Saturday, June 27, 2015

Weyburn, SK: Your Destination for Fibre Art this Summer!

Touring the prairies this summer?  Driving into Saskatchewan?  Why don't you plan to stop over for a few days in Weyburn to take in what SK SAQA member, Jaynie Himsl, has spear-headed in her home town?

"Fibre Art Destination 2015" is a summer-long series of fibre art exhibits and events that opens July 2 and runs through August 31, 2015.  

A more detailed itinerary of the four exhibits -- with gallery addresses -- can be found HERE.

Jaynie's project came to my attention just before I left for Quilt Canada in Lethbridge.  I asked her to send me the backstory so I could share it with you.  While I was at QC, I got to meet Jaynie and chat at length.

In her photo she appears calm, cool, collected, sedate...perhaps a bit reserved.  In person?  Not so much!  Jaynie is a talented artist, an experimenter, passionate about textile art: a real powerhouse who blends her these qualities with poise, grace and a terrific sense of humour. She also possesses a wardrobe that's the envy of any artist --  it brings out her true colours!  ;-)

In her own words, here's how Fibre Art Destination 2015 came about:
I give credit to the incredible positive energy experienced at a Fibre Art Network (FAN) retreat for the idea and guidance to pull off this summer of fibre art. 

It started  nearly two years ago at the first FAN retreat I attended.  A slide show of their newest exhibition "Abstracted" was presented. I was so impressed with what I saw I wanted to see the exhibition in person.  Members are encouraged to seek out opportunities to show the FAN exhibitions so when I returned home I gave our curator information about FAN and asked if it would be possible for "Abstracted" to come to the art gallery in Weyburn. Within a few days the show was booked.

A year ago I finally had enough of my own work to fill a small gallery available to local artists. When I asked about available months to show my work one of the options was at the same time the FAN show would be in Weyburn. Having two fibre art shows at the same time seemed like a great idea. 

Then I went to my second FAN retreat in the fall of 2014.  One of the items on the agenda of a retreat is called "Wacky Ideas". FAN members gather in a group, somewhat exhausted, perhaps with a glass of wine and brainstorm.  Practical or realistic ideas are not discussed. Grandiose ideas are what it's all about. Everything from owning our own cruise ship and hosting fibre art cruises to having an international exhibition of our work.   Over the years some of the wacky ideas have come to be reality.  That's where the idea was planted to have Weyburn be a fibre art destination in 2015. 

I was full of enthusiasm and a few ideas when I returned home. First, was checking if the third gallery space in Weyburn was available.  With some rearranging of the schedule it could be available to host a fibre art show as well.  Around this time I saw an article in a magazine about "All Beings Confluence". The contact person was listed as Martha Cole.  After a few emails back and forth with Martha not only was "All Beings Confluence" booked to come to Weyburn but Martha was also booked to teach a 5 day class Aug 24-28 making more "Beings" panels.  

That made three fibre art shows booked.  When I found out the  requirements to hang "All Beings Confluence" I learned it wasn't going to fit in the gallery as planned.  A search for an alternative space  was found in a one of the churches.  

Many emails were exchanged with FAN mentors and Martha Cole before deciding upon an exhibition of Saskatchewan fibre artists in the remaining gallery.  A call for entry to "Join the Thread"  went out to Saskatchewan fibre artists inviting them to submit a 12" x 12" piece. 

The art walk gradually grew as I visited a variety of businesses in the downtown area.  Businesses that had suitable space to hang one or more pieces of fibre art were pleased to be part of a new event for our city.  Finding artists to show their work as part of the art walk proved to be easy and exciting for me.  Some of the artists I know, some I'm only familiar with their work, some belong to SAQA or FAN so were invited through that connection.  Geography determined which SAQA members were invited.  

With a passion for fibre art, an idea, many mentors and supporters, "Fibre Art Destination 2015 - Weyburn" has come to include: "Abstracted" a Fibre Art Network show, "All Beings Confluence" an interactive fibre show, "Join the Thread" a show of 12"x12" work by Saskatchewan artists, "Another Perspective" work by Jaynie Himsl, an art walk and with many busy fingers there will be yarn bombing marking the art walk locations. 

I'm learning many things as these fibre shows come together.  Mostly, that I'm only limited by my own imagination. Another, is that you just have to ask nicely and most of the time the answer is "yes".  

I think part of the reason the plans have worked so well is that we're a small city (10 thou).  We know each others names or faces, everyone benefits by working together. I can hardly wait for the city to be a little mecca for fibre art. 

Jaynie Himsl
SAQA members taking part in the exhibits during the summer include:

  • Coleen Adderley (B.C.);
    The Surveyor's Nightmare
    (C) Jaynie Himsl
  • Terry Aske (B.C.);
  • Joyce Brown (AB);
  • Donna Cutler (SK);
  • Diane Duncan (AB);
  • Susan Easton (SK);
  • Jaynie Himsl (SK);
  • Karen Johnson (B.C.);
  • Paula Jolly (SK);
  • Brandy Maslowski (B.C.);
  • Pippa Moore (B.C.);
  • Judith Panson (MB);
  • Jenny Perry (B.C.);
  • Katie Stein Sather (B.C.);
  • Rita St. Amant (SK); and 
  • Valerie Wilson (MB).

I'm thinkin' I might just have to see if my wee car has it in her to take me there...

Congratulations to Jaynie for her initiative and hard work -- and to her colleagues who are contributing to what will undoubtedly be a successful summer event...without doubt, one that will be an annual treat for Weyburn's citizens and visitors alike!

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