Sept. 17 — Jan. 7, 2018

Intimate Lines: Drawing with Thread, curated by Carol Eckert

Diem Chau, Sojourn
Porcelain plate, organza & thread
8 ½”H x 8 ½”W x 1 3/8”D

In Intimate Lines: Drawing with Thread, 16 artists wield a needle like a pen to compose intensely personal stories and record intimate histories.

In this upcoming Hunterdon Art Museum exhibition, which opens Sept. 17, artists deal with relationships, gender and identity; their works show exquisite textured drawings that expand upon textile traditions to make compelling contemporary statements.

“Stitching is an intimate physical act, closely connected to the body,” said Carol Eckert, who is curating this exhibition. “An often solitary process, it is at once time-intensive, relentless and contemplative. The artists in this exhibition create works that are inextricable from the process itself — intensely personal figurative images drawn with tangible stitched lines.”

Using thread as both a tactile and symbolic medium, these artists approach the traditionally painstaking process of embroidery with a modern sensibility. Building upon historic textile processes and working within the tradition of figurative imagery, they create dialogues between old and new — dialogues intensified by the use of found embroideries, vintage postcards, old photographs, and paper maps.

Viewers will also discover everything from the history of textiles and traditional toile patterns to modern pop culture references to comic book heroes and selfies.

For instance, artist Richard Saja employs traditional toile patterns – toile is French for cloth, and today refers to a one-color print typically of a pastoral scene or arrangement of flowers – and interrupts them. He’ll embroider, say, wings on a monkey or ladybugs on a flower.

Kelsey Viola Wiskirchen incorporates Latin American needlework practices and the women she has met and the stories they told are represented in her work. “My purpose as an artist is to examine the experiences women share: stories, skills, and traditions passed on to younger generations,” Wiskirchen noted.

Regarding contemporary references, Sophia Narrett’s work is drawn through pop culture references, whether it’s the television programs The Bachelor and Orange Is the New Black, or rapper Kendrick Lamar. She has three pieces in this show, including “I Can’t Stop Crying Except Sometimes When I Think About Ari Gold,” a reference to the character portrayed by Jeremy Piven in the TV program Entourage.

Eckert said Narett’s complex, colorful narratives were developed from her background as a painter. “Hand-stitched with vibrant cotton threads, her expressive compositions referencing pop culture and social issues float slightly off the wall, casting shadows that emphasize their three-dimensional qualities,” Eckert said.

Diem Chau, whose figurative images are stitched across porcelain vessels, creates delicate vignettes of fleeting memory, gesture and form, resulting in works that combine an egalitarian sensibility with a minimalist restraint. Her work touches on the value of storytelling, myths, and how those connect us all.

And, while most of the show’s artists use hand stitching, Paul Nosa works with a solar-powered sewing machine to construct intricate narratives that often include map imagery.

Also featured in this exhibition are artists Pinky Bass, Mary Bero, Patricia Dahlman, Michelle Kingdom, Daniel Kornrumpf, Aurora Molina, Mark Newport, Iviva Olenick, Stacey Page, Ehren Elizabeth Reed and Melissa Zexter.

Intimate Lines: Drawing with Thread runs until Jan. 7, 2018.

This exhibition is generously supported by the Coby Foundation, Ltd.

2017 Members Exhibition

Sept. 17 — Nov. 12

This annual exhibition showcases the diverse talents of the members of the Hunterdon Art Museum. The artists’ work in an array of media including clay, photography, sculpture, glass, fiber, oils, acrylics and collage.

Christopher Darway, curated by Hildreth York and Ingrid Renard

This solo show of work by Christopher Darway highlights the artist’s unique handcrafted jewelry. Darway received a BFA in Craft Design from the Philadelphia College of Art.  He has worked in metals for over 40 years and has sold and exhibited his work internationally through galleries, shops and craft shows, including American Craft Council and the Smithsonian Craft Shows.  He is a two-time recipient of the New Jersey State Council of the Arts Award and the winner of the International Pearl Design Contest in Japan. He has taught at the University of the Arts, University of Delaware, and Montclair State University, NJ. He is a senior Precious Metal Clay instructor for Rio Grande and is the former president of the Pennsylvania Society of Goldsmiths. He writes a monthly column for Art Jewlery Magazine and teaches at the Wayne Art Center in Wayne, PA.

September 17, 2017 – January 7, 2018

Joe Ciardiello: Spaghetti Journal

Joe Ciardiello attended Parsons earning a BFA degree. His illustrations are familiar to readers of many publications including The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, and Rolling Stone. This exhibition features a series of illustrations that whimsically show the confluence of the West and people of Italian descent, a theme that has captured theimagination of the artist.

Nov. 19 — Jan. 7, 2018

Members Highlight Exhibition: John Darab

Jan. 14 — April 29, 2018

David Ellsworth

Wendy Ellsworth