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Fiber Arts Show at Mena Art Gallery

BY BARBARA M. TOBIAS –

Perhaps you, too, have heard that fiber art is a dying skill—something only our grandmothers do. There is certainly a world of evidence at the gallery during August that proves it simply “ain’t so.”

From the heirloom crochet bedspread that Rae Grasso brought (begun in 1904 and finished in 2001 by a descendent of the original artist) to Debra Lay’s “Polka Dot Cats” quilt, to Sharon Chambers’ burst of flowers on a quilt called “Bloom,” to Bridget Sigler’s exquisite knitted lace shawls, the gallery is full of fiber art: whimsical, practical, wearable, and everything in between.

There are hats, scarves, wall hangings, sweaters, toys, runners, and much more. What really caught my eye was the jewelry made by tatting with extremely fine thread so that it looks almost like tiny flowers.

And, although there are a lot of “Not For Sale” tags on these one-of-a-kind creations, there is always hope. If you spot something that you really would like to have, contact the artist and see if she or he will make one like it for you. Or even better, changed just a little so that yours is unique.

On Friday afternoons, there will be demonstrations of different facets of fiber art by local artists. Keep an eye on our website (www.MenaArtGallery.org then click on “Textiles” under “Exhibits” in the left-hand menu). We’ll list each upcoming demonstration the week it is to take place. As a “heads up” the first will be Kim Hughes doing embroidery on Friday, August 9, at 1 pm.

If you are a practitioner of this not-so-lost-after-all art, come in on Tuesdays between 11 am and 2 pm when a group of fiber artists gather to work on their projects, learn from each other, and just enjoy the company.

The exhibit will be up during the entire month of August during regular gallery hours: 11 am to 2 pm on Tuesdays, 10 am to 3 pm Wednesdays through Saturdays.