Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fiber & Quilt Exhibit at the Escondido Arts Partnership - with Transformed Chairs

by Joe Nalven

The Escondido Arts Partnership Municipal Gallery is featuring Fiber and Art Quilts, juried by Deborah Jarchow.  Notably, there are concurrent exhibits that add to the overall art experience:  Designing Weavers, Bonds and Connections; Escondido Art Talk, Transformed Chairs; PhotoArtsGroup, The Mind's Eye; and Beverley Pecunia, Wild Flowers of San Diego

The gallery at the Municipal Gallery provides a condensed experience of media. Each of the component exhibits are self-contained and thoughtfully presented - whether relying on a theme or the juror's or curator's eye for organization. This gallery is the gem of inland North County venues, not only for the art, but the affable and welcoming staff, the high ceilings with natural light adding to the spot lighting, and even an art gallery/reading room tucked away in the back as a memorial to Betty Woodaman. 

Fiber Exhibit, selection
"The ephemeral nature seen in a loosely knit vessel which appears to be traveling
in time helps us to invent our own metaphors of person strength and resiliency.
   Fiber can physically show us the strength of the human spirit through its many 
layers of materials and colors." From the exhibit statement 
Fiber arts are familiar to us in those amazing historical tapestries from earlier centuries with folktales and religious themes as well as the intricately woven rugs with Islamic designs. Quilting is a more modern tradition with layered fabrics sewn together. 

"Fiber artists face the same dilemma of all artists; determining 'what is art?' More so with fiber arts and other media associated with handicraft, because they have long been associated with domestic or utilitarian production. Typically, pieces like potholders, which just follow patterns without doing anything more, are not considered works of fiber art. Fiber art works are works of art that communicate some sort of message, emotion or meaning and go beyond just the literal meaning of the materials. Fiber arts face the challenge at times of the message or meaning of the work of art being eclipsed by the study of the materials used and their history, rather than what they contribute to the overall work of art." Janet Koplos, "When is Fiber Art 'Art'?"

Art Quilts, selection
The Fiber and Art Quilts exhibit features a mix of ephemeral fiber and traditional art quilts by California artists, including Rebecca Smith, Karen Greely, Cuauhtemoc Kish, Nicki Bair, Don Weeke, Mia Bloom, Linda  Anderson, Laura Bisagna, Stephanie Bedwell, Nancy Myles, Hope Campbell, Henry Armenta, Petey Dietz, Keely Berry LeBlanc, Mary Tabar, Karen Markley, Helen Schafer Garcia,Scott Gengelbach, Jean Degenfelder, Rita Zerull, Mary Brown, Ann B. 

Selections from the Escondido Art Talk Transformed Chairs

Escondido Art Talk is an art group that meets on the first Tuesday of every month at the Escondido Arts Partnership Municipal Gallery. The group decided that it wanted to do a show that could relate to the Biannual Fiber Show and the Recycle Fashion Show. Thus: Recycled, reused and re-purposed chairs.  The exhibit is located in the Expressions II gallery space and dominated by painted, embellished and captured chairs, fiber and book art. A real transformation of materials.

The chairs express fun, humor, comfort and concern for the environment, as well as treasured memories in a fabulous altered book, and yarn transformed into colorful scarves.

The participating artists are donating a significant portion of their sales to help pay for the annual Student Art Show at the Municipal Gallery.   

Escondido Art Talk / Transformed Chairs, two views
Blue Vanity / Artist, Chrisanne Moats
In spite of the fact that a chair is an inanimate object each has a personality all its own. 
Never minding our ups and downs they support us through life
 with patient integrity, from our first high chair to our last well-worn recliner.
Regina Gallegos / Melange
Scott Genglebach / Sit down and think about it -version #4

The artists in Transformed Chairs are: Flora Barwig, Jean Degenfelder's, Rachelle Farber, Regina Gallegos, Scott Gengelbach, Carol Mansfield, Donna Meyer, Chrisanne Moats, Janet Perkin, Carrie Repking, Karen Samenow. 

A historical note:  Escondido Art Talk was formed in January of 2010.The idea was to take artists out of their studios (often an isolating experience) to share personal experiences and their art. According to Donna Meyer, the group coordinator, "We've learned about such divergent things as altered books, rust, sandwich wrapping papers, Shrinky Dink plastic, and woodburning to mention just a few. We have gone on several field trips to the homes of artists where we have both explored their art collections as well as being treated to demonstrations of the creative process."


August 8 - September 27, 2014
Reception: September 13 from 5:30 to 8 pm
Tuesday, 11 am - 6 pm;
Thursday through Saturday, 11 am - 4 pm

Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014

Escondido Arts Partnership
Municipal Gallery
262 East Grand Avenue
Escondido, CA 92025

Tel: 760-480-4101
Email (Wendy Wilson, Director):

Designing Weavers: Bonds and Connections
Escondido Art Talk: Transformed Chairs
PhotosArtsGroup: The Mind's Eye
Beverley Pecunia: Wild Flowers of San Diego

Note:  As an occasional exhibiting artist, I should note that I have an image in the PhotoArtsGroup show, The Mind's Eye.


  1. It is really interesting to see how artist can transform something simple into something cultural and unique(like the chairs). I'm happy to see that there still people trying to make us not forget about cultural and ecological art.

  2. This fiber art exhibit seems very interesting, especially about the historical tapestries and how this art is sometimes used to communicate messages. The pieces are beautiful. I also think the exhibit about recycling is important to raise awareness about the environment, and the chairs are fun.

  3. I thought this was an interesting article. I like to see the different cultures come into play by the individual artists. I would definitely go visit this!

  4. As a student who has knitted once or twice, it was an interesting article that brought back warm memories of high school. The various ways to envelope one's emotions through fibers and make them an art, is quite interesting. I have seen chairs being used for fashion, but they didn't have the same impression as the ones in the article. Over all, the display of culture and imagination was fascinating; although, I would have liked to see more individual arts.

  5. I love the idea that an everyday object can be considered art, as long as it evoke's the viewer's interest and gets them to think. Shows that art is still changing to this day as it goes from Duchamp's Fountain to these Transformed Chairs, which look stunning. Hopefully we get to see more household objects get transformed.

  6. Its interesting because having seen thread art before this artist actually made me think about what he was trying to illiterate “historical tapestries from earlier centuries” he really did make this art his own. Thinking outside the box and pushing what we think about art. I enjoy his modern twist on thread art. His use of everyday objects and giving them new life as working art pieces is fun and exciting. I enjoyed reading about this artist.

  7. I really enjoyed the chair with thread, the abstractness really makes you think deeper and reflect upon what it's really saying. Very interesting use of everyday items in this exhibit.

  8. I wish I could go see this exhibit in person! Repurposed chairs are so interesting to me, especially when they are functional. Unfortunately all of these chairs are not. They are still creative fiber works of art however, and I admire the courage it takes for artists to try a different medium than they are used to.

  9. Fiber art is not only an aesthetic method of art, it is also a good example of globalization. Through the use of a cultural and artistic demonstrations, theses artists managed to combine culture with art. Is beautiful

  10. A very interesting and unique form of art and I think is great to get the artists out of their studios. The exhibit shows creativity and talent. The way they transform something so common like a chair to a beautiful piece of art.

  11. This article made me change my perspective on many things regarding what is considered art. A material and color on a fabric can reflect a lot of that person and the struggles he/she faces along some of its background. Now that I look at these pieces I can think more deeply into rather than them just being another piece of art. Everything can be art if you are willing to free your mind and discover its deeper meaning. Chairs or recycled materials even have a story of its own. Creativity can portray many different things. I enjoyed this article along the variety of pictures.

  12. It is fascinating to see an exhibit with an object that we use in the everyday life but we never stop and contemplate. A chair is a symbol , and it is interesting that all of them are in the regular position; there could've been for example a chair that's upside down with a whole different meaning. I loved how there is a crow depicted in "Sit and Think About It" since crows represent death in some cultures and now relating them to a chair, brings many "thoughts" to mind.

  13. I found the fiber arts and quilt exhibit with chairs to be quite impressive, the ability to create art with items some may consider junk is stunning. The idea that each inanimate chair has a personally of its own is also a different way of of seeing what others might just consider somethimg they sit on a compelling way to see the world.