Despite fewer entries this year, the exhibition that too place last weekend in the plaza at St. Nicholas Park did not wilt –– the floral sculptures were standout! With the exception of knitting, all other manipulations of fabric, fiber and yarn were represented: applique, beaded embellishment, crochet, embroidery, felt, printed, stitched, sculpted, sewn, spun. One visitor's sentiment for the hand-worked plants was, it allowed her to get up close and personal to the blooms without inflaming her allergies –– how cool was that?
Taking Time To Smell The Roses
Saturday's heat brought a trickling of visitors. The city was still staggering from the left hook of the heat wave knocking us down for three days straight, but the embracing breeze of Sunday had people buzzing around the blooms.
"Gorgeous", was the proclamation on seeing Harlem Renaissance Bouquet, right, a wildly exotic nuno felted, lily-esque work by Omi Gray, from my friend and collaborator Jennifer Tee. She came through with her handsome husband, the writer Huan Shu. Look for her show of crystalline floor-pieces, knitted by yours truly next Friday; details to come.
Ancestors! I was elated to finally meet Soleo, the copiously talented media personality and columnist (On The "A") for Harlem World, my go to mag for real Harlem news. Do get to the exhibit he's co-curating with Lisa D. Hayes, Esq. at Strivers Gardens Gallery. And then Lisa Shepard Stewart came on by! Her knockout Africa-Contemporary designs, books and projects are accessorizing the homes of the happening! She hit us with brochures for her SewJourn to Ghana in 2013. Imagine that –– twelve days of artisan workshops from the masters in the motherland. Folks who've been said it was life changing. My travel bug has been chomped!
This Is Flower Power Baby!
(Congrats to the winning artist Dindga McCannon's A Rose In Spanish Harlem. Quilted. Fabric, beads, various embellishments. I just adore the nighttime scene that makes up the interior of this abstract floral. Fantastic!)
If you know me, you'll know how I feel about faux silk plants perplexedly overworked to mimic reality –– right down to the acrylic water drop. Owning them says that you don't like real flowers and plants because they die (or you inadvertently kill them). Why not just accept the reality that fake is fake, and go for the sculpture?
(Katrina Jeffries's crowd pleasing Mother Tongue, below left. Quilted. Hand dyed nylon, rayon ribbon, cotton thread and trim, wire)
A big shout out to my gurl Michelle Bishop, President of Harlem Needle Arts and curator for the show!
And by the way, I was chillin' too, giving yarn spinning demos on my 'Lil Louet. The fiber of the day was stainless steel (yes folks, the metal). I spun up a coupla' 2-ply finger weight samples. Yo, the tensile strength was awesome! Knitted fencing anyone?
The show and weekend ended with everyone jumping in for our famous group shot. Thanks to all my fellow artists, artisans, and supporters for a fabu show and happening!