Purls of Wisdom
FiberPhiladelphia 2012 is an international biennial and regional festival for innovative fiber/textile art. Exhibitions are happening at more than 40 locations including major institutions and independent venues during the event. They will include work by renowned international artists and a new generation of artists breaking into the field. The first shows began in January and they stretch until June.
Now, if you've been reading our blog, you'll know that March is National Craft Month. But did you know that on March 2nd May Michael Nutter declared by official proclamation that March is Fiber Arts Month in Philadelphia? Well, friends, it's true. At the opening ceremony which was held at Moore College of Art and Design we were treated to a welcome address by Mayor Nutter (at a yarn bombed microphone), an introduction by Dr. Happy Fernandez (President of Moore), another intro by Amy Orr (Executive Director of FiberPhiladelphia 2012) and finally, a keynote lecture by Elissa Auther. She is the author of String, Felt, Thread: The Hierarchy of Art and Craft in American Art (Minnesota, 2010). Click here to see photos of this amazing event and the opening that occurred afterward at the Crane Arts BUilding!
Yes, that's me yarn bombing the microphone that Mayor Nutter, et al, spoke at.
Now, at this point, you may be asking yourself why I am writing about this. What's the tie back to The Handwork Studio? Here's the deal: I work for The Handwork Studio year round as the Director of Curriculum and Education, but I'm also a fiber artist who makes and shows work in galleries. I was drawn to FiberPhiladelphia in January 2011 by a fellow fiber artist and the next thing I knew I found myself on the Executive Board of this fabulous festival surrounded by the most amazing individuals: artists, curators, students, designers and volunteers. Together, we created the single most important Fiber Arts event in Philadelphia in the last 20 years. I am so proud to be a part of this group and promote the exhibitions, support our business sponsors and spread the word.
So please stop by The Handwork Studio and pick up one of our directories and plan your visit to our shows around the city today! You can also find them at many locations around town; check the website for a list of our exhibitions and support your local fiber artists!
Full Disclosure / Shameless Plug:
I have a number of shows during the festival that I would love for you to share with your children, friends and family. Click here for the full exhibitions list and search for "Melissa". You can see some of the work I do when I'm not knitting bunnies and sewing marshmallows!
If you're reading this, chances are you have a little fiber artist at home and in that case I would strongly recommend that if you're in the Philadelphia area between now and the end of April, take them to see Cold Comfort at The Schuylkill Center for Envrionmental Education. This show has been delighting the little ones (and not so little ones) since January and is a real treat, both indoors and out!
Tags: kids knitting, crafts, kids programs, art exhibit, fiber arts, stitch, travel, Workshops, website, National Craft Month, Narberth, Reccomendations, Sewing, Knitting, Crochet, Fun, kids, fun kids activities, project ideas, camp, Handwork, Narberth kids' activities
There are a few things that make American summers unique. 4th of July barbecues, fireworks and of course...the great American Road trip.
Last summer Miss Julia and I embarked on an unprecedented Handwork Studio event by taking our one of a kind summer camp on the road; well not just on the road, but on the highways, byways, bridges and tolls of the U.S. making stops in Texas, Colorado, New Jersey and Maryland.
What made the experience so great is hard to pinpoint, if not impossible. You just can’t put into words the awesomeness of a denim covered van filled with fabric pulling into a national park for a night of camping, or the way a new group of families and kids look at you the first time that they see you in your Handwork Studio apron. And quite frankly, I wouldn’t want to have to pick just one great thing…I WANT THEM ALL!
People often ask Julia and I if being on the road was difficult. What it was like being in the van driving for 14 hours a day. How often we stopped at gas stations or rest stops. Our answers are always the same, “Oh, it was so much fun!” However, at some point though Miss Julia does mention the fact that I shouted “COWS!” at every bit of cattle we drove by in open country pastures. No, really, every cow I saw I shouted it. I really like cows.
So, if I had to pick my favorite things or activities about our trip it would be these:
Stopping at farm stands in Texas and buying pickled okra and fudge
Taking Sheepy to the beach for the first time (most sheep never see sand)
Learning how to pitch a tent
Seeing the top of Pike’s Peak
Making it from Colorado to Pennsylvania in 36 hours