Arts & Entertainment

New Hope Arts showcases contemporary weaving starting Nov. 16

“Thursday Nights,” 36″x 48″ wool and cotton tapestry by Mary-Ann Sievert

Seven contemporary fiber artists will be featured in “For the Love of the Loom: The Fine Art of Weaving” at New Hope Arts from Nov. 16 through Jan. 5.

Artists Rita Romanova Gekht, Bojana Leznicki, Susan Martin Maffei, Ilona Pachler, Mary-Ann Sievert, Armando Sosa, and Betty Vera work with a variety of techniques, from traditional to experimental.

“Santa Maria,” 56″ x 36″ cotton and silk by Armando Sosa

Though equipment may range from manually operated to computer-assisted looms, each artist approaches weaving as an artistic medium. As vehicles for personal expression, their textiles reflect the artist’s background, influences, and individual artistic vision—whether encompassing ancestral traditions or commenting on contemporary life.

Tapestry has an ancient history that continues to the present day. The late 1960s and early 1970s brought about a revival of interest in this art form as artists began to experiment with weaving in new ways. Two internationally renowned tapestry artists from this groundbreaking movement, Archie Brennan and Michelle Lester, are also represented in the exhibition. Weavers and teachers, both have had a profound influence on many fiber artists and were mentors and/or colleagues of six of the artists in “For the Love of the Loom.”

“Salmon River,” 12″ x 12″ cotton tapestry by Betty Vera

Today there is renewed interest in creating work by hand, making “For the Love of the Loom” particularly timely. Textile art is once again experiencing a revival and receiving wide exposure, as evidenced by the Tate Modern’s recent exhibition of Anni Albers’ groundbreaking Bauhaus weavings. The works on view at New Hope Arts further affirm weaving’s expressiveness as an art medium—one that can both embrace the past and present a fresh view of today’s world.

“Constructive Interlude,” 60″x 40″ wool and cotton tapestry by Rita Romanova Gekht

A special feature of the exhibition is a boutique of wearables and other fiber work by local weavers. Weaving demonstrations, lectures and artist talks will take place throughout the exhibition. As events are scheduled, they will be listed on the center’s website, along with exhibition hours and travel directions.

“For the Love of the Loom” was curated by tapestry artist Rita Romanova Gekht, founder and owner of Rita’s Dream Weaving Studio in Lambertville.

An opening reception will be held on Saturday, Nov. 16, from 5 to 8 p.m.  New Hope Arts is located at 2 Stockton Ave. in New Hope; (215) 862-9606.

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