September 21 – November 4, 2017
Reception Saturday, September 23, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

The Cultural Center in New York Mills presents a new fine art exhibit of Midwestern fiber arts miscellany entitled, Unraveling the Thread. The show runs from Wednesday, September 20 to Saturday, November 4, 2017. The reception and artist talk will be held Saturday, September 23 from 5-7pm and is free to attend & open to all.

The exhibition includes eight regional artists from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and California via Minnesota: Thom Atkins, Pat Bishop, Jennifer Bockerman, Jennifer Chilstrom, Renee Danz, Karen-Lisa Forbes, Kristi Swee Kudor, and Naomi RaMona Schliesman.

A fifth generation Californian, Thom Atkins was born in Palo Alto, raised in Minnesota, and returned to California to earn a BA in Art from San Jose State University. Finding the balance between beads and fabric, where each is integrated into the design and both are essential to the overall composition, has provided ample challenges for his active imagination. Atkins has come to a point where neither “Bead Embellished” nor “Quilt” seem accurate or applicable terms, yet he continues to use them for lack of more precise definitions of what he does. His work is seen in shows across the nation. Learn more at thomatkins.com.

 

Pat Bishop has been sewing since she was 10 years old. The move from traditional quilting to becoming a fiber artist was a matter of wanting to try new things, all the new materials available, the speed which came with machine quilting, and probably, most notably, Bishop’s secret desire to be an artist. She is a fiber artist with a love of nature and all things textilian. She uses textiles because they provide a unique vehicle for interpretation with their vibrant color, tactile nature, and endless variety. The textures are what make fiber a unique and versatile medium. Bishop currently shows in fine art galleries, lectures, and teaches her technique to budding Midwestern fiber artists. Learn more at patbishop.info.

Artist and educator Jennifer Bockerman lectures on visual art at Doane University near Lincoln, NE. Her work represents an evolution in exploring bodies, identities, and culture. Throughout her education and experience as an artist and educator, Bockerman has used her work to question how women represent themselves through domestic chores, iconic roles of femininity, and their bodies. Her ability to create confrontational installations and works has been featured in shows throughout the Midwest and New York. Learn more at jenniferbockerman.com.

Minnesota artist Jennifer Chilstrom is also an arts advocate who works in a variety of media. She is the co-founder of Showroom, a co-working retail space that spotlights the Twin Cities maker and artist community with a focus on diverse and underrepresented communities. Chilstrom draws inspiration from the world around her and explores her creative voice through direct service to the community. Her ambition as a hand-dying fiber and fashion artist is to inform, enrich, connect, and employ the diverse communities she collaborates with and serves. Learn more at showroommpls.com.

 

Renee Danz was raised in Battle Lake, Minnesota. She studied art at Minnesota State University-Moorhead, and the University of Oregon-Eugene. She married Greg with whom she has two children. Danz lived in Sioux Falls, SD for 17 years. While there, Greg and his brother opened a store known as Zandbroz Variety. They later opened a branch in Fargo, ND, where Danz does visual merchandising, has created more than 120 window designs, and plans to create many more. She has exhibited several solo shows, taken many commissions, and volunteered her creative skills prolifically. The works shown in Unraveling the Thread come from an œuvre which focuses on the realization that human lives echo events in nature.

Originally from Antioch, IL, Cavandoli knot artist Karen-Lisa Forbes now resides in Bemidji, MN. Her work, which falls under the categories of impressionistic or abstract, is best described as organic in nature. Forbes prefers the less fancy, “knotted nature looking stuff.” Forbes’ knotwork is often mistaken for beadwork because the knots are so small and tight. She finds inspiration in a deep love for nature and Northern Minnesota. Fascinated with the geometry and symmetry, chaos and order found in the natural world, her eye seeks out small details and she discovers the extraordinary in the ordinary. Throughout her life, Forbes has worked extensively with many types of fiber and techniques of fiberwork. While she loved each of these disciplines, Cavandoli knotting is her favored art form. Learn more at knotsbykaren.com.

Kristi Swee Kuder has a BS in Art Education with an emphasis in Graphic Design from Minnesota State University, Moorhead and is a graduate of the Women’s Institute of Art at St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul. She has decades of honors, awards, community involvement, and professional affiliations. Her work with wire mesh has the unique ability to both reflect and filter light as well as seem delicate yet strong. Wire mesh causes the vessels and sculptures Kuder creates to appear illuminative and fragile even though they are not. As a sculptor and installation artist, she applies fiber and textile processes to wire and mesh in response to the diametric conditions found in our systematically-driven, but capriciously-ennobled society. Learn more at kskudor.com.

Naomi RaMona Schliesman was born and grew up in the rural community of Fergus Falls, Minnesota. She has a BFA in Sculpture from Minnesota State University-Moorhead and an MFA in Sculpture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During her career as a student at UW-Madison she was awarded numerous honors and scholarships. Currently, Schliesman works for an arts non-profit and lives in Fergus Falls. Her large-scale installation work is informed by history as it relates to continuity and her understanding of biological processes. Schliesman hopes to filter the monolithic issues of life, death, sex, and love through the viewer’s own introspective lenses which her art evokes. Learn more at naomischliesman.org.

The opening reception for Unraveling the Thread, which includes light refreshments and an artist talk, is from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 23. A cash bar is available and continues during the Annie Humphrey concert which follows the reception. The concert is ticketed, but the reception and artist talk is free to attend and open to all.

This gallery exhibit is in conjunction with the Weaving Waters Fiber Arts Trail Grand Opening Weekend, which lasts Friday and Saturday September 22-23 and stretches from Little Falls, up to Brainerd, and over to New York Mills. The trail is presented by Midwest Fiber Arts Trails, where fiber enthusiasts can find useful information, resources, insights and inspiration for their own creative expression, opportunities to participate in fiber arts activities and to plan fun trips around the Midwest. Learn more at midwestfiberartstrails.org.

The Gallery at the Cultural Center in New York Mills is free to see and open to all. Gallery hours are 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, and 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday. The Center is closed Sunday through Tuesday.