Thursday, January 24, 2008

Desert, Mountains, coast to coast Collections and Exhibitions

Rug, Tunisia, Gafsa, mid 20th century,
from the Opekar / Webster Collection, T94.2216 Textile Museum of Canada

As 2007 turned into 2008 there have been and still are a number of exhibitions of textile based shows to mention and if you have the opportunity to still see. the end of November saw the opening of Between the Sea and the Desert: the Many Cultures of North Africa at the Textile Museum of Canada from November 21, 2007 until May 18, 2008

"Every thread has a soul - this Arab proverb is particularly true for the textile culture of Maghreb, the most north-western part of Africa. Between the Sea and the Desert showcases the Textile Museum's rich and diverse Northwest African collection of rugs, shawls and garments on view for the first time." Curatorial essay by Natalia Nekrassova.

Textile Museum of Canada 55 Centre Street.Toronto, Ontario this exhibition should be seen if you can get there, It is a collection of incredibly beautiful work. For more information visit their website

Continuing in the vain of "oriental" textiles we jump to the Nickle Art Museum at the University of Calgary for a show just finished and another opened and running until the end of April. Pattern Pleasure: introducing the Jean and Marie Erikson Collection
Curated by Michele Hardy ran from September 21-November 10 2007.

In 2003 The Nickle Arts Museum received the largest donation for the arts in the University of Calgary’s history. Dr Lloyd Erikson, Professor Emeritus in Anatomy at the University of Alberta and a long time collector of Oriental carpets, donated $1.5M to care for, research, and exhibit The Jean and Marie Erikson Collection currently on long-term loan to the Museum.

This exhibition is a captured in an 80 page full colour catalogue available through the museum gift shop.

NAM, 2007: Michele Hardy
Essays by Ann Davis and Michele Hardy
Catalogue: 81 pages, 60 colour illustrations. $19.95

To purchase the catalogue, Contact the Shop Manage, Marla Halsted

Turkmen Tent Band (detail), mid 19th century

the new exhibition Central Asian Textiles opened December 7, 2007 and runs until April 26, 2008 curated by Michele Hardy

Central Asia is home to a number of tribal groups with rich and varied textile traditions. Many of these speak to tribal identity, nomadic lifestyle, or recent negotiations with urban life. From silk weaving, to wrapped reeds, fine embroidery and knotted pile weaving, the textiles of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan are as technically sophisticated, as they are aesthetically compelling.

The Nickle Arts Museum, home to the Jean and Marie Erikson Rug and Textile Collection, has a small but significant collection of Central Asian textiles. This exhibition showcases a number of new acquisitions from this area and suggests avenues for future research and development.

The Nickle Arts Museum is located at 2500 University Dr. N.W. in Calgary, Alberta
Canada, T2N 1N4

While in Calgary I was lucky enough to catch Common Threads at The Illingworth Kerr Gallery | ACAD it ran from November 22, 2007 - January 5, 2008.

Instant Coffee recycled DJ booth

Curated by Lee Plestad and Co-produced by the Illingworth Kerr Gallery and the Confederation Centre Art Gallery,Common Threads features: Alexandra Bircken (Germany) Anders Bonnesen (Denmark) Instant Coffee (Toronto) Suzen Green (Calgary) Cary Liebowitz (NYC) Rilla Marshall (Charlottetown, PEI) Kathy Slade (Vancouver) Rosemarie Trockel (Germany/ NYC) Lucy Pullen (Victoria) Judith Scott (USA) Sundown Salon #11 and KnitKnit (USA) (Curated by Fritz Haeg, Sabrina Gschwandtner & Sara Grady) Francesco Vezzoli (Italy)

From the Press Release

‘Common Threads’ weaves together work by a stellar group of international artists interested in knitting and embroidering as an artistic strategy for contemporary art. Influenced by various social histories of the handmade, conceptual and process art, as well as populist and communal cultural production, these artists take crafts’ materiality and social potential as a starting point and subject. Negotiating the pressures of contemporary life, the artists in Common Threads refer and resort to the act of making, forming an individualized and expressive critique. Memories of utopian modernity are referenced and reworked, exploring the ideological influence on our contemporary material environment. In doing so, these artists create works that actively address the utopian proposals which emerged from various late 20th century artistic practices, taking up these models today for a critical investigation of the contemporaneous role of textiles.

Read a review of the exhibition Published December 6, 2007 in Calgary’s weekly entertainment and arts newspaper fastforward by Janelle Dubeau in Visual Arts

A fully illustrated catalogue is in production and will include the artists’ projects, curatorial statement, knitting patterns and event photos.

The Illingworth Kerr Gallery would like to acknowledge the gracious support from the Marion Fund for Innovation in Research and Teaching, the ACAD Visiting Artist Committee, and the assistance of the Fibre and Sculpture departments and students.

Now back to Ontario and

Dorothy Caldwell, Polestar. 1996. (detail) from the collection

Selections from the Fibre Art Collection

January 8 - February 10, 2008

Opening Reception: Tuesday, January 8 at 6:30 pm
Hors d'oeuvres by the Melville Café

Guest Artist Lecture: Dorothy Caldwell
Tuesday, January 29 at 7:00 pm

Cambridge Galleries, DESIGN AT RIVERSIDE
7 Melville Street South, Cambridge, Ontario T 519.621.0460

Hours: Mon Closed, Tues-Thurs 12-8 pm, Fri 12-5 pm,
Sat 10 am-5 pm, Sun 1:30 - 4:30 pm

Selections from the Fibre Art Collection Cambridge Galleries, DESIGN AT RIVERSIDE

This annual exhibition includes selected works from the Cambridge Galleries collection of contemporary Canadian Fibre Art. Unique in Canada, the collection features works that demonstrate the wide diversity and ingenuity of Canadian artists creating works of art that are textile based. The collection now numbers more than 150 pieces, acquired over the past 19 years. The collection represents an important link with the City of Cambridge's textile heritage.

BEST of 2007 T o r o n t o O u t d o o r A r t E x h i b i t i o n

An exhibition featuring the award winners from the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition

Kate Jackson, Soft Soldiers, 2006

FCP Gallery
100 King Street West, Toronto

January 14 – February 29, 2008
Hours: Monday to Friday, 11am – 3pm

Toronto, ON - The Best of 2007 exhibition brings together the work of the award winners from the 2007 Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition (TOAE), representing some of the most exciting work being produced today in contemporary fine art and craft. Thirty-nine artists will show their latest work at the FCP Gallery from January 14 – February 29, 2008.

Out of more than 500 exhibitors in 2007, TOAE judges selected 39 artists to receive over $35,000 in awards donated by individual and corporate sponsors. For a full list of award winners and donors, please visit our website at and click on Awards.

“I am overwhelmed by the exposure I have received since winning the Best of Show award. The award has come at just the right time for me both financially and as a morale booster when I really needed it.”
- Kate Jackson, recipient of the 2007 Best of Show award

Sarah Reynolds "Ugly Bunny"

What is really interesting about this show is that along with winning best of show, artist working with textiles also won in the sculpture category Sarah Reynolds with her "Ugly Bunny" work was best of category in 2006 and 2007, Heather Saunders won Honourable mention in the sculpture

That is a quick round up of what has been up and running for the past few months in cities around the country

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