Our gallery has 10 different shows per year, each show having a theme. The theme for the show that runs from June 20 to August 2 is “Rhythm & Blues.” The reason that we have this theme for this show at this time is also the title of one of the focus areas of the Smithsonian’s Festival of Folklife, which takes place on the National Mall in Washington, DC, in late June and early July.
As usual, gallery artists may interpret the theme in any way they wish. Not surprisingly, we had many submissions that focused on the musical aspect of this theme. But equally, we had many members who took the color blue and ran with it. Either approach (or any other) is acceptable in the gallery.
“There were many interpretations of the Rhythm and Blues theme, represented by a wide variety of techniques, colors, and textures. High notes were hit by Anne Buchal with her collection of applique musicians, Paige Garber with her felted wall piece, "Jazz," and Patti Koreski with her painted silk ruana, "Rhythm and Blues".”
The above three wonderful wall hangings are by Anne Buchal, and are called (top to bottom), “O is for Ornette,” “R is for Rollins,” and “I is for Idol.” Here’s what Anne writes of these three pieces:
“These small wall hangings were originally a group of five that were created for a show that our group, FINE (Fiber In Nearly Everything), had at one time. Julie Booth asked us to make an ‘alphabet’ that spelled the name of the show: ‘Color Riffs.’ We drew straws and got our letters. When I later realized that I had something that fit our theme for June, I got them ready and brought them in. They were fun to do.”
Below is another wall hanging, this one a felted work by Paige Garber, entitled “Jazz".:
In the spirit of improvisation that is at the heart of jazz, Paige says of this piece that she “used some blue-green hand dyed wool as background and then I laid down silk fabric cut-out shapes and threads to create motion and repetition. It was all improvised spontaneously, and then wet felted.”
Finally, there is this lovely silk hand-painted ruana by Patti Koreski, entitled “Rhythm and Blues.”
These are only three of the many works of fiber art submitted for jurying into our Rhythm & Blues show. Visit our gallery in Studio 18 in the Torpedo Factory Art Center to see the whole show. And be sure to visit the Smithsonian’s Folklife Festival for a different taste of Rhythm & Blues.
by July blog editor Ruth Blau