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Figge fiber art exhibit to feature Schussheim-Anderson

May  22, 2014

Rowen Schussheim-Anderson, "Monarchy," 2011, wool, linen, cotton, rayon, beads, tapestry weaving, wrapping, bead embroidery, collection of the artist.

Rowen Schussheim-Anderson, Augustana art and art history professor, will show her work in a new exhibition opening at Davenport's Figge Art Museum May 24.

"Innovators & Legends: Generations in Textiles and Fiber," features more than 70 art by more than 50 artists from across the country. Schussheim-Anderson's work will be shown in a companion exhibit, "Local Threads."

Amid the social and artistic upheavals of the 1960s and 70s, artists began using traditional “craft” media to make sculptural and conceptual works that expanded the definition of the visual arts. Since then, new generations of artists have pushed textiles, fiber arts and other forms in even more directions, further blurring the distinction between traditional “craft” and “fine art.”

"Innovators & Legends" includes artists whose work with fabric, thread and yarn has revolutionized the genre of fiber art. Weaving, knitting, soft sculpture, embroidery, felting and other techniques will be displayed that explore the myriad possibilities inherent in fiber art.

The exhibition casts aside all preconceptions of what is, or is not, fiber art — including Mary Bero’s embroidered images, Kay Sekimachi’s classical woven wall hangings and Nick Cave’s celebrated “Soundsuits,” which are wearable sculptures inspired by African dance costumes and created from castoff materials.

"Local Threads" will feature artists in the Quad Cities region who use fiber and textiles to create vibrant, imaginative artworks. Many – such as Schussheim-Anderson of Davenport, and Mary Merkel-Hess and Astrid Hilger Bennett, both of Iowa City – are nationally and internationally known. All create compelling pieces that continue the theme of innovation and imagination of the larger exhibition. Other contributing artists include Iowans Dawn Wohlford-Metallo of Bettendorf, Amber O’Harrow of Wellman, Tricia Coulson of LeClaire and Carol Coohey of Coralville.

Both exhibitions will be on view through Sept. 7, sponsored by the Iowa Arts Council and Wynne Schafer Interiors.

"Innovators & Legends" is organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art with guest curator Geary Jones.

Related events

Members' opening reception. 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 29. Light appetizers will be served.

Gallery talk, 7 p.m. Thursday, May 29. Curator and contributing artist Geary Jones will give a special gallery talk about "Innovators & Legends."

Gallery talk, 7 p.m. Thursday, June 5. Rowen Schussheim-Anderson will present an illustrated talk, "The Evolution of the Fiber Art Movement," giving her perspective as an artist and teacher on both exhibitions.

Exhibition tours
1:30 p.m. Saturdays: June 14, 21, July 19
1:30 p.m. Sundays: June 8, 15, 22, July 13

Free Family Day
10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, July 12. Children and their chaperones will weave their way through the galleries, exploring the fiber and textile art on display. The studios will offer hands-on activities and projects inspired by "Innovators & Legends" and "Local Threads," as well as snacks and room to play.

Fiber art talks
7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14 and Sept. 4

The Figge Art Museum is on the riverfront in downtown Davenport at 225 West 2nd St. Admission is $7. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 12-5 p.m. Sundays. On Thursdays, the museum is open until 9 p.m. and admission is free from 5-9 p.m.