The artists in Blue Spiral’s early-winter exhibit Print + Pattern go to great lengths (and long hours) to expand the notion of traditional printmaking, applying pattern and interest to textiles and 3D forms. Curated by participating artist Casey Engel, the show also includes work by Eleanor Annand, Katie Chung, Jeanine Coupe Ryding, Julian Jamaal Jones, Althea Murphy-Price, Kristen Necessary, Peter Olson, and Heidi Tarver.
Annand has moved through many mediums, working everywhere from “IBM to Yee-Haw Industries” and doing two stints at Penland School of Craft. A letterpress founder and well-known painter and paper artist, she recently switched genres again to wall-mounted clay sculpture, glazed and etched in the same palette of foggy, meditative blues that has informed her distinctive look.
Necessary is founder of Starfangled Press in Brevard, a boutique company that makes notecards, clothing, and other household items branded with playful imagery that celebrates the local mountain wildlife and scenery. For the Print + Pattern exhibit, she’ll show all the work behind the whimsy, displaying her black-and-white wood carvings that can take hundreds of hours to complete.
“As curator, I find myself responding to the other works in the exhibition, [which is] different from how I normally create,” says Engel. Vibing with the other artists who are working outside the parameters of traditional printmaking, she will exhibit her original woodcuts and hand-quilted textiles, including two conceptual “windows” named after her parents, Gary and Shirley Mae.
Engel salvages thrifted linens to begin her soft sculpture. “It is deeply important to me that the textiles I am selecting have already lived a life of their own within the home,” she states. She then uses all-natural dyes such as indigo, weld, or iron and collages her work with garment scraps before affixing the piece to its (typically unusual) surface.
“The works on display may come across as unexpected,” says Engel. “This exhibition celebrates artists who are earnestly breaking the rules.”
Blue Spiral 1 Fine Art + Craft, 38 Biltmore Ave., Asheville. Main Gallery, Nov. 4-Dec. 28. www.bluespiral1.com.