Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fantastic Fibers 1

Paducah KY is big on the traditional quiltmaker's map because of the huge quilt show held there every April.  Less well known is another April show in Paducah, "Fantastic Fibers," an annual juried show at the Yeiser Art Center.  I was fortunate to have a piece accepted in that show and we drove down yesterday for the opening reception.

Fantastic Fibers has been around for a long time and once had a sterling reputation but had fallen on difficult times in recent years.  But the center has a new director who is apparently committed to restoring FF as an international venue for fiber art.  This year's exhibit drew almost 200 entrants and those accepted came from Canada, Japan, France, Qatar and the US.

There was no size limit on the work, and many of the pieces were large; unfortunately, the gallery is small and the impact of so much work at once almost made your head hurt.  The jurors talked about how difficult it had been to make choices from a good selection of entries, but a bit of extra air could have been obtained simply by choosing only one work from the three or four artists who had two pieces accepted.

Best in show went to Jennifer Moss for her hand-felted Propagation. She made the entire piece in white, then dipped some of the upside-down-cup forms into pink-tinted wax. The wax gave the forms a slight translucence that indeed made them look ripe and bursting with life.

Jennifer Moss, Propagation -- detail below

Second place went to Elizabeth Ingraham for her life-size garment/figure made out of Swiss Army laundry bags, with vintage crocheted lace as an inner lining. It resembled a full-body straitjacket -- but apparently the wearer finds some comfort.

Elizabeth Ingraham, Resilience  -- detail below

Third place went to Eri Imamura, for her hand-beaded piece on an antique kimono.  I'm always intrigued by the use of English words by Japanese artists; here it comes off beautifully.  The beading is gorgeous.

Eri Imamura, LOVE: Female Torso -- details below

I'll write more soon about some of the non-prizewinners that I liked.  And by the way, apologies for the less-than-ideal photo quality.  That's why I had to upgrade from this camera last year!  I sincerely hope my Nikon comes home soon from the repair center.


  1. Kathy thanks for writing about this show. I'm not going to be able to go to Paducah this year. My favorite part is always the Yeiser Museum show. Hope you show your piece.

  2. I am heading to the Paducah show later this month. I'm looking forward to seeing your piece on display. Robin and I always go to the Fantastic Fibers exhibit and enjoy it very much. I love the creative works on display there.

  3. Marilyn -- my piece is visible over the shoulder of the mannequin, with a detail at the top of the right-hand column of this page.

  4. pictures are great! I love the beading pieces!!!

  5. Thank you for sharing this, it is fantastic.