The Newman University Steckline Gallery will present “Sacred Fibers: fibers expressed as holy, venerated, or spiritual” by the Susan De Wit Fiber Group as the sixth show of its 2015-2016 season. The exhibition of fiber art, which begins with a Final Friday reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26, will be on display through March 18. Both the reception and admission to the gallery are free and open to the public.
An “Art for Lunch” presentation by the artists will be held Tuesday, March 1 from noon to 1 p.m. in the gallery. A light lunch will be served on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests can also bring their lunch. This event is also free and reservations are not required.
The Susan De Wit Fiber Group includes seven women, who collectively have nearly 500 years of life experience that have taught them something about the spiritual, holy, and venerated. They all bring their unique approach to the topic through fiber art. Theresa Harrison said her sense of holy is grounded in her travels. “No matter which culture, which continent, which biome, nature’s bounty touches deep into [the] soul” she said.
Paula Smith said that she feels natural fibers have a divine vibration connected within them. When working with and deciding what to make out of a certain fiber, she said she feels a divine dance between her energy and the subtle energy of the fiber. Pam Bjork takes intimate photographs of the Tengenan Balinese sacred Geringsing textile, which she said reflects the powers ascribed to the cloth: healing, protection and magical potency.
Connie Lenoard-Volkman believes that when using manmade fibers such as lutradur and Tyvek, “... there is a constant relationship between construction and destruction...in nature, and perhaps in the spirit.” Mary Sue Foster said the inspiration for her work in this show draws from special stories in the Bible that can be summed up with the phrase “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings.” Nancy Squire places significance in her spiritual side when working with fibers. Susan de Wit explores what it means to be more human. She seeks through meditation for the point when the meditator transcends and becomes a little more than he or she was moments ago.
The Steckline Gallery is located inside the De Mattias Fine Arts Center on the Newman campus, 3100 McCormick. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by appointment. For more information, call 316-942-4291, ext. 2199.