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Indepth Arts News:

"Common Thread Fibers: In Memory of Henry Easterwood"
2003-02-26 until 2003-04-05
Memphis College of Art
Memphis, TN, USA United States of America

Memphis College of Art proudly presents Common Thread Fibers Exhibition in memory of our beloved Henry Easterwood. Common Thread features works by six contemporary fibers artists: Ilze Aviks, Annet Couwenberg, Margo Mensing, Joan Morris, Mark Newport and Jon Eric Riis. These artists demonstrate that fiber is a diverse and contemporary medium, embodying a wide range of human experiences from the intensely personal to the more broadly political.

On view are works in hand-dyed fabric, silk, embroidery and weavings. Jennifer Sargent, Common Thread Curator and Assistant Professor of Fibers / Surface Design, said "The common thread shared by these artists is a delight in the inherent properties of fiber. Its vocabulary of repetition, tactility and embellishment are witnessed in the rich hand-woven surfaces, in the collecting and making of artifacts, in the use of layers and material constructions, and in the variety of mark making: pins, stitching, resist dyeing and beadwork".

Dutch artist Annet Couwenberg‚s work makes reference to the body and approaches the figure in several ways. "The anticipation to begin anew, to construct what I do not know or have not seen is the foundation of my work," said Couwenberg. Her earlier work is concerned with ideas of enclosure, containment, restraint and reconfiguration of the female form. Torsos of copper mesh are bound and defined by pleated and boned corsets with areas of feathers denoting erogenous zones. Couwenberg currently serves as the Fibers Department Chairperson and Co-Chair of the Sculpture Department at Maryland Institute College of Art. She has recently exhibited solo at the Park School Gallery in Maryland, Recitation Gall Gallery in Delaware and City Gallery in Atlanta and in group exhibitions at Nederlands Texitel Museum in The Netherlands, OXOXO Gallery in New Jersey and in Les Fables de La Fontaine traveling show in France, Italy and the USA.

Artist Mark Newport's work "explores the different facets of masculine identity and activity". His pieces examine public role models such as football players, politicians, servicemen and superheroes and personal ones such as fathers. The images contained in his work are chosen for the activities they depict of the function they serve as residue of an event. Newport, an Assistant Professor at Arizona State University, has exhibited recently in the National Summer Faculty Invitational at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Art Chicago at Greg Kurcera Gallery and Lyons Wier Gallery, In Stitches: Humor in Contemporary in Fiber in Arizona and in Super-Heroes at Gallerie Mitterand, Switzerland.

The MCA community was truly saddened by the loss our beloved teacher and esteemed colleague Professor Emeritus Henry Easterwood and proudly dedicates the Common Thread Fibers Exhibition to his memory as the founder of our Fibers Department. His long-standing commitment to the school and its students was an inspiration to all. Easterwood came to MCA as a student in 1955 and became one of the most influential and respected teachers in the history of the College. He studied with legendary teachers Burton Callicott, Ted Faiers and Dorothy Sturm. In 1958 Easterwood received his bachelor of fine arts degree and joined MCA as the tapestry and fiber arts instructor in 1960. Over the next 40 years of chairing the department, Easterwood crafted one of the most respected fiber departments in the country. A gifted weaver and fiber artist, Easterwood created beautiful tapestries, many for corporate and private collections. In 1969, he was awarded the prestigious American Institute of Architects Gold Medal. In 1979, Easterwood began weaving bamboo sticks together to create his bamboo constructions. These intricate constructions were fashioned out of bamboo sticks tied together and wrapped with silk, cotton or metallic threads. In addition, Easterwood was a collector of African, Oceanic, Peruvian and Indian art. He established the Gallery of African Art and the Gallery of Oceanic Art at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.

MCA Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. The exhibition, lecture and reception are free and open to the public.

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