Every once in a while I’m asked to do something special. In this case I’m talking about a student of mine, Judy Weiss, who chose me as her mentor for her graduating show for her Fine Arts Certificate at the University of Alberta. My major at the Alberta College of Art and Design was textiles, and, given that this was the medium that Judy works in, the match was obvious.
All of the pieces represent the elements of the prairies – earth, wind, water, sky, Her exhibition is coming up on April 20th. Here’s an explanation in her own words:
“My exhibition theme and title is Elemental Prairie: Earth, Wind, Water, Sky.
These elements are presented in 13 large, abstracted and stylized works. Some evoke the memory and mood of moments in time, specific places, or land features that have etched my heart. Other pieces highlight the shared history of Prairie people, and pose questions about our future. The artworks are large, ranging from art cloths 5 feet high and 3 feet wide, to framed or mounted textiles up to 2 feet high and 5 feet wide.
My artistic goal is to pursue innovative approaches in my work. In this exhibition, I have combined traditional fibre techniques with modern art materials, or conversely, used traditional materials with new techniques. This allows me to showcase the textural qualities and dimensionality of fibre and cloth that are not possible in other two-dimensional fine art media.” Judy Weiss
You can see by the details of her work here that she doesn’t shy away from trying new techniques. She is constantly experimenting with fabrics, embroidery methods, quilting, batik, and so much more. The piece above shows the shape of Alberta – and I’m really curious to see how this detail manifests itself into a larger work. (I suspect this piece deals with the province’s contentious pipeline issue.)
The picture below is of a Prairie storm. It perfectly captures the feeling of what it must have been like during the Depression (and the Dirty Thirties) when wind storms attacked farms with such ferocity that all the topsoil would be swept away. You can imagine what a hellish experience this would have been just by looking at this final example below of Judy’s work. I hope you can attend her show. Here are the details :
Elemental Prairie: Earth, Wind, Water, Sky
April 15 to May 1, 2019
Artist Reception – all are welcome to attend
Saturday, April 20, 2019
Enterprise Gallery, University of Alberta ( Open 7 am to 11 pm daily)
Enterprise Square, 10230 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton