Category Archives: juried art exhibit

Reflecting and Planning

It has been 5 years since I began the Year Study.  My goals were to explore, evaluate and exhibit the results of daily sketching and creating. I did EXPLORE with materials, techniques and composition lessons resulting in a renewed interest in hand stitching, experimenting with brushes and paints, and seeing more simply.

EVALUATING my use of time is an important element as an artist. How to continue networking in one circle while expanding into others; keeping an ear open and helping in different ways needs to be communicated by actions and in conversations. Scheduling studio time and developing themes for the upcoming exhibits rather than creating inventory has been a process. One that with the distractions of nature here in West Virginia is more enjoyable than a commercial speed on the East Coast as I age. Transferring the Ruckman Mill Farm patterns and products to a new generation at Green Mountains Hooked Rugs opened my schedule to more studio time. Now teaching is focused on design and encouragement, others provide the materials.

The EXHIBIT goal was met at Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week in 2015 when all twelve months and a collection of work were featured. Juried into and invited to show in several fine art exhibits validated the direction and I respect my peers recognition. My resume’ lists these venues with the ultimate, an Award of Excellence and purchase by the State Museum from the 20th Bi-Ennial Juried Exhibition in 2017 for Progress in the Mountains. The opportunity to curate the collection Glimpses Inside Appalachia this fall, shown at Raleigh Playhouse, Beckley, WV brought my work before a new audience and opened other exhibit venues.

My five year goal includes developing the themes I identified from the study and exhibiting each in different markets. A new decade will be on the horizon by then and more goals.

Speaking out about current events , Nature’s Beauty and Human Impact, and a Travel Series  where I am developing each sketch several times. 

Hope to meet you on our journey. Happy creating.

Recognition and Education

Rughooking is a technique easily learned, leading to opportunities to master the materials, various techniques and design elements with practice – one loop at a time. With the method comes a connection to generations of people who enhanced their surroundings creating utilitarian rugs from material once part of a garment or blanket. Each of these aspects drew me in and comforted me as I developed confidence as an artist.

1968 purchase award McDonald Sisters rug

 

At least half a dozen years ago I saw a large tapestry on permanent display in the Legacy of Craftsmanship Room at the State Museum, Charleston, WV with a label describing the techniques as embroidery, appliqué and hooking. How exciting to know the same technique I was immersing my time and skills in had been recognized by the state of West Virginia arts commission. At the Appalachian Corridor Exhibition of 1968 (first of three bi-ennials under that name) a purchase award to Blanche and Otha McDonald for their rug was issued along with several other media.

These first art pieces entered the collection housed at the State Museum and are now joined, over the past 40 years, by a couple of hundred contemporary art pieces thanks to the Bi-Ennial Juried Exhibition conducted by the Commission on the Arts, Division of Culture and History.

On Sunday, November 12, 2017 ten more works were awarded purchase recognition. I am thrilled to announce there is another hooked piece in the permanent collection: Progress in the Mountains, Susan L Feller, Augusta, WV.

The exhibit is on public display through February 11 at the Art Museum of WVU, One Fine Arts Drive, Morgantown, WV. The award winners will next be displayed at the State Museum gallery and then become part of the archives.

Just think 50 years from now someone will research the collection to find and study my hooked runner for materials, techniques of dyeing and hooking, and respond to my design just as I did the rug from 1968. One difference is I have documented my process, written articles, continue to record and publish the tools and materials I use and contribute these to the archives at the Museum. The McDonald Sisters work does not have these answers compiled as conveniently for research. A lesson I learned to rectify because of my frustration after seeing that rug and label on display and asking who were these ladies? Why did they mimic rughooking with their needle, thread and fabric strips? What inspired their designs and development of product?

It seems I can now say I too am part of the generations of rughooking craft makers. And that makes me happy pulling new loops.

Mountaineers talk about Passion-Rughooking

Susan Feller and June Myles presented gallery talks at Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week. As West Virginians each appreciate the heritage involved in rughooking and have been featured in WV Living Magazine with their work.

Discussing Marion Sachs’ interpretation of David Galchutt’s art

The topic of Susan’s talk was pointing out the elements and principles of design in the winning entries for Celebrations 27, published by Rug Hooking Magazine. She has been included in three Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs issues and a judge, her work has been juried into several contemporary Hooked Art collections. Author of Design Basics for Rug Hookers, Stackpole Books 2011, her advice has helped many create their own “Great rug.” Involved in promoting the traditions carried on by artistic contemporaries, Susan teaches and lectures worldwide, and is a member of TIGHR, McGown and Surface Design.

 

hooked with wool fabric or yarn juried work. Celebrations 27

June on right during talk

June has been hooking since 1988. She is a graduate of Hollins University in Virginia with a degree in physics, and spent her junior year abroad at the Sorbonne in Paris. She has maintained her interest in science as well as art, serving for three decades as a docent at the American Museum of Natural History. She is the artist and author of the Men Only book and hooked rug collection. The stories June shared about how she selected a newspaper clipping saved for decades, or woodblock from children’s book as subject were encouraging to the audience as resources. She described the variety of materials and techniques used to finish the edges from old chestnut frame by a friendly carpenter to the right beads accenting an Afghanistan fellow.

Attendees said participating in the gallery talks at Sauder Village adds to the learning process for the full exhibit. We encourage you all to take advantage of a docent lead discussion on your next museum visit.

Opening of ‘Hooked Art 2014’

Entrance to UConn Gallery Hooked Art 2014

Entrance to UConn Gallery Hooked Art 2014

Opening Receptions are great opportunities to meet artists and view artwork and Saturday , October 25 was no exception.

Fifteen of the 18 artists were in attendance to discuss and enjoy the 55 contemporary textile works curated by Liz Alpert Fay in the 10th exhibit sponsored by Newtown Hooked Art Shows with Sherry Paisley.

Conversations between artists included topics on process, progress and future studio work while audience members were overheard saying their work would be influenced by the innovative directions they observed on the walls at the UConn Gallery on Stamford, CT campus.

Below are two images of work included in this exhibition of contemporary hooked art on view at UConn Gallery in Stamford, CT through November 29.  Visit if you can and enjoy the scale of each interacting with the others.

See www.NewtownHookedArtShows.com fora  link about hours and directions.  A review in Fiber Art Now magazine Fall 2014 issue includes an interview with Juror of Awards-Lee Kogan, Curator Emerita American Folk Art Museum, New York City.

I am happy to announce receipt of a travel grant from WV Div of Culture and History for my trip to the opening and a luncheon with fellow artists.  The grant allowed me to meet with my peers, view their work and discuss future fiber projects outside of the State of West Virginia.

Juried work in 2013

Haying Stages, Iconic Liberty, Caraway Garden Runner

Haying Stages, Iconic Liberty, Caraway Garden Runner

The studio has offered me organized space to work and explore.  Several pieces were submitted to different juried and invitational shows.

Haying Stages was accepted in 7Stitch shown at Morehead State College in Morehead, KY this summer.  It was a Surface Design exhibit and juried by the President Jane Dunnewold.  It was also accepted in the WV Div of Culture and History Biennial Juried Exhibition to be hung in the Dunn Building in Martinsburg, November 24- Feb 27, 2014.

Iconic Liberty received first place in West Virginia in the national theme American Heritage for the NSDAR.

Caraway Garden Runner was accepted along with Veins of Energy – Coal in the Best of West Virginia juried show at TAMARACK in Beckley, WV.

Juried into 7Stitch: Kentucky Surface Design Exhibit

Exciting email today, juror Jane Dunnewold, President of Surface Design Association accepted “Haying Stages” into the upcoming 7Stitch: Contemporary Textile Art from Kentucky & the Surrounding States exhibit at Morehead State University, Morehead, Kentucky. 

Coordinated by the Kentucky region of Surface Design, the collection of 35 fiber works will open on June 1 with a reception from 3-5pm at the Claypool-Young Art Gallery and continues through August 30, 2013.

Best of West Virginia 2012 Juried Exhibition

Two works were juried into the 2012 “Best of West Virginia” Exhibit in Tamarack’s David L. Dickirson Fine Arts Gallery this summer. The exhibit is open through August 18, 2012 at Tamarack-WV in Beckley, WV just off I64 and I77.

Vein of Energy-Coal, Susan L. Feller 2012

 This piece is 10″ x 40″ created using alpaca yarns spun by Capon Bridge Fiber Works and incorporating as-is wools in the neutral palette of a geological Vein of Energy-Coal, the lifeblood of so many people in our state.  The fibers spoke organically to me as I worked pulling loops of intertwined values to compose the pockets of minerals.  The tactile experience of different fibers slipping through my fingers and rhymic pace loop pulling produces takes me to a pleasurable creative zone both physically and mentally.

 

Fire in the Mountains by Susan L. Feller

  Another neutral palette, this time using hand dyed wool, alpaca and synthetic yarns.  The techinques include fiber hooking, and applique.  To emphasize the foreground and distant skyline I stitched fabric to the linen backing which was the foundation for the entire work.  The backing can be seen as the field behind the treeline.  See an earlier post for the thought process I went through to “finish” the piece.  This piece has sold.

Emerging Artists Show at Tamarack

Artists juried into Tamarack’s David L. Dickirson Fine Art Gallery in Beckley, WV in the past 18 months are featured in the exhibit opening with a reception on Sunday, January 22.  The show will be up through March 23. 

This collection was inspired by the shadows cast by objects along the roadway onto surfaces in front of me as I drove the thousands of miles this past year.  One image stayed in my mind of large round hay rolls lined up at the fencerow and 10:00 sunlight. 

There are two sets: one depicting the grassy field and then textured roadway; the other with a light snow on the grasses and roadway showing a slushy tire track.  The fifth image is the view out our kitchen window. Winter now with oak trees retaining their light brown leaves and the other hardwoods barren against a cold white sky.  I incorporated alpaca yarns, spun in Hampshire County at the Capon Bridge Fiber Works into the piece adding a soft texture. 

All the works are 5″ x 13″ mounted on 8″ x 16″ covered stretcher bars   They are priced at $135 each and available directly from the Tamarack-Gallery.

Juried Art in 2011

The following three works were juried into exhibitions and/or publications this year.  This exposes the traditional craft of rughooking to a contemporary art audience.  Hope you can visit one or all of the exhibitions:
State Museum, Culture Center, 1900 Kanawha Blvd E, Charleston, WV 304-558-0220 for hours
Tamarack, One Tamarack Park, Beckley, WV 1-888-TAMARACK
June 19-Aug 13
Sauder Village, Archbold, OH www.Saudervillage.org Rug Hooking Week
August 17-20
Celebrations XXI published by Stackpole Books  August 2011

Entry accepted in WV Juried Exhibition

Just received notice that “Winter in West Virginia” was accepted in the  Inspired: A West Virginia Series of Juried Exhibitions Historic Buildings.  The opening ceremony was on January 24, 2011 at the WV Culture Center, 1900 Kanawha Blvd, E. Charleston, WV.  Show up through July 25.

Yes that is the Capitol of West Virginia!  Visit www.wvculture.org, exhibits for details about hours of the Commissioner’s gallery.

Winter in West Virginia, Susan L. Feller

This piece was one of the 6 works reviewed by jurors for TAMARACK for the category FINE CRAFT.  It was created in 2009 for a travelling exhibit titled STRIPES.  The artists from Japan and the United States each interpreted that word using some type of rughooking.  I happily packed my work up and sent it off today, for one more leg of its journey.  Japan, NJ, IN and now Charleston, WV.  It is for sale, but I do hope to see its return at the end of the show, since the inspiration is a view right out our kitchen looking towards Short Mountain.