Weaving, quilting, knitting, crocheting (yes, there are distinctions) – the varied techniques of fiber art are on display in the height of their creative application in the IAO Gallery on Film Row this month as Fiberworks returns to OKC.
Touring this annual juried show, presided over for 2016 by Santa Fe textile artist Kay Kahn, is an education in possibility as well as a feast for the eyes.
It’s an exhibition based around techniques that are millennia old – but the result is anything but predictable, as innovation in the use of those techniques drives the entries. Karen Collier, currently president of Fiber Artists of Oklahoma, has been attending this show for the last 15 years, and marvels, “Every single year I go and I see something I’ve never even imagined existed, much less seen before.”
Collier says the variety of work submitted draws on traditional skills but pushes toward innovative execution, like telephone wire knit into a sculpture.
“Even people who think they know what the phrase ‘fiber art’ can mean will be surprised – and often completely blown away – by the breadth of the various types of work that get into Fiberworks; things that look semi-traditional all the way to things the gallery-going public have never seen before.”
The most outstanding entries will earn cash awards for their creators, but for viewers the rewards are manifest throughout: witness new spins on creativity July 15 through September 3.