Contemporary Approaches to Needlework in Racine Art Museum Exhibition
Racine, WI September 10, 2020
Open September 23, 2020 through February 13, 2021 at the Racine Art Museum (RAM), In Stitches: Contemporary Approaches to Needlework features work primarily drawn from the museum’s permanent collection that demonstrate contemporary methods of working with materials such as fabric, thread, yarn, and embroidery floss through the use of needles, hooks, or hands.
For some, needlework and other fiber-related techniques are pastimes, while for others they are used for professions. For still more, these practices are employed to depict ideas. The contemporary artists whose works are included in this exhibition prioritize these processes and use handcraft techniques like embroidery, sewing, crocheting, and quilting to explore a wide range of subjects. They investigate labor, gender, memory, and history, and popular culture as well as personal or social issues.
Diverse examples shown next to one another offer opportunities for comparison and contrast. Large-scale quilts using found linens are shown alongside small-scale photo-realistic embroideries, crocheted earrings, and stitched baskets. Regardless of form, these works reflect how handcraft traditions can be incorporated—and expanded upon—to make creative, aesthetic, thoughtful, symbolic, or practical statements.
Works on loan from Milwaukee area artists Sharon Kerry-Harlan and Rosemary Ollison expand this conversation even further. Incorporating African influences, Kerry-Harlan uses textiles, as well as other media, to explore the potential metaphors and meanings of the human face and figure. Ollison collects glass, leather, bracelets, beads, bones, and jewelry to incorporate into all manner of works, including quilts.
Exhibitions at Racine Art Museum are made possible by: Platinum Sponsors—Anonymous, Nicholas and Nancy Kurten, and Wingate Foundation; Diamond Sponsors—National Endowment for the Arts, Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation, Ruffo Family Foundation, Inc.; Gold Sponsors—Anonymous, Tom and Irene Creecy, David Flegel, Herzfeld Foundation, Racine Community Foundation, Twin Disc, W.T. Walker Group, Inc.; Silver Sponsors—A.C. Buhler Family, Andis Foundation, David Charak, Lucy G. Feller, Johnson Bank, Dorothy MacVicar, Real Racine, Trio Foundation of St. Louis, Wisconsin Arts Board; Bronze Sponsors—Andis Company, Virginia Buhler, Cotsen Foundation for Academic Research, Tom and Jane Devine, David and Ellen Easley, Educators Credit Union, Eye Care Center of Waterford, Ben and Dawn Flegel, Fredrick and Deborah Ganaway, William A. Guenther, Tom and Sharon Harty, Angela Jacobi, Bill Keland, Knight Barry Title Group, Eric Koopmeiners and Lena Vigna; Media Sponsor—Wisconsin Public Radio.
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