Contemporary Takes on Traditional Patterns

Adams-Progress-Progress?, 20 x 24 inches, acrylic paint on stitched textile, ©2014

 

Contemporary Takes on Traditional Patterns is an exhibition at the Denver Art Museum on view through March 22, 2015. Curated by Judith Trager, a  Colorado artist/teacher and well-known expert and advocate for fiber arts, this special “mini-exhibition” consists of smaller works by 10 contemporary artists designed to bring the past and present together as a complement to the larger First Glance/Second Look exhibition featuring 20 quilts from the Museum’s collection.

My piece Progress? was made to complement the “Ordered Chaos” category of the larger exhibition, which features crazy quilts from the late 19th century. My artist statement:

“My work often uses the concepts of time and external forces as a creative starting point. In this piece, I’m exploring the concepts of entropy, decay, and dissipation as applied to a traditional quilting motif, the half-square triangle. When done in dark and light values, this motif is sometimes called Sunshine and Shadows. It recalls the ancient Chinese concept of the dynamic interplay of two opposites — yin and yang.”

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Thanks to a $3 million gift from the Avenir Foundation in 2012, the Denver Art Museum has a special department and galleries devoted to textile arts, as well as funding in perpetuity for its staff. Its curator is Dr. Alice Zrebiec, who was named as the Denver Post’s 2013 Top Thinker in the category of Arts and Culture for her work in the transformation and expansion of the department.

Last Thursday, the DAM held a special reception to celebrate the opening of the exhibition, and Dr. Zrebiec did a gallery walkthrough to tell us about the wonderful quilts on display.

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The Contemporary Takes pieces are installed in “discovery drawers” in the gallery’s Nancy Lake Benson Thread Studio, a comfortable, inviting interactive area where visitors can learn about many aspects of textile art, have conversations, and see demonstrations. In the photo below, works by Wendy Huhn (near) and Miriam Basart (far). The other artists in this exhibition are Faye Anderson, Sharon Bass, Betsy Cannon, Lynda Faires, Gretchen Hill, the Pixeladies (Kris Sazaki & Deb Cashatt), and Melody Randol.

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Here’s mine.

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2017-10-15T16:14:56+00:00 May 31st, 2014|Exhibitions|2 Comments

I am excellent!

TheProperMeansInvestigatingTruththe proper means of investigating truth, approx. 40 x 108 inches    ©2014 Deidre Adams
found papers, dressmaker’s pattern tissue, thread

Does my post title sound obnoxious? I’m working on getting better at horn-tooting, but there’s a fine line between believing in yourself and beating people over the head with it.

Last October, I wrote about some new work that I started during my residency at the Vermont Studio Center (here). I’ve continued to work on these, and when the call for entries for Form, Not Function came up this year, I decided I was ready to release some of it out into the world. Fortunately, they agreed, and the work was accepted into the show.

Yes, I know you’re supposed to make the work only for yourself and not care what anyone thinks. In fact, that is how I felt when I was making these. But on the other hand, I really don’t want to make my work in a vacuum. And this work is so different for me, and for anyone who’s familiar with my work, that I wasn’t sure how it was going to be received.

So it certainly was a pleasant surprise to be notified that I had received an award at the exhibition — the Award of Excellence in Memory of Textile Artist Alma Lesch, presented by DELvelopment Foundation. I found out from a lovely voice mail message, which also said that the piece had been the subject of a lot of discussion. I can’t imagine anything nicer to hear about one’s work. So yay!

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the proper means of investigating truth, detail

 

2017-10-15T16:14:56+00:00 May 12th, 2014|Art, Exhibitions|17 Comments

Visiting my artwork in Lake Tahoe

Adams-Iterations-TahoeIterations No. 2, 30 x 66 inches, installed outside the Ritz-Carlton Club Lake Tahoe member lounge

It’s always a highly desirable thing to get an installation photo of your artwork, even if that can sometimes take five years or more. In 2009, 3 of my works were acquired by the Ritz-Carlton Highlands in Lake Tahoe, California, thanks to Judy Hagler and Translations Gallery in Denver (sadly, no longer in business.) This particular piece, Iterations No. 2, represented the 2nd time I had made this work, because they liked the first one but it had already been sold. See the story here.

Lake Tahoe is not the most convenient place to get to from Denver, but I finally had a good opportunity to go there when a driving trip to San Francisco became a reality last week.

The Ritz has three of my works in all, but finding them on the property was surprisingly difficult. It’s a huge facility, and they do not have a comprehensive list of all the work installed there. I was there for a long time and searched all over the hotel and residence buildings, but I was only able to find two of the three, with a promise by the Director of Operations there to try to track down the 3rd one and send me a photo.

This is the other one I was able to locate, in the lobby of the residence building.

Adams-Tahoe-9 Horizon No. XI, 34 x 34 inches, installed in the lobby of the Ritz Carlton Highlands Lake Tahoe residence building.

It’s a beautiful, luxurious resort. Some day when I’m rich and famous, I’ll come back here for a ski vacation.Adams-Tahoe-6

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I also took the opportunity to gaze upon the magnificent turquoise waters of the lake itself. I definitely want to find a reason to come back here; it’s spectacular!Adams-Tahoe-1

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2017-10-15T16:14:57+00:00 May 10th, 2014|Installations|1 Comment