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On the Town: Exhibit spotlights fiber artists at local arts center

For an artist, the act of creation is one that co-mingles their thoughts, dreams, ideas and imagination, and then synthesizes them into a concept they make manifest with their physical talent and ability.

To create is a part of who an artist is within their soul, mind and body. It is a part of their fiber.

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To make that concept evident, the Surface Art Assn., a talented collective of fiber artists, who express themselves with the use of fiber, cloth, paper, plastic, metals and repurposed materials, are currently presenting an exhibit titled “Fiber Stories” at the Betsy Lueke Creative Arts Center.

Under the direction of exhibition co-chairs Smadar Knobler and Linda Stone, the show, which features the creative use, alteration and embellishment of textiles, debuted this past Friday with an opening night reception.

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According to Knobler, the focus of the exhibit is to display pictorial stories, interpretations of the world we live in, issues in nature and the environment and each artist’s personal growth through weaving, quilting, tapestry, wearable art, felting, printing, multimedia collage and sculpture.

“This show provides our artists the opportunity to display creative exploration and innovation through their chosen media,” Knobler said . “The goal of the Surface Art Assn. is to increase awareness, understanding and appreciation of textiles and surface art in the commercial, fine art and design communities, as well as for the enjoyment of the general public.”

Among the artists whose work is on display at the gallery are Cleste Clvas, Renee Stevens, Barbara Weitekamp, Mary Beth Schwartzenberger, Lydia Tjioe Hall, Cicley Gilman, Naila Aladdin Sanders, Maureen Cox, Georgia Freeman-Harvey, Joanell Connolly, Mia Bloom, Audrey Durnan, Diana Shore, Sherry Davis Kleinman, Gulia Greer, Leone Marotta Keegan, Marie-Laure Ilie, Rachel Williamson and Sandra Sigal.

Sigal, who works with fabric and mixed media, presented two works that earned opening night attention, titled “Dances of Girth” and “Radio Flyer.”

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According to Sigal, “Dances of Girth,” a fabric sculpture, was inspired during an art workshop in which the wine was flowing and her fellow artists began dancing.

Her other work, “Radio Flyer,” presented a whimsical look at childhood in mixed media.

Accompanied by a quote from former President Barack Obama, “It’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential,” the work features two children in a red wagon marveling at the wonder of a field filled with colorful flowers, ladybugs and butterflies.

Among the special guests in attendance at the opening reception were Quinn and Rae Godfredsen, the grandchildren of Sigal who are depicted in “Radio Flyer.”

“Fiber Stories,” which will run through Aug. 23, is one of the most unique exhibits to be presented at the Lueke Creative Arts Center. If you have never visited this beautiful museum-quality gallery nested in George Izay Park, this is the time to do it.

The Betsy Lueke Creative Arts Center is located at 1100 W. Clark Ave.

For more information call (818) 238-5397.

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