Bettina Matzkhun "The Lookout Trail (Gros Morne National Park)" (detail) 2016

Wild Fibers: Vermont SDA Member Exhibition

Wild Fibers, an exhibition by Vermont members of Surface Design Association, opens on Friday, June 2nd, 2017, 5:00–7:00pm and runs through July 9th, 2017 at the Emile A. Gruppe Gallery. The gallery is located in a renovated 1860s English Sheep barn at the home of Emile’s daughter, Emilie Gruppe Alexander, and her husband Stuart, and promotes local New England artists through exhibition and sales. The Vermont members featured in this exhibit have produced an eclectic selection of work in fiber, textile, and mix media techniques in both two and three-dimensional disciplines.


Dianne Shullenberger is a well known Vermont artist who incorporates natural fibrous materials such as red osiers twigs, bamboo, marram grass, pods and leaves. Many of these materials are cut open to expose different patterns, colors and shapes, and are then combined into elegant and intriguing collages.

Dianne Shullenberger Dried Sedum 2015, layered fabric collage, sewing, thread, 14″ x 14″.

The knitters in the group, Eve Jacobs-Carnahan, Leslie Roth, and Mary Sawabini, have branched out from the traditional flat surface, employing various types of yarns to stitch 3-D shapes such as leaves, flowers, heads, or hands. With the support of armatures, these knitted bits become fantastical creatures or familiar natural forms.

Leslie Roth Don’t Shoot 2017, mixed media, 6″ x 12″ x 6″.

Mary Sawabini No 3 2017, knit yarn, braided, felted, knotted, 9″ x 13″ x 5″.

The quilted works in the exhibit are not what you might expect. Judy Dales’ curved shapes and subtle color shifts undulate across the quilted surface; Roz Daniels’ collages bold large-scale printed fabric to create dynamic modernistic designs; Mary Lowe creates colorful abstract designs that dance with color and movement.

Judy B. Dales Water 2016, quilted, appliqué, 12″ x 12″. 

Rosalind Daniels Tomatoes 2016, quilt, 14″ x 21″.

Many works fall into the mixed media category such as Sharon Webster’s assemblages created from a wide range of meaningful objects, Debra Kraemer’s book created from painted and marbled fabric, or Elizabeth Fram’s hand-dyed surfaces embellished with exquisite patterns of hand stitching.

Marilyn Gillis Cell Matrix II 2013, marbling, machine stitched, burned, 12″ x 12″.

The term, “Surface Design” encompasses any number of materials and techniques, many of which you will see in this show. From woven tapestries to painted, dyed, rusted and distorted fabric, the diversity and creativity evident in these works are a fine example of the exciting work being done in the field of textile art today.

Wild Fibers: Vermont SDA Member exhibition installation at Emile A. Gruppe Gallery. Left to right: artwork by Elizabeth Fram, Judy Dales, Betsy Wing, Linda Finkelstein, and Elizabeth Fram.

List of participating artists:

Wild Fibers: Vermont SDA Member exhibition installation at Emile A. Gruppe Gallery. Left: Wild Woods by Judy B. Dales. Right: Abstract with Embellishment II and Abstract with Embellishment III by Marya Lowe.


For more information:

  • The Emile A. Gruppe Gallery is located in Jericho, Vermont, and is open 10:00am to 3:00pm Thursday through Sunday, or by appointment (802-899-3211).
  • Eve Jacobs-Carnahan will give a talk, “25 Years of Knitters Speaking Out” on Friday, June 16th, from 6:30-7:30 pm.
  • To keep track of what SDA Vermont members are up to, check out their blog.

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