river

Fiber

Vignette: Joanne Weis

“…respect for and celebration of the world we were given is the story I want to record.” – Joanne Weis

"The Banks of Pope Lick" by Joanne Weis, Textile - Hemp, Hand Dyed, printed, appliqued and stitched, 32x18in, 2018, $350

"The Banks of Pope Lick" by Joanne Weis, Textile - Hemp, Hand Dyed, printed, appliqued and stitched, 32x18in, 2018, $350

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.”  

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“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.
Website: joanneweis.com

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"Mussels Under and Barges Over the Ohio" by Joanne Weis, Textile - Hemp, Hand Dyed, printed, appliqued and stitched, 20x43in, 2018, $400

"Mussels Under and Barges Over the Ohio" by Joanne Weis, Textile - Hemp, Hand Dyed, printed, appliqued and stitched, 20x43in, 2018, $400

"Clover by the Salt River" by Joanne Weis, Textile - Hemp, Hand Dyed, printed, appliqued and stitched, 40x22in, 2018, $400

"Clover by the Salt River" by Joanne Weis, Textile - Hemp, Hand Dyed, printed, appliqued and stitched, 40x22in, 2018, $400

"Water Dance, Floyds' Fork" by Joanne Weis, Cotton, hand dyed, printed, stitched, 26.5x46in, 2018, $400

"Water Dance, Floyds' Fork" by Joanne Weis, Cotton, hand dyed, printed, stitched, 26.5x46in, 2018, $400


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.

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Digital, Illustration

Vignette: Jessica Booker

"Braid Boy #3" by Jessica Booker, 1920x1080px, digital illustration (2016)

"Braid Boy #3" by Jessica Booker, 1920x1080px, digital illustration (2016)

One can see the influence of contemporary illustration and animation in the work of Jessica Booker; that there is a good measure of manga seems obvious, but is there not a also a bit of Margaret Keane, whose “Big Eye” paintings were the source of controversy and an important progenitor of the mass market merchandising of art almost a century ago? 

"Braid Boy #2" by Jessica Booker, 1920x1080px, digital illustration (2016)

"Braid Boy #2" by Jessica Booker, 1920x1080px, digital illustration (2016)

Such a thought is what makes the work of so young an artist interesting. Would Ms. Booker even know Keane, whose court case to claim authorship of her work is now seen as a feminist victory for a female artist so subservient to her husband’s will as to feel it appropriate to bury her creative identity? If time is a river, perhaps artists are unknowingly being caught up in themes and influences like eddies and currents along the way, forever being swept downstream.

"Braid Boy 2.5" by Jessica Booker, 1080x1920px, digital illustration (2016)

"Braid Boy 2.5" by Jessica Booker, 1080x1920px, digital illustration (2016)

Booker works mostly from her imagination, but is inspired by people in her life, a blending of source and sensibility that asks questions about identity in an overly homogenized, culture saturated by digital media. 

She finds the approach somewhat liberating, “…not worrying about getting an exact likeness to someone makes creating more open. They are like idealized caricatures of different persona and personalities I encounter every day. Each face is different in the moment, but similarities start to show and imaginary bonds between these total strangers start to emerge.  

Playing with color, composition, shapes of features - even what they wear, tells what they might be like. Experimenting, for me, is important. Much like actual people, there are similarities and differences. I like to play with the details to make each person unique.”

In high school, Booker received a Scholastic Gold Key Award for Art and Writing. Last year she helped paint a mural on a Spalding University building for SoBro in Louisville.

Age: 21
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BFA candidate, Painting and Drawing, Kentucky College of Art + Design at Spalding University, Louisville, Kentucky

"Braid Boy #1" by Jessica Booker, 1920x1080px, digital illustration (2016)

"Braid Boy #1" by Jessica Booker, 1920x1080px, digital illustration (2016)

"Braid Boy..Wait!" by Jessica Booker, 1080x1920px, digital illustration (2016)

"Braid Boy..Wait!" by Jessica Booker, 1080x1920px, digital illustration (2016)

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. 

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