expand opportunities for emerging fiber artists in Minnesota, supporting them each with a $5,000 project grant, as well as additional professional development programming (in collaboration with Springboard for the Arts). The fellowships include exhibition planning and implementation culminating with a final show of the artists’ new work from September through October, 2015, at Textile Center’s Joan Mondale Gallery.

Sarah Kusa
Kusa attended the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and has continued with her artistic education with classes at Highpoint Center for Printmaking, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Textile Center, and the University of Minnesota. Manipulating and transforming materials such as paper, thread or fabric is at the heart of Sara’s studio practice. The materials she uses play with the duality of delicate-and-strong that can be mimicked in the human condition, and her final works are sculptural forms that deal with human vulnerability, resilience, and interconnectedness.

Kusa’s goals with her project are to grow her body of sculptural three-dimensional work, and to learn first-hand about creating larger-scale installations for a gallery space. Drawing on recent works and structuring the project based on distinct types of spacial problem solving, Kusa will create a wall-based, floor-based and ceiling-suspended installation.

Becka Rahn
Rahn is a self-taught “engineer” of digital surface design and wearable art. She creates designs from digitally manipulated photographs which are then printed on a variety of fabrics. She uses her custom fabrics to make wearable art garments using original and vintage patterns. Rahn worked as the Education Manager at Textile Center for 11 years; she recently retired to pursue her artistic career.

Focusing on artistic development for the project grant, Rahn identified important goals that could be achieved by collaborating with other artists on digital designs, called “duets,” and making these designs into wearable art. The final digital designs and garments will reflect the conversations had throughout the creative process about texture, color, layers, and balance.

Jennifer Schultz
Schultz attended the University of Minnesota and Minneapolis College of Art & Design before moving to Athens, Georgia. While in Athens, she worked as a custom framer and as a curator and manager of a fine art gallery. She became interested in fiber and fabric art and the direction of her exhibition program began to shift. After returning to Minnesota, Schultz joined groups and organizations like Studio Art Quilt Associates, Surface Design Association, and Textile Center. Schultz experiments with encaustic and prints on paper, and finds her calling and commitment to the fiber arts.

Jennifer’s project during the grant period will be to get her work off the wall by creating sculptural books made with quilted and embellished silk, encaustic, and bookbinding materials and techniques. The books will contain printed images, stitching, and incised markings on encaustic. These unique “signatures” will be hand-bound and engage the physical space of the viewer.

Kate Vinson
Vinson discovered the variety and tactile nature of fiber arts while taking art classes while in school for a second career. For Vinson, fibers allow freedom in range of materials and techniques like knotless netting, foiling, and paper arts. She uses these techniques to create sculptures that reflect the natural world and lots of texture.

The project grant will focus on Vinson’s use of materials, processes, and techniques in fiber enhanced through two main professional development opportunities: participating in the Women’s Art Registry of Minnesota (WARM) Mentor/Protege program; and attending workshops at the National Basketry Organization’s 8th Biennial Conference.

For 20 years, Textile Center has put $360,200 of Jerome Foundation grant funds to effective use in selecting emerging fiber artists based in Minnesota for individually designed project grants that have informed and advanced their development as artists and their creation of new works. In partnership with the Jerome Foundation, Textile Center supports and celebrate the creative spirit of fiber artists.

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