EAST JORDAN -- The seventh annual Jordan River Arts Council fiber show, Rare Threads, opened Sunday and will run through Saturday, Nov. 3. Fiber artists from all over Michigan and five other states have placed their diverse works on display at the Jordan River Art Center gallery on Main Street in downtown East Jordan.
The opening reception for the juried exhibit, which is cosponsored by North Central Michigan College and the Dennos Museum Center, brought artists and visitors to the art center to talk to one another about the stories the quilts, tapestries and woven art tell.
Many of the pieces tell stories or are related to memories, said Sylvia Walworth, exhibit curator, a fiber artist herself. "We're demonstrating work from women's hands. It can be incredibly intricate and concerned with emotion," said Walworth. While the artists are predominantly female, there are two male exhibitors, "We have fabulous male fiber artists, too," said Walworth.
Julie Hurd, of Bellaire, is displaying two sweaters she created at the arts council. A deep purple hooded jacket is smattered with delicate, white flowers. Hurd is a docent at Grass River Nature Area in Bellaire and said she imagined walking late on a spring night with the stars above and flowers spread across the ground when creating the jacket.
The second piece she made that is on display was dyed entirely with color from mushrooms. There are not only yellows, browns and creams, but also purples and teals in the sweater. All of the wool she uses, said Hurd, is from a sheep named James. "I like to know where it comes from," she said.
There will be two fiber art workshops associated with the exhibit. The first will be on Odawa fingerweaving Oct. 27 at the Torch Lake Township community building and the second will be on natural dying techniques Nov. 3 at North Central Michigan College. Both workshops are 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
The fiber arts exhibit in East Jordan is open 1-4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, through Nov. 3.
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