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Fiber Arts Show

September 2 - September 27, 2022

Local artists present works employing a multitude of mediums, from thread and yarn to felt and paper. Our exhibition marks the first time many of these creators have been displayed in a gallery, and their pieces demonstrate countless hours of skilled craftsmanship.

Kerstin Ams

Sungold, 2012

Cotton fabric and thread

Birthday, 2021

Cotton fabric and thread

Kerstin Ams manages the Meadville Market House, owns and operates Dodo Yogurt, and maintains a personal knitting and sewing practice. The artist engages in mediums passed on by family, recalling playing on her mother’s sewing machine at a young age. The craft remains a recreational activity that lends itself to gift-making. Sungold resides in Kerstin’s home as a pillowcase, and Birthday serves as a placemat under a wooden circle with candles traditional at family birthday celebrations. Both pieces employ bright colors and playful patterns. Birthday echoes common barn quilts—prominent wooden signifiers visible on family farms—providing a rustic familiarity. Ladybugs pepper one of the fabrics within the design. Kerstin often crafts objects with functional properties and makes wall tapestries and other decorative pieces, always prioritizing whimsy. Sungold and Birthday reflect a rich practice upheld for over twenty-five years.

Nancy Apple

Monet’s Bridge & Waterlilies

Needle felted wool and alpaca

Red Rock

Needle felted wool and alpaca

Red Rock Country

Needle felted wool and alpaca

Nancy Apple considers her felt pieces extensions of her painting practice. She primarily employs watercolors, and she finds inspiration in Impressionist artists. Monet’s Bridge & Waterlilies directly references an Impressionist painting translated using felt. Red Rock and Red Rock Country reflect Nancy’s interest in the Southwest region of the United States, specifically Arizona. Nancy continues her painting practice from college, especially after retiring from teaching at Meadville area schools. The artist finds felting “addicting” and encourages others to venture into the technique. The medium adds texture to her renderings and resembles the gestural blocks of color characteristic of Impressionist works. Felting requires a different set of tools and is less immediate than painting. Working at an intimate scale with fabric further abstracts the reference images. Blocks of color that would blend in watercolor rely on the viewer’s perspective to visualize the composite. Presenting Monet’s Bridge & Waterlilies, Red Rock, and Red Rock Country provides insight into Nancy’s multifaceted endeavors.

Barb Armstrong

Hold On Keepsakes

Lion, 2022

English paper pieced cotton fabric\

Barb Armstrong presents Lion to demonstrate her skilled and practiced craft. The central lion face is hand-sewn using the English paper piecing technique. Barb presents a prompt to her children as they have kids of their own, in which she asks for a word they’d like incorporated into a design. For Lion, Barb’s daughter chose “courage” for her grandson, prompting the use of a lion template and the scripture verse. English paper piecing involves preprinted patterns, with each mosaic piece numbered and assigned a hue. Barb selects patterned and solid fabrics and lays them out before she begins sewing each piece to the paper, and then all together by hand. Lion marks her first completion using this technique rather than machine sewing. Only the central character’s face employs this method. The quilt is collaborative, and Cheryl Weiderspahn, who has a long-arm quilt machine, completed assembly and operates a business doing similar projects out of her home. Barb creates keepsakes for family members, including a quilt from dresses she sewed for her granddaughter. In addition, the artist sustains a small business in which she crafts pillows, ornaments, and teddy bears out of clothing or other memorabilia for people who lost loved ones. Lion demonstrates a heartfelt act by a talented and devoted mother and grandmother.

Nancy Asmus

Facebook: Nancy Asmus Find more of Nancy’s work at the Meadville Market House

Route 6, 2018

Woven fabric appliqué

Rim Rock, 2018

Fabric appliqué

Marie Antoinette Outlook, 2018

Fabric appliqué

Kinzua Bridge State Park, 2018

Fabric appliqué

Tunkhannock Via Duct, 2018

Fabric appliqué

Lake Wallenpaupack, 2018

Fabric appliqué

PA Grand Canyon, 2018

Fabric appliqué

Dark Sky, 2018

Fabric appliqué

Mumford Theater Festival, 2018

Fabric appliqué

U.S. Brig Niagara, 2018


Lackawanna Railroad, 2018


Entrance to C.L. Park, 2018

Fabric appliqué

Nancy Asmus operates a company, Under the Steps, specializing in fabric appliqué throw blankets and pillows. Route 6 includes images provided by and for all eleven counties along Route 6 in Pennsylvania. Nancy translates photographs into drawings to then reverse and develop fabric patterns. Next, she stitches the designs together, irons and stretches them over boards, and sends them to Tim Kirk of Meadville Fine Arts to scan and color correct the images. Nancy then forwards his work to a weaving company in North Carolina to produce the final product. The artist specializes in site-specific patterns and designs, including one for Allegheny College for their bicentennial anniversary, Conneaut Lake Park, and, most recently, a new project for the final year of Edinboro University. Challenges arise from collaborating with different professionals, especially as she translates designs into a final product. For example, Route 6 initially consisted of a gray background, but in print, the woven product was unappealing, and Nancy incorporates a dark green frame in her final iterations. Aside from textiles, Nancy is a published children’s book author and illustrator, including Allegheny College Stitches and Rhyme (2015) and Conneaut Lake Park: The Keepsake of my Heart (2017), which she co-authored with Cindy Redey. Under the Steps remains a mainstay in the Meadville Market House, and Route 6 represents Nancy’s prolific collection of preserved local gems.

Bryanne Boring-Miscoe

Fairy Portal, 2022

Woven wall art on laser-cut frame

Bryanne Boring-Miscoe sustains a successful independent studio practice employing weaving and yarn-spinning techniques. Bryanne owns and operates Moon and Yarn, through which she attends pop-up markets and hosts an online shop based in Pittsburgh, PA. Her first solo art exhibition at Saints & Sailors Art Collective debuted on August 26th of this year. She also cohosts a podcast, The Woolies, on YouTube. Fairy Portal represents both elements of her practice by circle-weaving hand-spun cotton and wool into a laser-cut hexagon. She purchases the laser-cut frames from a friend, other shapes including rings, crescent moons, and mushrooms. Bryanne is entirely self-taught both in weaving and spinning. Most of her works incorporate soft floral tones, and her subject matter borders between natural and fantastical. Fairy Portal swirls toward the center, and its texture adds an inviting and three-dimensional quality. Viewers could imagine inserting a hand and having it engulfed in clouds of color. Bryanne presents a beautiful and compelling piece of her ever-expanding body of work.

Emily Cicora

Serpent #1, 2022

Canvas, paper, ink, thread

Serpent #2, 2022

Canvas, paper, ink, thread

Serpent #3, 2022

Paper, ink, thread

Emily Cicora is an illustrator and art educator who gravitates toward multimedia projects and derives inspiration from the natural world. She teaches elementary students at The Learning Center but maintains a practice independent of her career. Emily is a published illustrator, most recently for Strong Women by U.S. House Representative Carolyn B. Maloney in 2021. Her Serpent series incorporates linoleum block cutting and paper embroidery, blending two other mediums in her wheelhouse. Emily tends to work at an intimate scale, which lends itself to repeating imagery in a series. Each Serpent utilizes the same linoleum block carving but employs different colors and mediums to frame the prints. The stitching calls attention to the dimensions of the paper and canvas, and incorporating an embroidery hoop further asserts the works as objects. Emily’s abstract designs accentuate the stylistic quality of each Serpent. Her Instagram depicts various creatures, people, and recipes in her signature illustrative style. Serpent #1, #2, and #3 represent the multifaceted nature of Emily’s craft.

Lee Hart

Hearts and Roses, 2004

Cloth, embroidery thread

Irises, 2008

Cloth, embroidery thread

Lee Hart designs and hand-stitches all of her quilts. The shading incorporates a broad collection of hues, a technique hailed as incredibly unique. Lee taught herself during a period of isolation and continues practicing and submitting her work to fairs and contests. The artist prides herself on being a semi-finalist in the 26th Annual American Quilter’s Society Show & Contest in 2010 for her piece Purple Haze. She reserves her work for family members and close friends. Lee regularly achieves placement at the Crawford County Fair, with Hearts and Roses earning first place and Irises an award for original design. Close inspection of each flower reveals a spectrum of colors comparable to a colored pencil sketch, individually backstitched with different threads. Both pieces demonstrate hours of intricate labor and skill; each quilt takes a year or longer to complete. Notably, Lee maintains her expert practice as a recreational activity. Hearts and Roses and Irises represent a sample of her flourishing collection.

Barb Lodge

Vest, 1995

Handwoven rayon and Tencel, buttons

Scarf #1, 1998

Handwoven lace weight yarn

Scarf #2, 1992

Handwoven Tencel threads, ikat dye

Throw Blanket, 1995

Handwoven, handspun yarn

Barb Lodge boasts a long and lustrous practice of weaving, crocheting, knitting, and sewing, or as she puts it, “anything with a needle and thread.” Her family continues the tradition of fiber arts, from Barb sewing alongside her grandmother and aunt to her daughter crocheting her wedding gown. Vest marks one of Barb’s proudest achievements after taking a workshop with the Chautauqua County Weaver’s Guild. She finds difficulty navigating sizing for her “short trunk,” the measurement from hip to shoulder, and the workshop allowed an opportunity to make a garment that would fit. All of the works present demonstrate Barb’s affinity for weaving in particular, some with handspun yarn. She utilizes magazines with patterns, recommending to “look at the fabric, not the product” when searching as a beginner. For example, Vest appropriates a design intended for a dish towel. Throw Blanket consists of multiple panels employing a “log cabin” weaving design, crocheted together to make the final product. Although she no longer can thread a needle, Barb continues to engage with communities she’s been a part of, from regional to national guilds. Exchanging information and hearing about fellow members’ projects delights the artist. Presenting a portion of her collection allows audiences to celebrate Barb’s longstanding and abundant craft.

Madalena Mumford

Blue Beaded Scarf #1, 2020

Hand-spun lace weight wool blend, beads

Blue Beaded Scarf #2, 2021

Commercially spun lace-weight wool and alpaca blend, beads

Estonian Style Knitted Shawl, 2021

Commercially spun lace-weight wool

Madalena Mumford practices lace knitting, using thin, lightweight yarn to create ornate patterns with strategic gaps in the stitches. Her Estonian Style Knitted Shawl employs “nupps,” textured knots throughout the design traditional to Estonian textiles. Madalena incorporates glass beads into her two scarves using a crochet stitch rather than stringing the beads onto the yarn in the beginning. Her knitting and crocheting practice spans over fifty years. One scarf employs handspun wool. Madalena picked up spinning around eight years ago with her daughter and continues to develop her craft by experimenting with dyes. She and her daughter engage with many mediums together, from taking classes and creating pieces to visiting shows and entering fairs. Madalena maintains her practice while enjoying retirement after being a mail carrier for 25 years. Her scarves and shawl represent a fraction of her beautiful and expanding collection.

Elyse Palmer

Lapis Lazuli- Soaring Free, 2022

Frame, yarn, lapis lazuli

Sodalite - Taking Flight, 2022

Frame, yarn, sodalite

Blue Kyanite - Feather Light, 2022

Frame, yarn, blue kyanite

Elyse Palmer engages with fiber mediums to grapple with feelings surrounding her recent Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis. Attending a yarn convention in Colorado in 2018 began her love affair with weaving and the development of her independent practice. This series, Truth, incorporates crystals with yarn as “an exploration of the ineffable.” Triangles possess spiritual connotations globally and represent stability within engineering. The variation in weaving techniques echoes Elyse’s signature style, as she disregards the urge to aim for perfection. Instead, the artist uses fiber arts to translate emotions challenging to articulate, including fears around uncertainty. Elyse considers her craft a tool to connect with others and ground herself. Truth asks audiences to consider their relationship to circumstances beyond their control and their comfort (or lack thereof) with the futility of predicting outcomes.

Ashley Pastore

You were there with me, 2020

Found images, thread

Untitled, 2022

Recycled undershirts, insects

Ashley Pastore owns and operates Grounded Print & Paper Shop and maintains an independent studio practice based in Erie, PA. In addition, she runs a housecleaning service, which influences her relationship with found objects and complicates notions of “trash” versus “treasure.” She perceives her work as an extension of an informal anthropological study. You were there with me consists of photographs found at Ashley’s former job at Habitat for Humanity in Austin, TX. Donated picture frames, scrapbooks, and other memorabilia produce numerous discarded photos, and Ashley found a stack of them tucked into a warehouse shelf. Sewing the objects together recontextualizes the images and implies a relationship between the people in the pictures when their actual connection is arbitrary. Untitled demonstrates Ashley’s collaborative practice and derives from a paper-making class she taught for Erie City Mission. Bugs frequently perish in the massive industrial windows within Ashley’s shop, and she includes them in this piece of paper made of recycled undershirts. Both works consider objecthood and directly challenge the impulse to throw things away.


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