The Blog

Seeing is Believing – In Material

February 21, 2012

In Material brings together four innovative artists (Lucy Arai, Sonya Clark, Mi-Kyoung Lee, Cynthia Schira) who have very distinct ways of seeing fiber and fiber art.  As with most art forms, fiber art is about process, materials, and methodology.  But the term “fiber art” itself is challenging because although quilts and other textiles are the most common forms, one can also weave almost anything including light, sound, metal, or in Lee’s case, plastic twist ties. As Curator, I couldn’t have been happier with the way the installation of this exhibition came together—the intermingling of these artists’ works creates such an interesting dynamic in the Gallery.  The contemporary, digitally created monumental weaving by Cynthia Schira, hung directly across from Lucy Arai’s work which utilizes ancient Japanese sashiko and kyokechi techniques.  The organic hair sculptures created by Sonya Clark beckon to the synthetic twist ties and threads painstakingly knotted and braided by Mi-Kyoung Lee. At the opening reception, I talked a bit about how my personal connection to fiber related to a childhood obsession with collecting bottle caps.  I gathered them with a maddening frenzy—there were few things in life that excited me more.  I would sit for hours on the foyer floor making patterns, watching the ebb and flow of color and texture of the caps.  In retrospect, I think I unknowingly related to those bottle caps in a Fiber-oriented way.  The Arthur Ross Gallery is one of over 40 venues participating in FiberPhiladelphia 2012.  The festival is a convergence in fiber in all of its forms, some traditional, and some unexpected.  As the viewer investigates the space at Arthur Ross Gallery, they are also invited to take the OnCell tour, featuring a curatorial introduction along with commentary by all four of the artists. More information on FiberPhiladelphia 2012 can be found at the website  Be sure to check out In Material and the other venues across the region in the coming months. Also, please join us at the Arthur Ross Gallery for a free Gallery talk on Saturday, March 3 at 10:30 am for a Gallery talk featuring artists, Mi-Kyoung Lee and Lucy Arai.  Hope to see you there! FEATURED PROGRAM Saturday, March 3 (10:30 AM) | Gallery Talk with artists Lucy Arai and Mi-Kyoung Lee in conjunction with the FiberPhiladelphia 2012 opening weekend