The Bristol Art Museum is pleased to announce the opening of its latest exhibition, Tensions: New Directions in Fiber Art. This captivating exhibit showcases the works of 36 innovative and talented Rhode Island-based contemporary fiber artists, exploring new frontiers in the realm of fiber art.
The exhibit opens on Sun. Jul. 23 and will be on view until Sat., Sept. 9. An opening reception will be held on Mon., Aug. 7, from 5 to 7 p.m., providing an opportunity for visitors to meet the artists and gain deeper insights into their artistic process.
Curated by renowned local art expert, Allison Wilbur, Tensions brings together an impressive collection of artists who are pushing the boundaries of their medium. Embracing the diverse possibilities of fiber art, the exhibition features a captivating array of textiles, sculptural installations, mixed media compositions, and immersive experiences that challenge traditional notions of what constitutes fiber art.
“Fiber Arts have long been woven into our history and culture as an integral part of daily life,” shared Guest Curator Allison Wilbur. “From utilitarian pieces such as clothing and bedding to decorative arts, women, in particular, have expressed themselves through fiber. Today's contemporary fiber artists take time-honored techniques and traditions and elevate and reshape them to create new forms that reflect our ever-changing world.”
Speaking to the rich textile history in Rhode Island, local artists have created works based in the textile traditions of weaving, quilting, crochet, basketry, rug hooking and garment making. Moving away from the utilitarian, this new fiber art speaks to critical issues like the environment, the status of women, and self-realization.
In addition to the featured fiber artists displayed in the exhibit, the local art quilt group, Rhode Island Threads, will display a collection of quilts created in the style of Japanese scrolls. Art quilters use several techniques including fabric dyeing and painting, hand and machine stitching, embroidery and embellishment with found materials to create wall hangings similar to paintings but with the texture and feel of quilts.
The artwork displayed in Tensions is paired with historic artifacts, including weaving tools, an antique quilt, photographs and memorabilia. These artifacts evoke the roots from which this new artwork has sprung; the hands of the past that passed these cherished techniques down through the generations.
Stitching global textiles, color combinations, and design elements together with traditional American piecing, Wilbur creates art quilts that celebrate the international language of fiber shared by women around the world. She is an internationally recognized curator of fiber art exhibits, with an eye to raising awareness of global women’s issues.
Wilbur’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues including the United Nations Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, the United Nations Visitor Center in New York, the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas, the Human Rights Gallery at Kean University in Union New Jersey, the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts, and in major national quilt festivals and art galleries.
A Regional Call for Art for "Small Point of Land" Featuring the Work of Those Residing on the East Bay
The Bristol Art Museum (BAM) announces a call for art for, "A Small Point of Land," a juried exhibit comprised of artists living and/or working in the communities on the East Bay. Local painter, Michele Poirier-Mozzone, will serve as the juror for this exhibit.
"A Small Point of Land" celebrates the cultural identity of Rhode Island, particularly the East Bay area, which is intimately connected to the surrounding waterways and the Atlantic Ocean. The exhibit's title is inspired by the word "Narragansett," meaning "a small point of land" in the indigenous language. Artists are invited to explore their relationship to place, creating artworks that delve into the complexities of forming identity, spiritual experiences, psychological connections, and the intertwining of past, present, and future.
“The East Bay has inspired countless artists to create unique art that expresses the individual’s interpretation of the beauty or history of Rhode Island’s coastline,” said Museum Curator Mary Dondero. “Set against the backdrop of our charming coastal town, a remarkable collection of art will celebrate the ever-changing landscapes that grace our world, from the perspective of those who live or work in the East Bay. From tranquil seascapes to vibrant forests, artists are invited to share the experiences of an adventure that transcends time and place, allowing them to pause and marvel at the sheer magnificence of our communities.”
Accepted artworks must be hand-delivered to the Bristol Art Museum on Sunday, September 10, or Monday, September 11, between 1 and 3 p.m. The exhibit will be on display from Sat., Sept. 23 to Sat., Oct. 28, and all artwork must remain in the exhibition until the closing date. An artist's reception is scheduled for Sun., Sept. 24, from 2 to 4 p.m.
The museum invites artists working in various media to submit their artwork for consideration, with the exception of video or time-based pieces. Submissions can include up to three works, and the entry fees are as follows: $30 for one entry, $40 for two entries, and $50 for three entries. The deadline for online submissions is midnight on Sunday, August 6, 2023. Artists may submit entries here.
The juror, Poirier-Mozzone, is renowned for her captivating figurative work. She brings a unique perspective shaped by her series of paintings entitled "Fractured Light." Her work is represented by galleries in Venice, Italy; New York City, New York; Connecticut; and Maine. A graduate of Emmanuel College in Boston, Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree, Poirier-Mozzone primarily worked in watercolor after college. While she still delights in the translucence and the inherent beauty of this medium, Poirier-Mozzone has expanded her style to pastel.