April 14th, 2020 / posted by paularath

With my fabric art at Pauahi Tower’s Mezzanine Gallery

This photo was taken, clearly, “before.” I suspect we will be referring to the “befores” and “afters” in our lives for awhile now.

Jerry took it at the opening reception for the Hawaii Handweavers’ Hui Show, “Suitable for Framing: An Exhibition of Fiber Arts,” on January 16, just two months “before.”

I was thrilled to win the “Cutting Edge Award” for my work in the show. My prize is a pair of beautiful tailor’s scissors, a gift from generous donor New Home Sewing Center.

Of course all the artists were thrilled to have our work shown in this gorgeous gallery, and to have it hanging there for six months, from January 16 through July 11. Now I’m afraid there aren’t many eyes to appreciate the work in the show currently, but perhaps things will change before July.

“North Shore Surf’s Up,” my winning piece

It’s not easy to find venues for the work I have been doing. Although they look and act like paintings, there is no paint on them. They are entirely created with fibers I hand-dye in indigo and rust. So they don’t qualify to be in a show of watercolors or oils or acrylics. They were accepted for the Weavers’ show because of the way I layer the fabrics, sometimes five deep and often laid across each other in the manner of a weaving.

“Summer at Waimea Bay: Jump!”

Another opportunity for my work also came along this year, when the Hawaii Craftsmen announced their Fiber Hawaii 2020 show “In, of or About Fiber,” inviting artists to enter their “functional and non-functional objects made in any craft medium.”

Naturally, I jumped at the chance, and was excited to have two brand new works accepted into the show, “Summer at Waimea Bay: Jump!” and “Honu Returns to Laniakea.”

My fiber art piece “Honu Returns to Laniakea.”

However…..the show was scheduled to open April 3 at Gallery Iolani at Windward Community College, and close on May 3. So the accepted works are patiently waiting in the holding room of the gallery.

Yes, it’s sad to have these shows shut down. But, you know, this quarantine may provide many artists with extra time to create new work. And perhaps they are thriving with the burden of “so little time” lifted.

I have seen some talented artists showing their brand new work in Facebook and Instagram posts. Among them, Susie Anderson, Mark Norseth, George Woollard, Jo Rowley and Roger Whitlock. After all, plein air painting can easily (and probably preferably) be done more than six feet from another person. And our studios beckon.

So art goes on.

Paula Rath

 

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