Cape Cod's Highfield Hall & Gardens Showcases Nationally Recognized Contemporary Fiber Artists This Summer

Highfield Hall and Gardens, Falmouth, Mass.
Highfield Hall and Gardens, Falmouth, Mass.
  • Mariko Kusumoto

    Mariko Kusumoto

This summer, two exhibitions at Highfield Hall & Gardens in Falmouth, Mass., showcase the work of nationally acclaimed fiber artists: a group show titled Interwoven: Art Meets Nature (June 25 through September 6) and a solo show Once Upon a Quilt: 3-D Quilts by Dominique Ehrmann (June 10 through September 4).

Interwoven: Art Meets Nature features more than 45 works by 21 diverse fiber artists working in a range of media including weaving, felting, tapestry, basketry, handmade paper, quilting, silk painting, wire work, and book arts.  The exhibition is curated by Marcia Young, publisher of Fiber Art Now, an art periodical and community that explores the wide breath of fiber as an artistic medium.  The exhibition examines how fiber art pushes traditional boundaries, while exploring each artist's connection to nature as the show's cohesive thematic.  

The exhibition includes works by the highly collectible artists Jan Hopkins, Lanny Bergner, Mary Edna Fraser, Sharon McCartney, Mariko Kusumoto, and Michelle Sirois-Silver, among others.

"Interwoven brings together a virtuoso group of national artists and is designed to bring the outside in, engaging visitors with natural forms and materials, many of which will offer a first-time fiber art experience to visitors," explained Young.

The exhibition also includes two large-scale works by Ashley Blalock, a California artist known for her fiber interior installations which are nailed and tied to floors and ceilings. Using traditional crochet techniques, her works appear as giant red interconnected doilies and are part of an ongoing series titled Keeping Up Appearances. Blalock will also create a site-specific installation on the estate grounds.

"We have a history here at Highfield of pushing the boundaries of what people expect to see when they walk into a Victorian mansion," explains Annie Dean, Highfield's Director of Programs and Exhibitions, "and this show will certainly do that."

Once Upon a Quilt: 3-D Quilts
Complementing Interwoven: Art Meets Nature is a solo show by Canadian artist Dominique Ehrmann. Once Upon a Quilt: 3-D Quilts by Dominique Ehrmann is an immersive, whimsical exhibition featuring 3-D quilts and kinetic quilted sculptures. Ehrmann has developed a novel technique that explores traditional quilting methods and translates them into extraordinary productions. The exhibition includes a 56-inch diameter wind driven quilted pinwheel sited outside the mansion's front door, as well as a six-foot freestanding sculptural work Once Upon A Quilt.

Ehrmann, who travels widely in the backcountry of Canada, often sews outdoors in the wild using a solar powered sewing machine.  This experience has informed her choice of subject matter, materials, and design. Her work is technically complex and difficult to transport and the exhibition at Highfield Hall & Gardens is only the second time a body of her work has been exhibited in the United States.

Ehrmann will demonstrate her working method on Sunday, June 25 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.   She will explain her process from initial schematic drawing to finished piece. Children's pop-up books are one of her inspirations, and she will show how she begins with a simple design cut from cardboard and colored with crayons, and then transfers it to a full-scale drawing, followed by armature creation, fabric selection, and construction. One of her solar-powered sewing machines will also be on view. The demonstration is free of charge.

For visitors who want to learn more about fiber art, a hands-on display will answer the question-what is fiber art? Considered a fine art, fiber art is artwork of all dimensions that utilizes natural or synthetic fibers. The hands-on component will include a variety of fiber media. In celebration of both exhibitions, a summer artist reception will be on Sunday, June 25 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. during Highfield Hall's summer free open house. For more information, visit  http://highfieldhallandgardens.org/art/.

About Highfield Hall & Gardens

Highfield Hall & Gardens, a five-star rated destination, is a magnificent Victorian mansion with beautiful gardens located in the heart of Falmouth, Massachusetts. Built in 1878 as the summer home for Boston's Beebe family, the mansion sits on 5.5 pristine acres surrounded by nearly 400 acres of conservation land and trails. The mansion serves as a cultural center, offering concerts, festivals, international art exhibitions, culinary classes, family programs, and educational opportunities. This family friendly estate is a "must see" for those visiting Cape Cod.

Highfield Hall & Gardens is open 7 days a week April 15 through October 31: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free Friday nights from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Admission is $5 and children are free. For more information, call 508-495-1878 x2 or visit highfieldhall.org.

 

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