“…respect for and celebration of the world we were given is the story I want to record.” – Joanne Weis
Arguably, all art is storytelling. Even the most singular or abstract image is at least an element of a larger narrative. Joanne Weis is a textile artist working with non-representational components to create broad, elemental compositions that represent something. In the examples we see here, Weis is looking at rivers and streams but, even more importantly, the life of those waterways. Mussels juxtaposed with barges, clover growing on the riverbanks, and fish swimming alongside – even the intricate web of color at the bottom of “The Banks of Pope Lick” are suggestive of the network of organisms found within any organic body of water. The textures of fabric, whether natural or imposed by technique, speak the story of the worlds beneath the water’s surface, away from our hearing.
“My recent work demonstrates my awareness of the links between the earth’s environment and the spiritual.”
“I start with white fabric and cord,” Weis explains her process. “Then develop the piece using a variety of dyeing and printing techniques. The final layer is typically stitched with dyed cords, adding detail and texture. I get excited about every phase of the creative process – choosing and researching the subject matter, selecting the fiber, experimenting with techniques to achieve the look I want, handling, even smelling the silk, linen, hemp or other fabric, discovering new colors with dye, making composition and design decisions as the work grows, stitching into the cloth, touching the embroidered textures of the finished piece – all of these are thrilling and fulfilling. Most rewarding is when this art graces someone’s wall.”
“With this in mind, respect for and celebration of the world we were given is the story I want to record.”
Weis currently has a piece in the Fall of the Leaf Autumn Art Show at Kaviar Forge & Gallery in Louisville through October 13, 2018
On September 29, Weis will be part of the Louisville Visual Art’s Juried Exhibit in the 2018 Portland Art & Heritage Fair. The exhibit will be available for viewing at the Marine Hospital from 11am-5pm. Jury prizes will be awarded at 2:00pm.
Hometown: Cranston, Rhode Island
Education: BA English and Education, Salve Regina University, Newport, RI; MA, Fine Arts, focus on fiber; University of Louisville, KY, 2010; MSW, Washington University St. Louis, MO; Art Cloth Mastery Program, with Jane Dunnewold, 2009, ArtCloth Studio, San Antonio, TX.
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.