The Kent Art Association’s current show, titled “Fiber Arts Invitational Show 2023” and featuring wall hangings, quilts, clothing, and more continues through Saturday, Oct. 30.
Each work is crafted in the individual artists’ style. On display are works from Toni Brogan, Amelia de Neergaard, Karen Eckmeier, Ellen Moon, Missy Stevens and Muriel Stockdale.
New Zealand born and New York-based, Brogan says she is interested in “creating texture and the tactile nature of how various fibers feel, react, and appear with and against each other.” She uses the Catskill Mountains as her inspiration and backdrop and uses the colors on view with the changes of the seasons.
Amelia de Neergaard of Cornwall uses natural materials that reflect her strong interest in and the influence of living close to nature and observing patterns of growth and decay. She says, “I am drawn to the linear qualities of branches, twigs, vines and pods, which are irregular and expressive. In twigs and branches I see visual links to early mark making.”
Kent’s Karen Eckmeier says she was always compelled to create, but that the mess of painting never appealed to her. Aged 30, sewing machines and fabrics entered her life and she taught herself to quilt. By 1996, she was making art quilts that were well received in national and international shows. Her hobby officially became her business in 2002 when she opened The Quilted Lizard.
Moon is well-known in Northwest Connecticut for her creative endeavors. “I am an artist because it is in my nature to be so,” she says. “A cat hunts, a bird flies—I make stuff. Just can’t help it.”
Her affinity for fiber began in childhood, and since the mid-1970s she has been a designer/craftswoman of one-of-a-kind clothing and other works in fiber. “I like to tell stories,” she says. “In a way, my fiber work is about telling stories.”
Missy Stevens, of Washington, CT, came to fiber works because she felt an affinity to fabric, to color on fabric, and to the types of patterns that decorate fabric. She learned to sew early in life, making clothes for herself and her dolls before discovering in high school a love of art. “Eventually, I put that together with the material that calls to me and began to make art with fiber,” she relates.
New York City’s Muriel Stockdale has pursued her E PLURIBUS series since 2002, creating flags that celebrate the diverse cultures of the United States from multiple materials, including fabric, wood, beads, paper, raffia, cork, shells and more. Each element of her flags is carefully considered to best express the enriching gifts of the culture they represent, reflecting her determination In these divisive celebrate harmony, unity and the respect for diversity our country was founded upon.
The Kent Art Association is located at 21 South Main St. The exhibit can be viewed Thursdays through Saturdays 1-5 p.m. and Sundays, noon to 4 p.m.