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The University of Nebraska’s Robert J. Hillestad Textiles Gallery features the exhibition Astrid Hilger Bennett: The Tarp Series, December 17, 2018 – February 1, 2019. Over decades, Bennett’s work has focused on painted, printed and dyed textiles in the form of wall pieces and functional items. In her current body of work, she also includes drawing and mixed media, creating large tarps and small scrolls. Metaphorically, Bennett’s Tarp Series presents and preserves shelter, inspiration and stamina in a challenging world. With these artworks, she asks, what is the role of art in our fraught, modern society ruled by technology and uncertainty? What does it mean to be a maker under circumstances where political comment, identity and narrative are a primary conversation? Is there a role for creative expression in non-narrative ways, much like the role that music performs? Bennett comments, “I see tarps as protective, versatile, adaptive. These embody the best attributes of textiles as installation or sculpture, with the addition of gestures common in painting, printing and mixed media. Part object, part theater set, these pieces can be used interchangeably in standard exhibitions or in installation indoors or out. Scrolls even accompany me on travels, with opportunities for drawing and photography in unaccustomed settings.” (Image shown: Tarp Series: Post Japan- Stones, 68 x 75”) Since 1993, Bennett has actively exhibited her work nationally and abroad. Earning a BFA and printmaking from Indiana University in 1975, she has both attended and taught at numerous residencies and workshops including Penland School of Crafts, Rhode Island School of Design, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, and the University of Iowa. She currently serves as President of the Surface Design Association, an international membership organization devoted to innovation in textile and fiber art. Located in Louise Pound Hall on the University of Nebraska campus in Lincoln, the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery educates and increases awareness of the rich traditions of art, craft, design, and material culture expressed through the exhibition of all forms of textiles and apparel. The gallery is dedicated to Dr. Robert Hillestad, an internationally renowned fiber artist and Professor Emeritus of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design. For more information, please call 402-472-2913