Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New York State -- Fertile Soil for Fiber Art

Near the end of a three day "Experimental Textile Painting" class in July, a student asked me , "If you aren't interested in making quilts or garments, what else might you do with textiles?"

This question came to mind again two weeks ago when I took on the position of New York State representative for the Surface Design Association, http://www.surfacedesign.org/ SDA is an international membership organization of fiber artists.

I sent out an e-mail to NYS members asking for news, links and whatever else they wish to share that I am distributing as a weekly e-mail bulletin. In response, my in-box has been peppered with such inspiring and diverse introductions to New York SDA members' work and themes, that I want to share a few with you. I hope you will find them as interesting as I do.

This installation piece, Chandelier #1, is part of Anna Drastik's Preserving Preciousness series. http://www.annadrastik.com/ This work is currently on display at the Triple5Soul's flagship store in New York City. The artist created this piece using silicone, netting, poly organza, thread.

Western New York State artist Barbara Murak, http://www.barbaramurak.com/ captures the beauty of the everyday by stitching and sculpting silk to create a head of lettuce. Barbara's fiber work can be seen in a current exhibit entitled, "Feasting Eyes: Artists Take on Food" which runs until October 5th at the Kenan Center in Lockport, NY and features work by 23 artists.

Suzanne Punch http://www.suzannepunch.com/ created these abstract, hand-painted vertical silk banners, titled "Autumn Equinox", 44" wide by 84" long. They are shown displayed in a window installation at Liberty House, a boutique in NYC at Broadway and West 112th St.

Elaine Longtemps, http://www.elainelongtemps.com/ created this sculptural fiber piece, "We Are But One World", inspired by her research into global issues and concerns. Most of the factual information she uncovered in her research was very disturbing. She printed excerpts from numerous books and publications onto fabric, then cut them into strips and sewed them together randomly with a red cross-stitch. The artist chose the progression of colors to range from dark and ominous to brighter and more optimistic. She notes that in order to read both sides of “We Are But One World”, one must change one’s viewing position, i.e., change one’s point of view.


  1. Thanks for sharing this work. It really is very inspirational. And, thank you for taking on the SDA rep position.

  2. It is good to see that innovative work is being done in NY state. Thanks for keeping us posted on great new work, the chandelier is breathtaking!

  3. SDA is attracting a lot of great talent, Anna's chandelier is very interesting!