Prepare For Plein Air This Summer with Incredible Savings!

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Over the river, through the woods, or right here at home in the beautiful Rogue Valley, inspiration is sure to follow wherever you may roam.

Whether it’s sketching the daily grind of a local coffee shop or capturing the highlights of your camping trip on canvas, Central Art has your best artistic interests at heart. Maybe you’re just getting started, and don’t know your palette knife from your pochade box; we’ll help you climb that mountain.

Taking your act on the road? The possibilities for portable art essentials are endless, but never fear – we’ve thought of everything, and can prepare a “survival kit” just for you!

Take the stress out of planning a plein air getaway knowing Central Art has your creative challenges covered, from street lights to state parks!

-Adam

P.S. Feeling social? There’s an app for that! Share your art adventures with us on Instagram! Be sure to tag @centralart1 in your post, and use the hashtag: #rogueartadventures . We look forward to seeing what you create in the places that inspire you!

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Schmincke Watercolor

12 Half-Pan Set

Schmincke has been developing and manufacturing its Horadam line of watercolors since 1881, and the company is now owned by the fourth generation of the original family.

They are the only watercolor manufacturer in the world that uses the exact same formula for their tube and pan colors. The pan colors are consistent all the way to the bottom, and they last and last!

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New Wave Palette Paper

New Wave Grey and TIMBr Pad Disposable Palettes feature neutral toned sheets that make it easier to mix accurate colors and gauge values. The sheets are glued on three sides, so they won’t blow away while you’re painting outdoors. Plus, the covers are scored, which makes it easier to tear them off or fold them back without messing up the rest of the pad.
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Rembrandt Soft Pastels
Rembrandt pastels are made from the purest pigments and mixed with the finest quality kaolin clay binder. No pigments containing heavy metals, such as cadmium, lead, and cobalt, are used in production which ensures that the pastels have no hard bits or sharp edges. These pastels are harder in consistency than many soft pastels, allowing for more control and definition in your painting.
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Ampersand Floater Frames
Every detail of the Ampersand FloaterFrame has been designed and engineered to deliver a simple, all-in-one framing solution that protects your artwork while giving it the finished look it deserves. Made with premium hardwood, the Ampersand FloaterFrame features precisely constructed reinforced corners, a wider drill base, and pre-drilled countersunk mounting holes. All mounting and hanging hardware is provided to quickly and easily attach your artwork to the frame, including mounting screws, screw eyes, a hanger, picture wire, and bumper pads.

Catch These Deals While They’re Fresh!

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PanPastel

Loaded with the highest quality artists’ pigments, PanPastel colors are made using a unique manufacturing process requiring minimal binder and fillers, resulting in a rich, ultra soft, low-dust formulation. These professional quality colors are highly pigmented and have excellent lightfastness. They are erasable and fully compatible with traditional pastel sticks, pastel surfaces, and conventional fixatives. They can be mixed, blended, layered, and applied like paint for an infinite palette of colors.
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Portable Painter Palette

The Portable Painter Watercolor Palette is the perfect hands-free travel palette for watercolor painting. With a unique design created by an experienced watercolor artist, it’s packed with special features optimized for plein air painting. It’s compact, too — when folded, the palette is about the size of a smartphone (6″ × 3¼” × 1½”).
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Central Art’s SIDEWALK SALE! Fri & Sat, July 13 & 14, 2018

Scoot on over to Central Art for our annual Sidewalk Sale this summer and find unbelievable deals on overstock, discontinued items and even storage and fixtures! Word on the street is that you won’t want to miss this sale event!
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AGA First Friday Art Walk, April 6th from 5 to 8 pm

Ashland Gallery Association Art Exhibit Openings & Artist Receptions

First Friday Art Walk, April 6th from 5 to 8 pm

Stroll the galleries and take in the visual delights in downtown Ashland and the Historic Railroad District.  Enjoy this free year-round community event, filled with a diverse array of artwork, live music, artist demonstrations, refreshments and lively conversation!

For more information about all of our exhibits and to download the April Gallery Tour map, please visit: www.ashlandgalleries.com  

April Spotlight Exhibits

A Taste Of Ashland Pop-up Show

Meyer Memorial Gallery in the Marion Addy Building, Southern Oregon University

Show on display April 24 – 29th

Art Sales during “A Taste of Ashland,” April 28 & 29, 12:00–4:00 PM

As an added attraction to A Taste of Ashland wine, food, and art festival, we have 15 Ashland Gallery Association artists that are participating in a special “Pop-up Art Show!”  There will be paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, printmaking and pastels from the following artists:

Michael Adams, Patrick Beste, Sarah Burns, Ann DiSalvo, Shoshana Dubiner, Elaine Frenett, Pam Haunschild, Tiffany Hokanson, Robert Koch, Margee Mee, Whitney Rolfe, Desmond Serratore, Denise Souza-Finney, David Terry

“A Taste of Ashland” Food, Wine, and Art Festival

Celebrating its twenty-ninth year, the Ashland Gallery Association’s signature fund-raising event, A Taste of Ashland takes place Saturday and Sunday, April 28th and 29th from noon to 4 PM.

Participants follow a map to 17 galleries discovering Ashland’s culinary delights and regional wines while enjoying the local visual arts.  AllAboard Trolley will offer rides to all galleries, but most are within walking distance. 

For tickets and more information visit: atasteofashland.com or call 541-488-0178

Denise Souza-Finney, Where Are We Going, acrylic and mixed media on paper, 22 x 30

Schneider Museum of Art

The Animated Image 

Opening Reception: Wednesday, April 11th, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

On View: April 12th through May 12th, 2018

The Schneider Museum of Art’s spring exhibition The Animated Image is in collaboration with the Ashland Independent Film Festival. The exhibition is co-curated by SMA Director Scott Malbaurn and AIFF Artistic and Executive Director Richard Herskowitz.

This exhibition features artists:

Matt Bollinger

Chris Doyle

Rick Silva

Stacey Steers

RoxyAnn Winery will pour wine at our opening reception for the exhibition

Chris Doyle. Still from Swell, 2017. 4K Digital Animation. Edition of 5 + 2AP. 10:12 minutes.

Chris Doyle. Still from Swell, 2017. 4K Digital Animation. Edition of 5 + 2AP. 10:12 minutes.

Score by Jeremy Turner, performed by Flux Quartet. Sound design by Owen O’Neill. Image courtesy of the artist and Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco.

Ashland Art Works

In April, we’re featuring our Associate Artist members in the main gallery. We’ll have weavings and textile pieces by Angelique Stewart, acrylic paintings by Suzanne Etienne, and hand-dyed scarves by Connie Simonsen. Our member artists will also have lots of new work to show in our other galleries, including outdoor metal pieces that are perfect for your spring garden, along with new paintings, ceramics, photography, woodworking, and jewelry.

Artist Reception – First Friday, April 6, 2018 5 to 8 PM

Come out and meet the artists at First Fridays!  Rodeo Flyer will be playing some great music, and we’ll also have some light refreshments.

April also brings our summer hours:

Wednesday & Sunday: 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Thursday, Friday, & Saturday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Closed Monday and Tuesday

Hand-woven scarf by Angelique Stewart

Hand-woven scarf by Angelique Stewart

Shepherd’s Dream

Rogue Impressions and Beyond, paintings by Silvia Trujillo

Silvia Trujillo paints the landscapes and scenery of Southern Oregon. Applied in oils, using an impasto technique, her paintings communicate mood with a sense of time by coloring the light and shadow of each season.  

Silvia exclaims, “I live, breathe, and sleep art.  Creating art is a way of life for me, and I consistently produce paintings that express a deep regard for nature.  Landscape painting is a natural extension of this love and it attracts me to the dramatic light that occurs during a storm, or at dawn or dusk, and my goal is to honor land, water, and sky in these works and help to create the need for preserving an area’s natural beauty.  I believe that my art appeals to those who share the same sentiments and to anyone with an appreciation of nature, color, and light.  As a painting/drawing instructor for over 25 years, it also brings me great joy to know that I’ve inspired and fostered expert work in many others over the years.  I believe that my art appeals to those who share the same sentiments and to anyone with an appreciation of nature, color, and light.”   

This exposition on display in our new location: 42 East Main Street, Ashland, OR.  For more information, call 541-941-0855, and follow us on Facebook.  Artwork displayed through May 2018.

Sylvia Trujillo, Wine Country Wandering, oil painting

Sylvia Trujillo, Wine Country Wandering, oil painting

Map: 

Download (PDF, 82KB)

Central Art's 37th Anniversary Sale

March Madness! Save BIG During Our 37th Anniversary Sale!

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A New Year, A New Journey Begins…

No matter where the muse takes you in 2018 – from the familiar confines of the studio to the beauty of nature and beyond – let Central Art be your creative passport!

When fresh inspiration is needed, look no further than our wide selection of art instruction and technique books to give you a head start. Brushes on your bucket list? Choose just the right fit for your suitcase with a beautiful assortment of brushes in a variety of styles and travel options. If journaling is your jam, you can never have too many sketchbooks! Fortunately we have all sizes, formats and weights of paper to suit whatever medium makes you happiest. Adding a few words of wisdom to your work is an art form in itself – why not go “old-school” with some dip pens and a bit of ink and rediscover the lost art of calligraphy? Central Art is your Hand Lettering Headquarters!

The list goes on and on, and so does your drive to create! Nobody knows that better than us.

Now is the time to seize the canvas and voyage fearlessly into an artistic adventure, so what are you waiting for? Come see us and begin charting a course today!

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Ampersand Clayboard

In 1994, Ampersand Art Supply began their mission of reviving the time-honored tradition of panel painting with the creation of Claybord, the very first coated painting panel. Over the years, Ampersand has added many wonderful painting panels with unique surface coatings suitable for all media.
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Caran d’Ache Open Stock & Sets

Caran d’Ache is the pen name by which French illustrator, Emmanuel Poire’, achieved worldwide renown in the 19th century. The choice turned out to be a salient one, since “karandash” is the Russian term for “pencil” and in turn comes from the Turkish root “karat ash” which refers to black stone – the origins of graphite. In 1924, Arnold Schweitzer, the founder of a Swiss pencil factory, decided to use the name of the famous illustrator, Caran d’Ache for his business.
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Crescent Mat Board

Crescent is headquartered in Wheeling, Illinois, and is a private, 5th generation family-owned company founded over 100 years ago. Crescent continues to innovate and develop new, on-trend products to meet the changing needs and interests of artists and framers globally. Crescent art material products have been selected by students and professionals alike for decades.
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Holbein Artist Paints

In Osaka Japan, the company was formed just before the turn of the last century, and took the name of European artist Hans Holbein in the 1930’s. From that time, Holbein’s presence has been significant in Southeast Asia, North America, Australia and Europe. Holbein is unique in the art material trade because they do not produce any entry student quality color products. Each of the color lines is adapted to meet the special requirements of the professional artist.
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Check Out These Awesome Savings!
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Pentel Products

For over 70 years, Pentel has supplied the world with the highest quality products. Pentel is the only writing instrument company to receive the Deming Award for recognition of the highest standard of quality. Some of Pentel’s industry-leading products have been in production for many years, and remain in demand today, such as roller ball pens, graphite leads and mechanical pencils. Many new Pentel products will no doubt possess equally distinguished longevity.
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Stabilo Open Stock & Sets

Stabilo is a family run company that has been making writing products for more than 160 years creating pens that are trend-conscious, inspiring and visionary. The diverse products from Stabilo make the lives of people a little more colorful each and every day by delivering quality and implementing innovative designs into each and every pen.
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3-Day UArt Pastels Workshop Starting Friday, April 27th, 2018!

Location: Central Art Supply, Medford, OR   Date: Friday April 27 – Sunday April 29 2018
Time: Friday April 27 10:00 am-4:00 pm, Saturday April 28 10:00 am -4:00pm, Sunday April 29 10:00 am -4:00pm   Price: $350.00   Students: 6-12There are many benefits of using an underpainting on UART Premium Sanded Pastel Paper. The type of underpainting depends on the subject and desired end effect. In this workshop we will explore several options.

There will be a demo each morning using a different medium as an underpainting. There will also be an option to ‘paint-a-long’ from the same reference photo as Susan to really get a step-by-step approach of her technique from beginning to end. You will receive individual instruction tailored to your specific needs, level and goals as well as a constructive critique of work done in the workshop as well as any work you bring along.

Register Online at: https://www.uartpastelpaper.com/uart-workshops-susan-kuznitsky/ 

UART will provide you via email with a full list of materials before the beginning of the workshop. Check out Susan’s website at www.susankuznitsky.com

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Our mailing address is: centralartsupply.com, 101 N. Central Ave., Medford, Oregon

Ashland Gallery Association January 2018 Spotlight Exhibits

Ashland Natural Medicine

“Africa, Fashion & Photography”, featuring Jennifer Jensen

ANM Gallery of Contemporary Art is thrilled to host local Ashland artist, Jennifer Jensen’s newest works of art titled: Africa, Fashion & Photography  

This exceptional show is a beautiful combination of creative expression and inspiration from her travels to Selous Game Reserve, in South West Tanzania where she photographed wildlife in the bush and then onto Zanzibar where Jensen purchased African fabrics to bring home and design her clothing.

Line, color, shape and texture are just some of the strong art elements that weave together her clothing design choices and carefully selected compositions in each safari image.  The care and attention to detail in creating each clothing and photograph clearly makes a statement of her devotion and passion to her crafts.

Each dress, each skirt each jacket, are wearable individual art pieces that are truly stunning.  These garments purposefully are hung on the gallery walls side by side with the photographs.  Together these two different mediums emulate a uniquely original show that ignites the true essence of Africa’s wildlife, geography, textiles and culture.

Please join us and meet the artist during our First Friday Art Opening:

January 5th, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm

180 Lithia Way, Suite 103, 541-414-7230

“Africa, Fashion & Photography”, featuring Jennifer Jensen

Image: Diamond Polka Skirt, Jennifer Jensen

Photographers’ Gallery

“Public Land Grab” Featuring Photography by Bobbi Murphy

Bobbi Murphy’s new show, Public Land Grab, opens at The Photographers’ Gallery at The Ashland Art Center on Friday, January 5th.

For the first time in U.S. history, the government is shrinking federally protected parklands.  In December, 2,000,000 acres lost their National Monument status and the Arctic Wildlife Refuge may be opened to drilling.  And this is just the beginning. The administration has signaled it will continue the attack on federal lands and either lease them to the extractive industries or sell them off in return for political favors.   Bobbi’s images show some of the incredible beauty of our public lands and encourages the viewer to imagine their loss.

At Glacier National Park in Montana, a German visitor stood admiring the vast landscape.  He turned to Bobbi and said; “You Americans are so lucky to have this.  In Europe this would be privately owned and off limits”.  All proceeds from her show will be donated to The Nature Conversancy and The Natural Resources Defense Council.

“Public Land Grab” Featuring Photography by Bobbi Murphy

Image:  Mobius Arch, Alabama Hills, California, photograph by Bobbi Murphy

Masterpiece Christian Fine Arts Foundation

“Tales and Dreams” – Featuring Art by J.N. Garrett

First Friday, December 5th at Ashland Pony Espresso

Join us at the Ashland Pony Espresso/Washington Federal Bank for First Friday Art Walk, January 5th, from 5pm-8pm, for our first show of 2018, featuring the story and imagination focused work of local artist Jennifer Garrett. Grab a cup of coffee or some delicious food, meet the artist, and enjoy a fun and relaxing evening of looking at art and talking with other creatives.

Jennifer completed the four-year fine arts program with Semyon Bilmes at Atelier Maui (formerly Ashland Academy of Art) in 2011. Since then, she has continued to study through various avenues, including the Masterpiece Christian Fine Arts Foundation artist conferences, and courses at Schoolism.com. Jennifer works as an art instructor and part time freelancer, and serves as the art walk coordinator for the artists of the Masterpiece Artist Guild.

Jennifer enjoys exploring a wide range of artistic media in her pursuit to create art that conveys emotions and stories. She works in pencil, watercolor, acrylics, oils, and mixed media, and she also loves to take what she has learned from more traditional methods of painting into cutting edge digital art programs, working on a computer or iPad in ways that are very similar to her approaches to drawing and painting on paper and canvas. There’s a thrill of discovery for her in trying different ways of working, in seeing what sticks around to become part of her process for the long haul, and in exploring the different ways media can be combined to create new results and approaches.

You can see more of Jennifer Garrett’s work at jngarrettart.com.

The Pony Espresso is located at 175 Lithia Way, Ashland, OR 97520. We look forward to seeing you there!”

"Puck" by J.N. Garrett 

Image:  “Puck” by J.N. Garrett 

Schneider Museum

Winter Exhibitions at the Schneider Museum of Art

Exhibitions on View: January 19th – March 17th 2018
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 18th 5:00 – 7:00 PM

Anna Gray & Ryan Paulsen, Between the Beginning and the Middle 

Maria de Los Angeles, Transcending Myths 

Betty LaDuke, Social Justice Continued 

Storm Tharp, Fierce Last Stand

Maria de Los Angeles, installation at El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY, 201

Image: Maria de Los Angeles, installation at El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY, 201

Download (PDF, 528KB)

Felting Workshop

I recently taught a 3 day workshop with Marilou Moschetti, in Aptos, California.  The workshop; Dye, Felt, Sew; focused on creating yardage that would be custom fit to each students individual silhouette for a vest or a jacket.  The patterns used were Diane Ericson’s Fault lines Vest and the Plaza Jacket.

The first day students created a color study using Colorhue dyes.  They had fun experimenting with different color combinations.  They learned how to create warm and cool colors and how to tone.  They then dyed their silk for the next day’s felting.  Students also spent time sketching design ideas for their felt yardage.

The second day was spent creating the yardage for their jacket or vest.  Some students created designs using flat felt surface while others played with 3-D techniques.  Pattern pieces were fitted for each individual’s body type.

The last day was spent cutting, fitting and sewing the vest or jacket.  At the end of the day we had a mini fashion show.   The workshop was a great success.

Colorhue dyes color study

Colorhue dyes color study

designing nuno felt yardage

designing nuno felt yardage

Plaza Jacket Fitting

Plaza Jacket Fitting

Fault Lines Vest, cutting out the pattern

Fault Lines Vest, cutting out the pattern

Nuno Felt Fault Lines Vest

Nuno Felt Fault Lines Vest

Plaza Jacket

Plaza Jacket

Finished felted garments

Finished felted garments

 

 

Felted Fault Lines Vest Class

I am so very excited to offer a 3 day felted Fault Lines Vest class January 17th through the 19th, 2014 at Ashland Art Center, Ashland, Oregon.  I have been playing with Diane Ericson’s Fault Lines Vest pattern and coming up with some amazing vests, undershirts and jackets.  In this 3 day class you will learn how to make felted yardage that you will use to make a vest, undershirt or jacket.  We will be mostly hand stitching the garments and encouraging you to think outside the box by combining felt and fabric to make your garments.  I love this pattern because there are lots of opportunities for design play.  Think about making a fabric undershirt and felted vest.  You can add a collar or leave the lines simple.  Create a collage look using prefelts and scraps of silk.  The possiblilities are endless.  I am attaching some pictures of the vests, undershirts and jackets that I have already made and will be posting new items as they are completed.  Visit www.dianeericson.com to see more Fault Lines Vest ideas. The cost for this workshop is $350.  Space is limited to 6, so you will receive lots of individual attention.  Please contact me to reserve your space today or click here to purchase.

faultlines jacket brn front

Autumn

Autumn

Nuno Felt Faultlines VestFault Lines Autumn Vest Pin detail

Fault Lines Autumn Vest Back

Call to Artists from the Talent Public Arts Committee

The Talent Public Arts Committee (TPAC) is creating a display to showcase the work of textile and fashion artists for the dates of Nov.12th-Jan.10th. At this time, this is an invitational show-however we are open to your suggestions of artists to contact and/or include. The deadline for jpeg submissions of work is Oct. 15th. We really hope to make this a great show and hope you’ll join us in the effort.

We are focusing on fashion design, textile art, and related practices such as art quilts, felting, rug making, silk dyeing, jewelry textiles, fashion illustration, photography of fashion/textiles, etc. We have a very large space to fill with artwork!

We have a wire and hook hanging system installed in the City Hall Gallery, so no work can be directly attached to the walls. Work that is not framed and wired needs to have a solid hanging apparatus that will work with this system. We would be happy to answer any questions to that end. We also have available a lighted glass display cabinet with movable glass shelves. The total size is about 8 feet long x 6 feet 6 inches tall x 14 inches deep. There are 9-12 shelves per case. Feel free to stop by City Hall anytime between 8:30am and 5pm Monday-Friday to look at the space and see what we have to offer. All sales have a nominal 10% commission fee, which goes directly back into the Public Arts coffers for putting on more events and shows.

To apply for this show click on “Call to All Artists” on the city home page at www.cityoftalent.org please read the “Guidelines for submission”, then follow the “instructions for application”. Again, the deadline for submissions is Oct. 15th.
To speak with us about possible artists, questions regarding the show, applications, etc. please call Karen at 541-621-6239 or email us at [email protected].

Elements Show at RGAC

Hannah, editor of Art Matters! writing…I went to the Rogue Gallery and Art Center this afternoon to attend a meeting of southern Oregon arts leaders. It was a fabulous time of exchanging ideas and affirming our mutual desire to bring our arts community closer together and make a greater case for the value of art to the broader community. You’ll be hearing more about the ideas we’ve had and what we’re planning soon…

After the meeting adjourned, I stayed a little while longer to look at the Elements show, and I have to say that I did not know that fiber arts could be so very well done, so truly artful. The quilted pieces on display range from intricate embroidery to painted silk, from garments to wall art, and from abstract to landscape to figurative. Definitely a fabulous display of the broad range of creativity possible with fabric, needle and thread! This show will only be up for another week, ending next Friday, so I strongly recommend you go see it soon if you haven’t already. You’ll be glad you did!

Here’s a quick look around the show…

Art Works Podcast: Yeohlee Teng

July 12, 2012

By Josephine Reed

Yeohlee Teng’s storefront in the Garment District. Photo by Yvonne Brooks

In this week’s podcast, we talk with clothing designer Yeohlee Teng. When Teng heard New York City’s mayor announce possible changes in zoning regulations that protect manufacturing space in Midtown Manhattan’s Garment District, she got to work. As board member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), she was instrumental in creating a partnership with the Design Trust for Public Space for the purpose of sustaining manufacturing in the Garment District while re-envisioning the area as a 21st-century creative hub.

The result of the partnership was a two-phase initiative. The first phase, Made in Midtown, was an open-ended study that examined the Garment District’s value to the fashion industry, and to the city as a whole. Its findings were then the basis of the second phase, which is called Making Midtown: Sustaining Design and Production in an Evolving Garment District. Making Midtown, which has received an NEA grant, is tasked with delivering policy recommendations that sustain and support the Garment District as a vital center of fashion design and industrial production. Yeohlee Teng has been pivotal in both phases of the initiative. Teng is a rarity in that she actually practices what she preaches. The clothing she designs and sells is made in NYC, and she located her chic shop and studio in the heart of the Garment District. In this excerpt from the podcast, Teng sums up the importance of the Garment District to New York City’s history, and shares her vision for its potential as a significant cultural and economic center in the city’s future. [1:13]

[transcript]

SOAR Welcomes Fiber Artist Laura Lawrence

Laura Lawrence, Fiber Artist,  My Dancing ThreadsWe are so happy to include two artists this week in the Fiber Artists category at SOAR. There is so much beautiful fiber art being produced here and this category has been sadly under-represented, but now we’re beginning to see some of the diversity of Southern Oregon’s offerings in this wonderful genre. Laura Lawrence’s My Dancing Threads is a great example of this work, and we’re delighted to welcome her to SOAR’s online community of southern Oregon artists.

Here’s a little background on the artist and her work, from her website:

“PAINTING WITH YARN” or how I got where I am:

Many Threads of Life Come Together

While the outward expression of my adventure into the fashion design world appears to be recent and with no logical origin (I bought my first knitting machine in December 2001), the steps up to this point can be traced to girlhood.

As a dancer, I loved working in the costume room during rehearsal breaks, sometimes being entrusted to help create my own costumes. Then, as a secretary in a law firm that displayed monumental abstract expressionist paintings, I felt empowered to use color without fear. Many of my designs link directly back to the movement of dance and/or the use of color and texture purely for their own sakes, with no regard for the fads of mass-produced garments. In fact, I deliberately hold back from studying fashion trends.

In the 1970s, my co-workers spent their lunch hours considerable money!” doing needlepoint kits. Since I was never a “kit person,” but saw the potential for mixing the vibrantly colored yarns into something of my own, I coined the phrase, “Painting with Yarn” and designed my own needlepoint canvases.

In 2000, the “digital” quality of needlepoint canvas (working in the constraints of lots of little square holes) became more “analog” when I took a class in tapestry weaving. Having my piece “Command Performance” (pictured center below) published in the Handweavers Guild of America a quarterly magazine Shuttle, Spindle & Dyepot for a year was both an honor and an encouragement to further explore the possibilities of painting with yarn.

Finally, a beautiful machine-knit ensemble which an English friend made for me introduced me to the craft I now call my full time business. Since one of anything never seems to be enough, I now work on three different machines–each having its own special abilities to produce the unique designs. The unusual yarns I use speak for themselves. They tell me how to make the person wearing them join in the celebration of color, texture, line, and movement, which they evoke.

Soon “painting with yarn” branched into two basic directions in my collection. One is the classic look using finer yarns such as rayon bouclé in my ikat abstracts, the other is more funky, using novelty yarns to create abstract art to wear.

When I was invited to sell my work in a local show in 2003, I needed a name for my business. My “Command Performance” tapestry launched a “name my business” thought process. The name My Dancing Threads came to me in the middle of the night (really!) and I knew that was it.

Since that first show, the road has been one of growing, learning, great expectations, many surprises, sometimes fun, sometimes grueling, but always an adventure. The fellow artisans I’ve met and worked with have become a second family: full of support, good advice, good humor, and ready to say, “well done.” The journey continues to inspire me to seek new ideas, and to have a good time doing it.

 

Learn more about Laura and her dancing threads by visiting her listing for a complete collection of web links and contact information. Please share!