Friday, September 4, 2015

Fiberlandia Highlights III: The Panels - Part C

It's only fitting that the posts about the 2015 SAQA Conference in Portland that began in May as 'summer reading' should finish on the Labour Day weekend.  This post is about the final panel that entertained and inspired us on Sunday, May 3: The Art Students' Panel, which I found one of the most inspiring indeed!

Emily Nachison at her worktable
preparing for a solo exhibit in 2014
The panel was moderated by Emily Nachison, the Interim Chair of the Fiber Departement at the Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland and an artist in her own right.  She introduced each member of the panel; after each presented, two SAQA members from Portland were to respond, having considered these questions:

  • What linkages can we find between the students' work and the traditional roots of fiber art?
  • What interesting new trends are emerging?
Three of the four panelists were BFA students -- two in their graduating year and one in her second year.  The third panelist was graduating with his MFA in applied craft and design.

Melina Bishop in her studio
The first panelist was Melina Bishop, a mixed-media sculptor who uses everyday textile/fibrous objects as symbols.  She is interested in minimalism, the 'colour' white, and labour-intensive tasks.  She graduated with her BFA from OCAC in May.

Melina spoke about "Material as Metaphor": how she explores every-day objects (such as a bed) -- their roles and their meaning.  She studied one sort of fabric, presented in the context of another, mass production versus craft processes, clothing as metaphor, and the cross-pollination of various types of media (such as needle-felting with quilting).  Her textile installations explore "every-day objects as performance".  Her pieces are indeed minimal in size, shape -- smooth, clean lines -- and colour (or should I say, "non-colour", for she focuses on neutrals and white in particular.  You can see more of Melina's work in her web gallery HERE.
Molly Eno, sitting with
one of her soft sculptures.

Molly Eno was the second panelist to present her work.  Also a graduating BFA student, Molly works with soft sculptural forms to "[deal] with the psychological through human and animal totems".  She is interested in the colour red, the history of crazy quilting, the Gees Bend quilters, and politics.  

As a girl, Molly learned to sew and crochet, though she never made a quilt.  She works mainly with 'bright, shiny, powerful' colours and materials.

Alas, at this point my notes on Molly dwindle to nothing.  As she was speaking, I was inspired to make notes -- based on her words and the slide-show of her work -- for a project on which I am working...My apologies!  (If you are wondering about that project, and where I've been lead by Molly's inspiration, click HERE.)  For more of Molly's work, or to see how I was inspired, click HERE.

Kaylin Francis
Third on the panel's roster was Laylin Francis, a "mature" student finishing the second year of her BFA at OCAC.  She returned to school to pursue an art career after many years as a secretary in the business world.  She describes herself as "a fiber artist [who] experiments with combinations of colours and textures".  She too has a background in textile/needle arts: cross-stitch, needlepoint and traditional quilting.  She is particularly interested in quilting, surface design, pattern and colour.  In addition to quilting, Kaylin's work/studies include exploring wearable art and weaving.  She is a member of the Surface Design Association.

Last...but not least, panelist Tyler Peterson, a graduating MFA student.  Originally from Colorado, Tyler received his BFA (Art Education and Painting) from Metropolitan State University in Denver.  In addition, he has spent time as an Intern at the Wildcraft Studio School in White Salmon, Washington.

Tyler presented images of his current study, based on life experience: in particular, collecting memories.  His interest in memory and memories and mementoes was inspired by the death of his grandfather, with whom he was very close.  

He is interested in immigration history, his Japanese heritage, and in working with indigo.  These interests have resulted in work that "explores the in-between spaces of identity, memory and tradition."  Tyler is also a member of the Surface Design Association.

We hope you've enjoyed this "Fiberlandia Potpourri", and that it will inspire you to attend a future SAQA Conference.  Up-coming Conference venues include:

Registration and details for each conference are posted in early October of each year, so keep your eyes open!  Space is limited, so waiting until the last minute is not advised.  :-)

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