NEW ALBANY — A collaborative effort spearheaded by ArtSeed and TheatreWorks of Southern Indiana seeks to use fiber as a connective medium and draw visitors to New Albany.
The "Sew IN Quilt and Fiber Biennial" involves the city of New Albany, Schmitt Furniture, Indiana University Southeast, Purdue Polytechnic, local galleries, nonprofits, historic sites and businesses.
The exhibits and events will run concurrent with the performance of “Quilters: A Musical” at TheatreWorks, being staged Thursday, Nov. 8, through Sunday, Nov. 18. The "Quilt & Fiber Biennial" will continue through early January.
The quilts and fiber artworks have been created by 20 national and international artists and will be displayed at 18 locations around New Albany. The city-wide exhibits will explore the traditional and contemporary roles that fiber plays in our society from a domestic art to a contemporary art form. Exhibits will include museum quality traditional historic quilts, contemporary quilts with a social message, and fiber used as a creative medium.
Venues have been asked to schedule exhibits Nov. 10 through Jan. 12. Second Saturday Trolley Hop events will be held Nov. 10, Dec. 8 and Jan. 12 from 1 to 4 p.m. Fiber exhibits, lectures, festivals and workshops will be scheduled throughout the run of the exhibits.
The project started out with ArtSeed and TheatreWorks seeking to do a quilt-related collaboration, but quickly snowballed after other venues expressed interest, said Julie Schweitzer, executive director ArtSeed.
"It grew because the community was interested in it," Schweitzer said. "What we hope to do is bring awareness to the arts, of course, but also bring awareness to these venues. We have a lot going on in New Albany and Southern Indiana, but a lot of people don't know about these places. We want to bring people into our town."
Quilting, and fiber arts, have grown as an artistic medium, according to Schweitzer, with perhaps the biggest attraction being the Carnegie Center for Art & History's annual "Form, Not Function: Quilt Art at the Carnegie," which draws participants and visitors from across the country.
"I think it has had a resurgence in popularity," Schweitzer said about quilting, and the trend of contemporary artists weaving quilts into their pieces. "It was a way for women, especially in rural areas, to express their artistic side. The appreciate of that as an art form has risen, and contemporary artists are incorporating it into their contemporary art, not so much as quilts, but as fiber arts. But their roots are in traditional quilting."
Hedera Fiber is collaborating with the Knights of Columbus to present a Fiber Festival Nov. 9, 10 and 11. The Knights of Columbus will be hosting a fish fry concurrent with the Trolley Hop from 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 10.
For more information visit www.artseed.art. Brochures and walking maps will be available at ArtSeed and all host site locations. Trolleys will pick up and drop off at all locations. The event is free and open to the public.
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