On Saturday, June 18, my husband and I visited the Kent State University Museum, Kent, Ohio to see the Focus: Fiber 2016 National Contemporary Fiber Art Show.


Red Velvet and Linen Hugs by Martin Demaine and Erik Demaine

I have to apologize for my images, as the lighting was very low and my camera started to malfunction and died on me during our visit. Apologies to the artists that did not get their images recorded for this blog- the work was superb. I highly recommend buying the catalog which has outstanding representations of all the entries.

The first pieces were Martin and Erik Demaine’s  folded and creased fabric forms. They are a father-son math-art team exploring the power of folded sheets along creased lines , using a compass to score the creases and cut out a central hole. The sheets folds itself into a natural equilibrium form depending on the creases, a process not yet understood mathematically.

The forms are small but have a monumental presence!


Artist made abaca paper by Jocelyn Chateauvert



Red Ripple by Barbara Murak


Jocelyn’s  hand made paper twists and contorts as it dries, forming 3- dimensional shapes.

Barbara Murak’s Red Ripple is hand knitted and manipulated into sculptural forms. I love the rippled effect that you can achieve in knitted forms.

Marianne Williamson ‘s Cracks in my composure is a quilted textile that looks like a huge abstract painting. Jill Ault with Choose This has created a quilt of digitally printed cotton sateen, machine pieced and quilted, with some embroidery. It’s a fascinating piece with multiple copies of the same image divided into small squares-no two pieces are the same. The design appears to move across the surface when you look at it.


Cracks in my composure by Marianne Williamson


Choose This by Jill Ault



Fire by Susie Taylor


The Swarm (AKA The Laundry Line) by Wendy Ives


Pattern Recall by Mary Ruth Smith


Girl Story by Amy Meissner


Three punch needle pieces by Jacqui Mehring

Betty Busby’s piece Snowbound  is hand painted linen with a mesh overlay, stitched and formed over an armature-it’s big and it towers. Susie Taylor with a piece called Fire combines weaving and origami to create a  dimensional fabric by weaving and folding. Wendy Ives with-The Swarm-is a felted piece with wool dyed with plant and insect dyes. It’s a fun piece and I love seeing felt work (pun intended! ) I love Mary Ruth Smith’s piece too- called Pattern Recall– she uses patterns, threads, and  collages images associated with ‘women’s work’. Amy Meissner ‘s describes Girl Story – as pushing against the definition of the domestic role of hand-sewn fabrics being  warm, decorative and protective. Her traditional, beautiful hand sewn and quilted pieces tell of uncomfortable and frightening narratives.

I am afraid it was at this point my camera stopped cooperating and I was unable to record the rest of the exhibit. This represents less than a quarter of the work in the show, and it truly was an honor to part of such a great exhibit.

This show was coordinated by the Textile Art Alliance, a friends group of the Cleveland Museum of Art. It’s mission is to increase appreciation of the textile arts through lectures, workshops, and exhibitions and to enlarge the textile collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art.


Snowbound by Betty Busby