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WAI presents Fiber Arts: Women’s Work or Feminist Statement?

Erica Spitzer Rasmussen, Juju Dress, mixed media with handmade paper (abaca, kozo, cotton, acrylics, waxed linen thread, gold leaf and watermelon seeds).
Erica Spitzer Rasmussen, Juju Dress, mixed media with handmade paper (abaca, kozo, cotton, acrylics, waxed linen thread, gold leaf and watermelon seeds).
Photo supplied

The Women’s Art Institute (WAI) presents the panel discussion “Fiber Arts: Women’s Work and/or Feminist Statement” on Wednesday, November 5 at 7 p.m. in the Lecture Hall of the Visual Arts Building at St. Catherine University's St. Paul campus (#33 on the map). This event is free and open to the public.

“Since the invention of textiles in antiquity, the fiber arts have been considered women’s work, and have therefore been designated as a minor art in western culture,” says Patricia Olson, associate professor, Department of Art and Art History and director of Women’s Art Institute. “Lately, they have shed their aura of domesticity and have been embraced by both the feminist art movement and post-modern sensibilities.”

Moderated by Olson, the panel includes Erica Spitzer Rasmussen, Karen Searle and Jessica Larson, who will present their art work and discuss it.

Erica Spitzer Rasmussen is an associate professor of art at Metropolitan State University, St. Paul. Her hand-made paper garments and one-of-a-kind books explore issues of identity and corporeality. Featured in national fiber art magazines, her sculptural and wearable works have been exhibited internationally.

Karen Searle is an artist, author and teacher who lectures internationally. Her widely-exhibited sculptures in fiber and mixed media often examine issues of aging and memory. The author of Knitting Art, Karen has written over 120 articles and has been the publisher of many influential books and journals, including The Weaver’s Journal, an award-winning international publication.

Jessica Larson is a professor at the University of Minnesota at Morris. Her work incorporates a wide range of media including the fiber arts, incorporating digital imaging and production methods. She aims to subvert common objects and beliefs to examine the mixed messages that a woman must navigate to shape her identity. She shows her work nationally and internationally.

More about Women's Art Institute

Since 1999, Women’s Art Institute offers a four-week summer intensive studio course for advanced women artists of all ages and backgrounds, as well as other events of interest to contemporary women’s art practice. The innovative and rigorous program focuses on issues and art that arise through the combination of open studio work, intense individual tutoring, inspiring conversation and critiques, and presentations from guest artists, critics and art historians.

The Women’s Art Institute is co-sponsored by the Department of Art and Art History of St. Catherine University and Minneapolis College of Art and Design. The next Summer Studio Intensive course is in June 2015.

Oct. 13, 2014 by Sharon Rolenc

See also: Arts, Faculty