Innovations in Fiber

Updated: Mar 26, 2020

The South Haven Center for the Arts fall exhibit consists of fiber art made with materials ranging from suede to steel.

The art center’s 10th Annual Juried Exhibition features creative explorations in fiber and textile by 26 artists working in Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

The artworks were created using traditional materials such as silk, cashmere, suede, denim, felt, string, and Toile de Jouy, which is a type of printed calico typically used for curtains and upholstery. Visitors will also see works created using materials one wouldn’t necessarily associate with fiber, such as clay, paper, plastic, vinyl, glass, porcelain, metal leaf, copper, brass, steel, birch bark, and sticks and stones.

The artwork hints at an underlying theme of repurposing discarded materials, which are in turn woven into themes of their own. T.J. Schwartz incorporated fibers from her grandmother’s clothes to create some of the weft threads in her piece entitled “Spirit Wolf”, borne of grief and dreams of wolves––the spirits of which have come to symbolize for her “guidance through grief”.

Kelly Hanson used acrylic, clay, craft paper and string to create her piece, “Sleeping Arrangements”, which represents the history of her marriage and divorce through various sleeping arrangements her family assumed as it grew to include three children. “The black squares symbolize nighttime, the gray squares, naptimes,” said Kelly. “The square highlighted with stitching is, to me, a moment of complete happiness.”