Saturday, October 16, 2010

Small Accomplishments

Felicity.01 • Dye on Fabric • 5"x 5" • ©2010 Jennifer Libby Fay
I will always have a soft spot in my heart for The Arts Center of the Ozarks. Readers of this blog will remember back in July I was awarded the Postcard Prize for the Artist's of Northwest Arkansas Regional Art Exhibition by their Visual Arts Director, Leslie Callison, Ph.D. When she asked me to participate in their annual fundraiser, the 8th Annual 5"x 5" Auction, of course I said yes. Artists from all over the area are given 5' x 5' canvas and asked to create a piece of art to donate to the ACO. On the first Thursday of November they have a big party featuring jazz music and delicious food while they hold the silent auction. I have heard that people line up early to get in and bid on their favorites!

I used the opportunity to experiment a bit. I am, as are many textile artists I know, conflicted about putting fabric under glass in the framing, or finishing, process. Behind glass textile art can (but not always) loose the depth and texture that I love most about fabric. Ironically, my recent work, which is traditionally matted and framed, is selling very well…so like I said: conflicted.

Felicity.02 • Dye on Fabric • 5"x5" • ©2010 Jennifer Libby Fay
Since I knew that the 5"x5" couldn't be framed I had to work differently and I was given permission to work differently. This is what I love about challenges, they force me to solve the problems I have been avoiding out of fear or laziness.

I love to stitch, but I haven't incorporated it into my work for awhile—I am especially adverse to putting stitching under glass, although I have done it (yep, still conflicted). Since these pieces would not be framed I decided to get out the needle and thread and enjoy the process. After I dyed and stitched the fabric, uncertainty set in. Should I glue my fabric to the canvas already stapled to the 5"x 5"? Would the glue seep through? Should I back my fabric? With what? In the end I decided to remove the canvas and stretch my fabric around the frame, stapling it in the back. I am very pleased with the results. This little project has sparked ideas, pathways and connections for a new body of work that includes stitching and finishing in the same manner. My debt of gratitude to Dr. Callison continues to grow!

In Other News
If you are in the Seattle (are you in Seattle?) area during the month of October, check out the Shift Collaborative Studio show, Thirteen Underground, that is part of an artist member exchange and features work by members of the Fayetteville Underground, including yours truly.


  1. Beautiful work ... beautiful colors and textures. Can't wait to see more.

  2. Simply amazing!..I love that you took the canvas off the frame and used the frame for the fabric to wrap around...the colour combos are stunning and shapes and stitching...looks like the different shapes and colours and patterns are all one piece?...would love to know how you do that?...xx..julia