“Stockyards Gallery First Annual Fiber Art Exhibit” by Mary Elmusa
Lauren Sinner November 9, 2020
Eleven Members Included in Fiber Exhibit at Kansas City Stockyards Gallery
Missouri SDA member, fiber artist Becky Stevens has a new gallery partnership and has curated and organized her initial fiber-focused art exhibit. The gallery, Stockyards Gallery, is in an historic Kansas City, Missouri building, the Livestock Exchange, in the city’s renown west bottoms. The building also houses many artists’ studios. Before the partnership, the gallery had been named The Vanessa Lacy Gallery after the previous sole owner, painter Vanessa Lacy. Now, partners Vanessa and Becky are forging ahead to plan some exciting exhibitions. A second all-fiber exhibit is planned for next year, and they hope, in general, to be a very fiber friendly gallery. Becky is also the current President of MoFA, Missouri Fiber Artists Association.
Their current show, Stockyards Gallery First Annual Fiber Art Exhibit is scheduled October 16–November 13, with eleven SDA members exhibiting in the show. 531 artworks were submitted to the call for entry, with 73 pieces from 34 artists shown in the exhibit. Missouri members include Sue Ferguson, Barrie Mason, Pat Owoc, Leandra Spangler, Jo Stealey, and Becky Stevens; Kansas members are Mary Elmusa and Kennita Tully; Washington member, Claire Renaut; Texas member, Bob Mosier; and California member, George-Ann Bowers are also represented.
The beautifully illuminated 800 square foot gallery is located in a convenient, well-trafficked area on the ground floor of the 9-story restored building. Works in the exhibit are carefully and cohesively hung, elevating the artwork. An interesting variety of techniques and forms are represented, including weaving, collage, assemblage, embroidery, felting, paper, pulp and bookmaking work, wearables, sculpture, quilting, stitching and mixed media. Stevens has curated a cohesive show that flows from one area to another with an interesting mix of larger and smaller pieces in a variety of media, executed with thoughtfulness and skill. An online gallery can be viewed at Stockyards Gallery.
George-Ann Bowers’ piece, Ohlone Housecoat, is in the suggestive shape of a garment, accomplished in subtle variations of neutral colors with black accents. Her compelling, highly skilled work is done in triple weave pickup. Various textural yarns and patterns create delightful contrasts and form a relief surface. gabowers.com
Mary Elmusa’s four-piece suite of painterly, textural abstract, machine stitched monotype prints on paper are shown matted and framed and displayed in a column. The descriptive titles and works evoke expressions of inner discussions with self. maryelmusa.com
Susan Ferguson is showing three of her recent series of eight fiber collages. She uses a stimulating variety of technique and materials, derived from photos of 2019 wildfires in California and Australia. The irregular shaped pieces are representational of burning forests. They are woven, knit, felted and include leather and fabric. susanfergusonartist.com
Barrie Mason, Mute Ability, a spiraling, sculptural thread-bound book is made of white, semi-circular paper pieces and has an undulating and twisted form. The artwork suggests theme of embracing change and of burgeoning possibilities.
Bob Mosier’s work, The Liminal Zone, 1st Incursion 2, is accomplished by layers of a thread-painted surface that includes an area in high relief. Contrasting areas draw the eye to opposing organicand geometric areas. The intense, warm color scheme is very appealing. bobmosierart.com
Pat Owoc’s quilt, Aunt Julia Loves Chickens and Lives Day by Day draws the viewer in by combining text from a letter with coordinating appliqued imagery of chickens. patowoc.com
Claire Renaut’s spun newspaper pieces, entitled Zeitung Geist are composed of several sizes of wound newspaper yarn balls, positioned in three wooden boxes. She also has a second piece in the exhibit. clairerenaut.com
Leandra Spangler’s work, Primordial is a circular relief of stitched, manipulated fabric forms, encased in a found box. The work is a skilled assemblage carried out in browns, yellows and rusty warm colors, and dipped in encaustic wax. bearcreekpaperworks.com
Jo Stealey has two pieces in the exhibit. Contained, is a thoughtful sculptural book composed of handmade paper, waxed linen, porcupine quills and thread. Inside the hard covers, a box-like area encases a vessel, which is further entrapped in the remaining structure. The vessel serves as an adept metaphor for self, unable to break free. Translucent handmade paper pages are individually and skillfully stitched. jostealey.com
Becky Stevens piece, More Stories to Be Told, is made of hemp cloth, wool and recycled sheep fencing. It is indigo dyed and felted. The piece brings forth the artist’s interests in the #MeToo movement and displays masterful use of felted asemic writing forms, an abstract script, which leaves open interpretation and adds greatly to the appeal of the work. beckystevens.net
Kennita Tully has two hand-woven tapestry pieces in the exhibit. The larger of the two, Endurance, with its strong and harmonious color palette, shows expert use of texture and space. It depicts trees and roots and calls to mind connections beneath the surface. kennitatully.com