Fabric art exhibit dresses up City Hall

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Every year, the City of St Catharines calls local artists to submit pieces of work according to a certain theme, which are judged with a few chosen to be put on display.This year, the city presents Fabrication: Exploring the World of Fibre Arts, a new exhibit featuring 13 pieces by 10 local artists at St. Catharine’s City Hall’s second floor gallery. The exhibit began on June 18 where the artists had a chance to discuss their work with spectators, and will run until Oct. 17.

The event is an initiative that is being held by the City of St. Catharines Public Art Advisory Committee and the Recreation and Community Services Department. In this exhibit, artists explore fibres and textiles in their works, turning typically functional material into an artistic expression. The criteria for the exhibit was that the pieces must have used fibre or textile elements as the primary focus within the work. Works selected for the show include beading, embroidery, felting and quilting. According to the call to artists presented by the City of St. Catharines Juried Art Exhibition, “The fibre art work should move beyond ornamentation to reveal multiple meanings and interpretation.”

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Textile art is an ancient form of art and has always been used to express the culture during the time period based on the materials and textiles they were using. Currently, this form of art is not as popular as are other mediums. The goal of this particular exhibition was to reflect the artisic side of St. Catharines through items that are used every day.

Upon entering the exhibition at City Hall, you will find an array of works all of which are made of different types of fabrics and textiles, to create a very different type of art form outside of what is considered “normal”. Many of the pieces are three-dimensional and use every day fabrics to create a very familiar but unique spin on the things we use.

The exhibit features the artwork of ten local artists: Irma Bull, Cecelia Cameron, Gillian Dickson, Alexa Fraser, Debra Jackson, Tammy Jane Lepp, Chris Liszak, Kathy McBride, Darlene Monroe and Crystal Zettel. Sixteen artists submitted their work giving the jury over two dozen pieces to choose from. The artwork that was chosen for exhibition was decided on by a jury made up of members of City staff, the Public Art Advisory Committee as well as the community.

Originality as well as artistic merit were major factors in the jury’s decision on whose work would be featured in the exhibition as well as the clarity of the statement the artist was making in their piece.

“This year’s exhibit strays from past years with an exploration of material rather than a theme,” said cultural planning supervisor. Rebecca Cann. “The result is an artistically diverse collection of pieces, including highly traditional art forms as well as very contemporary investigations of fabrics. It’s exciting to have such an unusual exhibit for the tenth anniversary of our exhibit program.”

Fabrication: Exploring the World of Fibre Arts is the 30th exhibit presented at City Hall. Visit stcatharines.ca/exhibits for more information about the City’s juried art show and other exhibits on display at city hall in the Garden City.

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