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Art exhibit shows beauty, functionality of fabric and fibers

Thursday, January 17, 2013730 views

Walking along the aisles, you come across a basket of brightly colored yarn, a beautiful cotton shawl and countless neckties. Instead of walking through your favorite clothing department store, however, you are instead walking through a fine art exhibit.

The Mary Meigs Atwater Weavers Guild is now hosting “Wild about Fiber Arts: A Celebration of Utah Fiber Arts” at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center, located at 1355 West 3100 South.

According to Exhibit Chair Mimi Rhodes, the biennial exhibit showcases how some of the fabrics we might use every day have their own beauty and can be made into something much more.

“We always think of fabric as something functional and take for granted its components and how it was made,” Rhodes said. “We are hoping to show how creating with fiber can really be an art and how beautiful and versatile it can be.”

The submissions for the exhibit range from raw fabric materials being put on display, to traditional weaving sampler squares, to more large-scale, expressionist pieces. One entry weaves together several necktie label tags to create a unique piece.

“There is really no limit to what can be done in the fiber arts,” Rhodes said. “This exhibit is an exciting opportunity for these artists to get recognition for their works which largely, and unfortunately, go unnoticed.”

This is the fourth year that the local weavers guild will have its exhibit at the UCCC and the 22nd show since the guild’s founding in 1958.

“There is such a great history to the guild as well as with putting on this exhibit that when I was asked to be the chair for this year, I couldn’t say ‘Yes’ fast enough,” Rhodes said.

Throughout the year, members of the guild work on the pieces that they hope to display, as well as learn new techniques for creating with fibers. They also sponsor workshops to teach weaving and other practices to children and the local community. The guild is open for anyone who is interested to join.

The exhibit kicked off with an opening reception on Jan. 10 which featured a presentation by Nadine Sanders, often known as “The Singing Weaver.” Sanders taught about what makes fiber arts so unique with an informational and motivational presentation that included singing and fiddle music.

The exhibit will be open to the public through Feb. 26. Exhibit hours for the UCCC are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

“Our hope with this exhibit is that people will see the real beauty within the fabrics we use every day,” Rhodes said. “There is such a great tradition of fiber arts, especially here in Utah, that it is a wonderful thing to bring it out and put it on display for everyone to enjoy.”

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