Gallery showcases ‘Textiles in Translation’

Published 05.26.2021

The Gallery at Penn College

“Textiles in Translation,” a collection of fiber-based artwork by 35 Pennsylvania regional members of Studio Art Quilt Associates, will be showcased at The Gallery at Penn College June 1 through July 22.

The exhibition can be viewed in person at the gallery, located on the third floor of the Madigan Library at Pennsylvania College of Technology. Summer hours are: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and 1 to 4 p.m. on Sundays. (The gallery is closed on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays and will be closed July 3-6.) The gallery is following COVID-19 pandemic safety protocols, including requiring masks, social distancing and capacity limits.

Barbara Behrmann’s “After the Harvest” (23 inches by 37 inches) features hand-painted cottons, hand-dyed cottons, commercial cottons and a variety of threads. The artist has immersed herself in the world of fabric, color, composition and collage. This is Behrmann's first show with SAQA. Two roundtable discussions with artists will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 2, and Thursday, June 24. (Reserve a seat by email.) Attendance at the roundtables will be limited by COVID regulations for indoor gatherings.

“Textiles in Translation” will highlight a range of styles and techniques. A total of 41 works will be exhibited.

Marni Bowen’s “Legend” (34½ inches by 13 inches) features cotton and silk fabrics, wool, pearl cotton, and cotton thread. In her present work, Bowen explores the intersection of monoprinting and painting on fabric using hand and machine stitching as her drawing tool while taking inspiration from the micro biome and the world around her.Artists featured are: Meredith Eachus Armstrong, of Danville; Polly Dressler Bech, of Swarthmore; Barbara Behrmann, of Ithaca, New York; Elizabeth Bennett, of Furlong; Margaret Black, of Boswell; Barbara Daly Blanchard, of Mendenhall; Peggy Blei Hracho, of Reading; Marni Bowen, of Fleetwood; Libby Cerullo, of Elverson; Jean Downing, of Bloomsburg; M. Camille Eaton Romig, of Barto; Susan Ball Faeder, of Lewisburg; Andrea Finch, of Chambersburg; Cynthia Friedman, of Merion Station; Dorothy Gerring, of Montoursville; Meredith Re’ Grimsley, of Bloomsburg; Ruby Horansky, of Warminster; Stacy Hortner, of Allentown; Patty Kennedy-Zafred, of Murrysville; Toni Kersey, of Springfield; Susan Leonard, of Wynnewood; Eleanor Levie, of Philadelphia; Sara Mika, of Catawissa; Sue Reno, of Bethel Park;

Patty Kennedy-Zafred’s “This Land Was Our Land” (57 inches by 56 inches) features cotton fabric, procion dyes, textile ink, silkscreen materials, image transfer materials, cotton batting, and cotton and rayon threads. She has been telling stories through the medium of textiles for over 30 years.Michael Ross, of New Hope; Cecilia Rusnak, of Centre Hall; Mary Schwarzenberger, of Milford; Andrea Schwenk, of Honesdale; Candance Hackett Shively, of Fayetteville, Georgia; Cathleen Stechschulte, of Cranberry Township; Elena Stokes, of Clinton, New Jersey; Kim Svoboda, of New York, New York; Paula Swett, of Lewisburg; Sharon Wall, of Altoona; and Pamela Zave, of Summit, New Jersey.

All current Pennsylvania members of SAQA or those who listed Pennsylvania as their second region were invited to submit work. Artwork must meet the SAQA definition of an art quilt: “The art quilt is a creative visual work that is layered and stitched or that references this form of stitched layered structure.” Work was required to be original, completed after January 2016, and not shown in any previous SAQA PA shows.

“Textiles in Translation” was curated by SAQA Pennsylvania Exhibition Committee Chair Meredith Eachus Armstrong. This is the third exhibit she has curated for the region.

The exhibit was juried by Susan Szajer, a full-time mixed media artist living in New Mexico who enjoys both the spontaneous nature of painting and the challenge of textiles. She finds joy in pushing artwork to the edge while maintaining good design, composition and attention to detail.

Susan Leonard’s “Broken Circles” (39 inches by 39 inches) features silk, denim, cotton fabric; and silk, rayon and embroidery thread. Passionate about needle and thread from childhood, Leonard began early in life to remake clothing for herself and others, and she continues to enjoy deconstructing men’s and women’s apparel to create new work. Fiber work stretches back to ancient times and has evolved across the centuries into a vibrant art form, encompassing a variety of materials and processes from low to high tech. Today’s fiber artists create beauty, provoke thought, resist convention and challenge the status quo. The work in this show helps reinforce fiber art’s unique place in the world of contemporary art.

SAQA is an active and dynamic nonprofit international organization of over 3,500 members that promotes fiber art and the artists who create it through education, exhibitions, professional development, documentation and publications. SAQA mounts museum-quality exhibitions that travel the world. The Gallery at Penn College hosted SAQA Pennsylvania’s “Connected by Stitch” exhibition in 2016. “Textiles in Translation” was originally scheduled to open in June 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic.

A catalog featuring artwork and artist biographies will be posted online at the gallery’s website.

Serving as an educational resource for Penn College students and a cultural asset to the community, The Gallery at Penn College is dedicated to promoting art appreciation through exhibitions of contemporary art.

For more about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and a special mission affiliate of Penn State, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.