THREADSBARED stitches together the works of three artists—Kate Kretz, Denise Burge and Jacob Lynn—each exploring their own deeply personal human vulnerabilities of longing and loss—the primal need for touch and connection to something or someone outside of ourselves—to a lover, to parents and place, to a child, to the land.
Each artist painstakingly reveals what it is like to live inside of the skin they're in, creating elaborately embroidered, cross-stitched, quilted artworks--evocative and nostalgic in their history and form—but creating gut-punch powerful contemporary art, where the personal is universal. For more information, contact Creative Director of the Herndon Gallery, Jennifer Wenker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Some of the works in the exhibition include nudity, sexuality and other explicit material. Viewer and parental discretion is advised.
THREADSBARED runs from March 10–May 13, 2016. Gallery hours are 1-4 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday and by arrangement, except on March 19 and 26, when Antioch College is on break.
Related events are being held in the Herndon Gallery in South Hall at Antioch College:
March 10, 6–8 p.m. Opening Reception. Artist talk at 7 p.m. by Denise Burge
April 14, 7 p.m., artist talk with Kate Kretz
April 16, 1-5 p.m., Kate Kretz presents a workshop, Publicity and Self-Promotion for Artists. The intensive 4-hour professional workshop is $40/person and is open to all artists and to the general public. Fee waived for Antioch College students, faculty and staff with current ID. Support comes from the College and Arts at Antioch.
About the Artists:
Raised in the mountains of North Carolina, artist Denise Burge works in a variety of media, including drawing, animation, film, and quiltmaking. Of the latter—the quiltmaking—Burge writes, “Already highly romantic objects, quilts exist as a physical analog to the forms and concepts they represent. In general, I am fascinated with our complex relationship with 'Nature with a capital N'. Though we use (often brutally) nature as a resource, we retain the illusion of 'wilderness' in how we manage and image the land. The contradictions and complexities of this subject reveal our deepest human desires and needs.”
Piecing together bits of recycled fabric and discarded afghans and somebody else’s heirlooms, Burge creates transcendental portraits of her ancestral North Carolina mountains, home and family. For Burge, the land—the mud itself—contains the substance of life; and the constructed quilt metaphorically alludes to the organization of that substance, of that primordial muck, into the historical layers of both geology and genealogy. Within the layers are the recycled bits of the DNA that make up the artist’s Carolina mountains and valleys and the artist, herself.
Burge’s quilt works have been widely commissioned and collected, and were included in two Quilt National exhibitions. For this work she has been awarded multiple Ohio Arts Council grants, residencies and the Headlands Center for the Arts and the Fine Art Work Center in Provincetown, and a Joan Mitchell Foundation award. In 2006 she formed a collaborative animation group called "The Dozens". Their work premiered at the Fringe Festival in Edinboro, Scotland, and has been in several national and international film festivals. Since then, she has been creating video installation work with Lisa Siders and Jenny Ustick under the name Maidens of the Cosmic Body Running.
In her artist statement, Kate Kretz writes, “I often experience news stories of inhumanity as a literal blow to my body, and carry the negative energy around with me until I process a way to remove it from my person through transformative creation. My work functions as a meditation, a healing prayer, a potent incantation to embed the finished object with as much power as possible, to rival the impact of that original negative impetus for making it. I am aiming for a beautiful, exquisitely-crafted gut punch.”
Kretz’s recent work includes human hair embroideries and dense, obsessive, bas-relief cotton floss embroideries. Generally focused on creating time-intensive work telling difficult truths, recent series have addressed vulnerabilities of motherhood and familial dysfunctionality. Kretz’s work has appeared in over 95 international newspapers and has been featured repeatedly in the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, and The Huffington Post. Her controversial painting, “Blessed Art Thou”, was covered by hundreds of international news sources, and continues to be published in magazines and university textbooks worldwide, almost a decade later.
Exhibitions include the Museum of Arts & Design, Van Gijn Museum, Kunstraum Kreuzberg, Academy of Arts & Design at Tsinghua University in Beijing, Wignall Museum, Katonah Museum, Frost Art Museum, Fort Collins MOCA, Telfair Museum, Fort Lauderdale Museum, the Museo Medici, San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, as well as Lyons Wier Ortt & 31Grand Gallery in NY, Chelsea Galleria and Hardcore Art Contemporary Space in Miami, and Packer/Schopf in Chicago.
Kate has received the MD Council For The Arts Grant, NC Arts Council Grant, The South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship, The Florida Visual Arts Fellowship, a Millay Colony Residency, a Hambidge Center Fellowship, and was a 2013 Trawick Prize Finalist. After working as an Associate Professor and BFA Director at Florida International University for ten years, she currently works in her studio while giving workshops and lectures at various universities.
Emerging artist, Jacob Lynn, originally from rural Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, consciously re-appropriates the traditionally-feminine craft of cross-stitched samplers and delicate silk embroidery to question society’s rigid binary ideas around gender and sexuality. In his elegantly minimal seven-panel series, Internal Dialogues, Lynn relates growing up homosexual in a conservative community. Depicting himself as a single faceless boy in a pink embroidered scouting uniform, in the panel titled They Started a Second Troop, Lynn tells of being segregated in the Boy Scouts by the creation of a second troop for the “other” scouts.
In his Missed Connections series, Lynn crafts traditional cross-stitched samplers, but with content drawing from Craiglist’s “missed connections” online posts containing the (explicit) missives of homosexual encounters, which portray the modern world of online cruising and men-on-the-down-low that occurs in the homosexual community.
Lynn holds an MFA from the University of Cincinnati’s College of DAAP and has shown work in Dis-semblance: Projecting and Perceiving Identity at 21c museum hotel and most recently at Brazee Street gallery in Cincinnati.