Twin Cities art events!

This weekend should be busy for art and crafts appreciators in the Twin Cities. I have something planned each day.

It starts Thursday night (tonight) with “Art in Bloom” at the MIA. During the first weekend of May, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts showcases (live) floral works inspired by artworks from the museum’s permanent collection. The floral piece and the inspiring masterpiece are displayed together, and the pairings are located throughout the museum.

Friday night, I’ll be attending an opening at the Textile Center. “ART: Healing Lives” features work related to the creating artist’s personal journey with illness and healing. My work “transitioning” (acrylic on silk, hand-stitched) is part of the exhibit. Yesterday I got a preview of the show and the exhibit looks great.

Saturday morning, I’m headed to the St. Paul Craftstravaganza. I’ve never been to the event before, but rumor is 75 craft vendors pack into the Fine Arts Building at the State Fairgrounds. I’m a sucker for any event that features hand-made work, if only to browse and check out what other people are making. Their website bills the event as an “urban craft fair” with indie vendors.

Finally, Sunday afternoon I’ll be eating my way through the food of nations across the globe at the Festival of Nations in St. Paul. Last year’s winner was loukoumades (Greek donuts). Although the food is great, my favorite part is the bazaar, with displays of handicrafts (Hmong embroidery, tatting, woven rugs, textiles, rosemaling, and on and on).  Last time I found an amazing Polish paper cut card.

Looking forward to a great weekend of events!

“A Homespun Life” at the Museum of Russian Art

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to browse an amazing exhibit of Russian textiles at the Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis. The show features over 100 artifacts representing the peasant textile traditions found in north-central Russia at the turn of the 20th century.

The collection includes towels (with a great write-up about some of the patterns), traditional peasant garments, a display of the “red corner” of a household (a place in the home used for display of religious icons) and a small collection of elaborately decorated distaffs (used for spinning). You can read more about the exhibit here.

If you’re in the area, I would highly recommend it! If you live in the Twin Cities, you can view the exhibit for free (like I did), thanks to the Museum Adventure Pass offered through the Hennepin County Library system.


Here’s another work I’ve finished in the last few weeks…

It’s difficult to tell from the pic, but some of the fabrics are from my first rust-dyeing attempts (if you look closely, the rust-dyed pieces are the light tan). The other fabrics are commercial batiks I’ve collected over the years. I hand-stitched just inside the boundary or edge of each fabric piece, like an interior outline or an “echo” of the fabric shape.

I’ve been calling this work “compass.” It loosely reminds me of the quilting pattern called Mariner’s Compass, which is a common geometric quilting design. I realized the similarity as I was doing the hand-stitching. This was a good cold weather (listening to an audio book) project!

rusted fabric

This piece highlights some rust-dyed fabric I created last fall, using rusty nails, wire, washers, and steel wool (and vinegar of course!). It was my first intentional attempt at rusting fabric. (Previously, I’d accidentally rusted some fabric with nails. I’d been using them to create texture while painting on silk with acrylics. I used the fabric anyway–you can see the rusted fabric if you look closely at the red square silk piece.)

I’d been saving the rusted muslin and unsure of how best to use it. I think the geometric fabric shapes and the heavy machine stitching helps balance the more irregular look of the rusted fabric.

Working on this piece also gave me some ideas for future projects using rust-dyed muslin. I’ll just need a warm day and a place to work outside…

preview of new silk work

Here’s a preview of a new silk work I’m trying to finish.

Continuing my trend of finishing up projects this month, I got this work out and am trying to decide if it is complete or if I should add more stitching.

It’s made from silk habotai and organza that I painted with acrylics before cutting and rearranging the fabric onto one long painted piece of fabric. Each of the squares are hand-stitched, with additional hand-stitching to quilt the layers together.

Having a completed work should push me to get out my silks and acrylics and have a painting day so I can start and stitch on something new. New fabric is always a great motivator!