All Things Possible in Fiber Art? Wait, what?

Natural fiber, Synthetic fiber, and found objects …? It’s no secret that fiber art has evolved over time. From traditional and contemporary compositions to artistic and utilitarian designs, threads through time have demonstrated a wide spectrum of fiber arts. It was this vast range of possibility that encouraged the Fiber Artists of San Antonio (FASA) to title this year’s 44th Annual Juried Fiber Art Exhibition All Things Possible in Fiber Art. The juried exhibition title “sure left the doors wide-open to select a wide range of works in regards to approaches, techniques, materials, and subject matter—the exhibit truly demonstrates a variety of possibilities for fiber” says Juror Alana Coates. With a grand total of 85 selected works of art, the winning artwork will be determined and awarded by Coates at the opening reception. After earning her Masters at the University of Texas at San Antonio, Coates spent a decade contributing to the growth of visual arts in San Antonio, through her own curation, as well as working at respected art institutions in the city. Currently, the Curator of Collections at Exhibitions at Albright College in Reading, PA, Coates might no longer reside in San Antonio but she’s still making her mark. FASA 2nd VP Annita Centeno shared with UNFILTERED SA how “it was important to find someone with new vision in the arts community, one who looks at art not just for technical expertise but also about how the art itself might move, touch, or inspire the viewer. [She] felt Alana might be that person because although she [is] not a fiber artist herself, she [has] been tracking fiber art movements in her career.  Because of her professional involvement in the local art scene, [Centeno] knew [Coates] would have her pulse on what is new and exciting in addition to being steeped in art traditions as part of her formal studies.” And it’s true! Coates dove into the world of fiber arts when she guest curated the exhibition Thread at Clamplight Artist Studios & Gallery earlier this year. She was awarded a CAMMIE Award by Artpace for said exhibition and was invited by FASA to give a correlating talk in September.

Hell Yeah! You Go, Boss Lady.

All Things Possible in Fiber Art will include wall-hangings, two-dimensional works, mixed-media reliefs, and sculptures-in-the-round, as well as wearable fabrics, utilitarian works, and even puppets. While we are bound to see the traditional techniques we are familiar with, we will also be stunned by the inclusion of found objects, hand-painted cloth with applique, and much more.

Vicki Siptak, Weathered Two
Weathered Two by artist Vicki Siptak is a perfect example of how artists are constantly pushing the boundaries of fiber arts. The piece was created with cardboard boxes found Siptak found decomposing in a ditch. The boxes then spent another nine months outside her garden before being utilized. The artist states “The sun, wind, and rain created this piece. I feel as if I was an assistant to Nature.” Among all the entries submitted and selected, Coates shared that there is a “deep concern for humanity and the planet. Many artists are using fiber in a political vein.” With the words “climate change” and “global warming” frequently seen on the headlines, the work of Vesna Zrinski titled “Paper or Plastic?” draws the viewer to question where we are headed.
Vesna Zrinski, Paper or Plastic?
The artist’s statement reads in part “There are so many man-made materials we use that cannot be recycled or absorbed by nature.  Sometimes I get really overwhelmed. The way I chose to deal with it here is to create beauty out of trash.” Zrinski used woven cotton/poly, paper, and plastic in the artwork.
I suppose it is true that all things are possible in fiber art. Don’t believe me? Then, I will see you at the opening on Friday, December 6th from 6 to 8 PM at Say Sí. With 85 works on view, there is so much to see, and you will be impressed with the number of talented fiber-based artists in San Antonio. The digital catalogue is forthcoming.

Interested in trying fiber arts yourself? Learn more about the non-profit arts organization established in 1971 by visiting their website. FASA’s mission is to maintain and advance fiber as an art form through the education of its members and the general public and to promote appreciation and encourage support of fiber as an art form by the public through exhibitions and educational activities. Annita Centeno told us … “[FASA] participates in many projects that give to our community either by advancing art opportunities for young people, contributing to the SA Food Bank, and other charitable causes.”

Fiber Artists of San Antonio meet once a month on the second Monday of every month at the San Antonio Garden Center. Centeno advises that “getting involved in an organization such as FASA helps people find out more about the medium they wish to explore. By talking to people, seeing what they do, learning more about workshops, classes, and exhibitions it helps one to expand their field of vision.” Why google “fiber arts” when you can join a community of people with similar interests? All Things Possible in Fiber Art On view December 7, 2018 – January 25, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, December 7, 2018, 6-8pm

Say Sí 1518 S Alamo St, San Antonio, TX 78204 (210) 212-8666

Author: Deliasofia Zacarias

Deliasofia Zacarias is one of the Unfiltered San Antonio co-founders. Double-majored in business and studio art, Zacarias is interested in art politics, food, and a whole lot of Netflix. She is currently LACMA's Emerging Art Professional Fellow in Los Angeles, CA.

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