In a previous life I taught traditional quilting and weaving and I have to admit my heart still does a pitter patter when I see textile art. Although the majority of my students show their creative side through painting and watercolours there are those brave souls who forge ahead and exhibit their creativity through textiles. One of these artists is Dorothy Warren.
Dorothy is a retired pharmacy manager who has always had a secret yen to paint (her words). She fulfilled this longing by “painting in cloth” – making traditional quilts, quilts of her own design and eventually “art” quilts. Knowing that she would benefit from some professional instruction in design and color, Dorothy signed up for the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Extension’s Visual Arts certificate program. She took drawing classes, and learned about art and design from people (students and instructors) who have a phenomenal wealth of knowledge and experience.
I met Dorothy when she was one of my Art History students. She told me that the class helped her understand how art has evolved over the centuries and how it swings from one extreme to the other.
The first image, ‘Colors of the Spirit’ is of one of a pair of banners Dorothy created for Southminster- Steinhauer United church. The second image was created for a cover of Dorothy’s paper on “Textiles in Art from the Renaissance to Contemporary times.”
Textile art can follow one of two directions. It can be traditional, beautifully executed and worthy of being part of anyone’s life. It is possible for us to peruse such works and marvel at the skill required to create such works of art by visiting museums.
Textile artists can also choose to join the ranks of installation and performance artists. There are more and more museums that recognize the value of textile art today. To see more examples check out this link: http://visionsartmuseum.org/exhibitions.asp?pg=biennial