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In The MC Erny Gallery: "A Thread Runs Through It"


WHQR Public Radio is excited to announce the MC Erny Gallery at WHQR will host the opening reception on Friday, September 27, from 6 – 8 pm for "A Thread Runs Through It."Guests are invited to meet the artist and the WHQR staff and on-air personalities while enjoying great food and wine. There is an additional reception on Friday, October 25, 2019, and the show will remain on display until November 8, 2019. A portion of the proceeds from any sale of art benefits WHQR.

Fiber and textiles have slowly melded into today’s fine art fields and is currently experiencing a renaissance. In their exhibition, “A Thread Runs Through It,” five artists explore traditional stitching in contemporary fiber art. Through the use of time, quiet meditation and the labor of stitching, the desired experience/outcome is a connection of places and people to makers and viewers. The wide range of modern fiber-works included in this show are a testament to traditions of stitching, brought to current appreciation and acknowledgement.

Becky Bucci has always been fascinated by color and shapes. A long time quilter, she looked forward to retirement in Wilmington, NC as a starting point to jump into other forms of expression. A pile of fabric, paper scraps or interesting combination of colors is what inspires her. She is now able to fully explore painting, collage and fiber art. Becky is grateful to the many teachers and artists that have inspired her over the years.

Leslie Marsh, Topsail Beach book and fiber artist, comes from a long line of women who draw with needle and thread. She learned traditional handwork from her grandmother as a child and has been building on those conventional roots ever since. Her current work was infused with gathered bits of vintage velvet, feed sacks, quilt blocks, and fibers she has dyed. These pieces are a form of visual storytelling - whimsy with a nod back at her forebears. The other work presented here was inspired by forest flora and fungi. Marsh creates sculptures that are both realistic and dreamy by manipulating mulberry paper, fiber, and paper clay. Her oak and acorn pieces are built on actual branches and acorn caps. 

Patricia Mattison is an artist that essentially paints with fabric to create realistic collages. Her subject matter includes landscapes, surfers, mermaids, dogs, cats and portraits. When she retired from medicine she discovered the joy of creativity. Her method includes using photographs for realistic images. Much of her fabric is hand dyed silk or cotton, but also includes velvets, upholstery and prom materials. It is essentially painting with fabric. Her work has been in a local gallery and in several shows nationwide. Her mother and grandmother were instrumental in her knowledge of sewing, crochet and embroidery. So many women since then have contributed to her art .

Jan Wutkowski, long practiced in the fiber arts, believes that a needle, a thread, a piece of fabric and some quiet time magically combine to become soothsayer, storyteller, scribe. Hand stitching connects her to the grandmothers who lovingly taught her simple stitches to make functional as well as pretty things. Wutkowski employs the rhythmic rocking of her needle for meditation and a slow flow of consciousness that translates to work stemming from her past yet offering a path to contemporary ways of randomly laying down threads. All the pieces Jan shows in WHQR’s gallery are manifestations of old and new, family and friends, contemporary and traditional, used to facilitate connecting viewers to places and memories.

Rebecca Yeomans has a background in painting and drawing (BFA '74, MFA '79) but her current endeavors have evolved into fiber art. Her new work involves attempting to get botanical printing, knitting and stitching to cooperate with each other. The element of botanical printing is almost always the inspiration and starting point for these pieces. She enjoys the relationship with the natural world inherent in this process: foraging walks, saving avocado pits and onion skins, growing coreopsis, planting and keeping alive a smokebush, the aroma of cooking eucalyptus...  Rebecca works intuitively, reacting playfully to what is happening on the journey. In her search for a personal approach to fiber art she strives to balance the refined and wonky, thoughtful and random. The beauty of the materials and the process of making are what these pieces are about. In a nutshell, she is co-creating with Mother Nature and collaborating with fabric, yarn and thread.

**Further images and interviews available upon request**