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Fiberarts - November/December 2008
November/December 2008

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Images from editor Marci Rae McDade's summer fiber-art travels
Team Fiberarts's trip to the Denver Art Museum's Untitled #16 (Thread)
Editor Marci Rae McDade's favorite experience and images from The Language of Craft conference at Haystack Mountain School of Craft in Deer Isle, Maine
The stories behind some of the squares from the World Reclamation Art Project
More work from our student artists and information about included schools
Call for fiber-postcard valentines
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November/December 2008

The World Reclamation Art Project (WRAP)

In our November/December 2008 issue, we included Jennifer Marsh’s World Reclamation Art Project (WRAP), a gas station cozy created to address the world’s dependence on petroleum. For the project, Marsh received individual squares from thousands of people around the world that she combined to make the cozy. Here Marsh tells the stories of three of the contributors, including Fiberarts Assistant Editor Liz Good.

The World Reclamation Art Project on display in DeWitt, New York (just outside Syracuse), April 12– July 1, 2008. Photo: Cathryn Lahm.

Story #1
Silvia Piza-Tandlick is a textile artist and the founder and director of Octágono Gallery in Costa Rica. The gallery is a community-based program that provides educational and income opportunities through the textile arts. Silvia and her group joined the project to express their concerns towards our world’s dependency on petroleum. In total, her group donated five truly inspiring panels. Silvia shared with me a story about another participant, whom she met through the IFC, that lived in Argentina. She said this amazing woman had been fighting cancer but was struck by our community textile-based project on oil dependency and was driven to complete a panel. Silvia said the ill woman had to take breaks and rest her arms in ice as she was finishing her panel. Wow! That is just amazing and inspiring.

The Octágono Gallery group (Costa Rica), Untitled, 2008; painted, stitched; 3' x 3'.

Story #2
Jan “Tsunami” Barnes is by far one of the sweetest and most interesting participants that I have had the pleasure of talking to and collaborating with on the WRAP. As she shared her story with me about why and how she became aware of the project, I felt inspired and re-energized. Jan had a sort of emotional breakdown last winter and unfortunately had to take a leave of absence from work. As she and her family began a healing process at home, Jan came across an ad for the WRAP project in the back of a local magazine. She was going through a rough spell and trying to figure out a positive and productive way to steer her attention during this time of transition, so she decided to contribute a fiber panel. Creating her piece alone, she often thought how the world was passing by her and how she wished she could find a way to break through the wall of creative isolation. When I contacted Jan to tell her that I am publishing an image of her panel in a book and writing about her on the Fiberarts magazine website, she was tremendously excited and pleased that her work has inspired others. By the end of our conversation, we both agreed that one never knows how life is going to turn out, and even though you may feel that the door to a community is impossible to find, it may only be a step away. Jan does not have access to the Internet, so placing ads in a variety of publications to invite people to participate in WRAP was an important way to connect with people.

Jan (Tsunami) Barnes (Seattle, Washington), The Biblical Whale Takes Charge, 2008; 3' x 3'.

Story #3
Liz Good, assistant editor of Fiberarts magazine, also participated in the WRAP project by contributing a panel. She learned about the project through her position at the magazine and wanted to participate. She was fascinated by the scale and intention of the project and wanted to help make it happen. The square she submitted was actually created as the beginnings of a quilt some time ago when she was a freshman in college. It had been sitting around waiting to be put to good use. She was excited that she was able to re-use something that hadn’t seen the light of day in ten years and also be able to contribute to the project; she felt the recycling of an old project tied well to the intentions of the project.

Liz Good, Retro, 1997–2008; recycled thrift-store clothing and fabrics; 3' x 3'.

Pulling finished sections of WRAP onto the gas station site for installation. Photo: Steve Satorie.

The collaborative as a whole is appreciative of all the efforts of those who took part in the project, from spreading news of WRAP to creating squares to helping to make the project happen. A project like this develops and expands in many directions and represents the type of interdependent relationships artists (and the world) need to keep moving forward. In putting something like this together, one realizes that without those supporting us and giving us a leg up, it would be nearly impossible to move forward with any great leap.

I am very pleased to announce my next project for the 2008–2009 year. The title is Interdependence. Much like a live tree is interdependent on its leaves/roots for survival; likeminded societies are interdependent on the greater whole, family units, communities, countries. We will create a full sized tree that will be on display in April 2009 at Big Springs International Park in Huntsville, Alabama.

I am calling for participants around the world to create leaves to contribute to the creation of the tree. In total I am looking for 30,000 fiber/fiber-technique leaves. You can be as creative as you will with what materials and techniques you use, just keep a fiber twist to it in some way.

Each Leaf should measure roughly 2 1/2" wide (at its thickest point) x 4 1/2" from end to end. You do have the option to give it shape and dimension. The tree’s trunk and branches will all be wrapped with handmade fiber sleeves.
Leaves are due by March 15, 2009.

Please check the website for updates concerning mailing instructions. The website will be updated with details in the following weeks.




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