Fiber is quite the buzzword today. Artisans who weave, felt, crochet, knit, embroider and quilt are lumped together with the common denominator of fiber art, yet “quilting” confuses many. Some people picture aging bed covers lovingly made by the equally aged, but quilting has gone through light years of change in the past half century. Manufacturer upgrades of sewing machines produce programmable, computerized brands. Artists are drawing on the tradition of quilting while using it as a contemporary springboard.
Quilting may transition from bed covers to fine art, but not with ease. Eyes glaze over with mention of quilting, assuming repetitive patterns and colors. Finding galleries or venues for shows can be difficult, as owners assume fabric work is neither cutting edge nor saleable.
The Architectural Heritage Center, 701 S.E. Grand Ave., plans to prove that wrong by sponsoring “What Comes Next?,” a group show featuring work by five fiber artists. The February presentation “Fiber Artists Working in a Series” takes one theme and follows its development in multiple works. In March, “A Different Look” will include a showing of more divergent, individual pieces.
Two of the show’s artists live in Northeast Portland. Irvington resident Quinn Zander Corum grew up on a farm in Minnesota and raised chickens with the Peace Corps in India, after earning a degree in cultural anthropology and then living in Brazil. She has lived in Portland for more than 30 years. Diane Born, a registered nurse, worked in cardiac care units and public health in California before working as a museum docent at the Dallas Museum of Art. She moved to Oregon in 1999 and gave tours at the Portland Art Museum. She lives in the Alameda neighborhood.
Life experiences have made both women’s styles unique.
“I have a fascination with color, line and our world, both close up and from far away,” says Corum. “I am delighted when viewers are surprised by the details within my work.”
Bonding natural fibers with interfacing provides Born with a surface for designs. “Fabric serves as a canvas for my expression,” she says. “Paints and stencils add intricate patterns and depth to my pieces.”
— Information provided by Architectural Heritage Center
If you go
“Fiber Artists Working in a Series”: Reception February 1, 6-8 p.m. Works shown for the month of February.
“A Different Look”: Reception March 1, 6-8 p.m. Works shown for the month of March.
Trunk Show: February 12, 6-8 p.m. Trunk show of 30 works from Studio Art Quilt Associates with live artist demonstrations.
Film showing of “Stitched” with discussion to follow: March 21, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
All events take place at The Architectural Heritage Center, 701 S.E. Grand Ave.
Admission is free and the public is invited.
For more information: visitahc.org, (503) 231-7264