I happily spent New Year’s Day packing my suitcase and part of my studio, so excited to drive down to Gatlinburg, TN for The 2nd Annual Pentaculum. I was honored to have received the invitation to participate in this exciting event at Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts last year and as the event approached I just couldn’t wait to get there. I have previously taught workshops at Arrowmont and the facilities, food and staff are consistently top notch. The Pentaculum invites artists and writers at various stages in their careers to participate for a one week residency utilizing the studios, collaborating, socializing, etc. The five participating studios during this Pentaculum were Ceramics, 2D Painting, Sign Painting in the wood shop, Jewelry/Metals, Writing and Textiles. The event began with a slide show of all participants’ work, I was so impressed to be among such amazing artists and writers-just simply amazing PEOPLE. To spend a week working around them was an honor.
Of course the textiles studio is where I spent most of my time. Each artist in the studio with me was as individual, accomplished and amazing as their work. Most impressive is how much work each person produced in only one week-this is what uninterrupted time can do for an artist! I am pleased to share their work made during the Pentaculum with you here, please click on their names to visit their web sites for their complete body of work.
Stay tuned for my next blog post describing my personal experience and work created during the Pentaculum.
Loo Bain, who I am privileged to work with at Tyler spent her time repetitiously cutting, drawing 2d and drawing in space with fluorescent vinyl, mylar and other sparkly, shiny fabrics. By the end of the week, her colorful and tactile studies just begged to be touched.
Erin Castellan, our fearless studio coordinator, did a great job herding us cats all week, answering our questions and stitching, stitching, stitching. I have long been a fan of Erin’s work, which translates constructed fabrics of all kinds, thread and other embellishments into stitched paintings. The week of the Pentaculum, she meticulously stitched and beaded an lovely, intimate piece that I secretly covet.
Orly Cogan’s work is instantly recognizable-unabashed, large scale, stitched, collaged, painted pieces exploring feminine myths, identities and relationships. Orly was most at home collaborating with the 2D studio, where they created air brushed magic on her pieces.
Naomi Falk, sculptor & materials wizard, uses performance, clay, fabric, wood, stitch, paper and myriad other materials to investigate personal identities. During the Pentaculum, she experimented with many materials and made all of us in textiles studio amazing hand cut paper crowns!
Sonya Yong James’ work explores repetition, ritual and transcendence through simple felted forms, which become complex through multiples and repetition. During the Pentaculum, Sonya worked to combine felt and horse hair, making quiet, intimate samples-so impressive was her magnificent collection of various colors of horsehair!
Colleen Merrill was extremely prolific during the Pentaculum, especially considering that her constructed pieces are mainly hand sewn. She completed or got a good head start on a new series of soft sculpture pieces entitled ‘fawn’ exploring her new role as a mother.
Valerie Powell’s fun, colorful and approachable work is made with painted, stitched and sculpted shrinky-dinks! Too. Much. Fun. Just as fun was watching a wonderfully detailed, patterned painting take shape, along with some funky sculpted pieces during the week.
Karie Reinertson, owns and operates a multidisciplinary design studio with her partner husband. One of the specialties of the studio are exquisitely hand crafted leather handbags. Karie brought with her some beautiful buttery leather that she cut, braided and sculpted for a new fine art leather piece.
Rebecca Siemering works with paper-found, handmade, stitched, sculpted, constructed. During the Pentaculum, she continued work on her “Lottery Project”, created by stitched and constructed found lottery tickets collected from daily walks in her neighborhood.
Brooks Stevens turns straw into gold with an on-going project entitled ‘Mending Gold: Cloth, Architecture & Landscape’ in which she mends/repairs or simply highlights the essence of the object with stitched gold thread. During the Pentaculum, she methodically stitched a pair of jeans-mesmerizing was her meticulous process.
Melanie Wilder is a weaver who also creates naturally dyed weaving yarns with plants from her own garden. During the Pentaculum she dyed, stitched and labeled a wonderful dye sample book of various plants and mordants on cotton and wool yard and fabrics.
LM Wood collaborates with her computer to create quilts or quilt inspired works that speak to memory, time, history and narratives. Inspired by the photographic image, both found in thrift stores or through searches on her computer, and working with a wide variety of materials, she explores the many forms of narrative the photographic image can provide.