Dawn Walden
Random Order Anishnaube, ca. 2006
Cedar bark and cedar root
51 x 23 x 23 inches
Racine Art Museum, Gift of Danielle and Norman Bodine
Photography: Jon Bolton

High Fiber: Recent Large Scale Acquisitions in Fiber

September 30, 2012 – January 20, 2013

High Fiber premieres an impressive array of fiber pieces never before seen in the museum’s galleries. RAM’s largest gallery space is transformed with larger than life-size sculptures by significant contemporary artists who have established reputations working with materials such as fabric, metal wire, and cedar. Created with techniques such as weaving and knotting, and touching on a variety of subjects—including metaphysics, the human condition, and the natural world—the works featured in this show delight the eye and engage the mind.

In the 1970s, decorative and conceptual textiles (created by people with training in weaving, design, and sculpture) were being produced on a large scale, literally. Less utilitarian and more sculptural, these fiber pieces were often three-dimensional and displayed individually or in groups as installations and environments. This artistic exploration coincided with a surge in the hobbyist interest in fiber processes, such as knotting, macramé, and other non-loom-based techniques. The natural quality of materials, such as sisal and raw wool, were emphasized. As time has moved forward, contemporary artists have expanded these investigations, sometimes combining traditional textile techniques with synthetic materials, as they explore personal, social, political, and cultural topics.

High Fiber includes artists who have been working with textiles for decades, pushing the boundaries of the media and offering different ways for understanding the materials. For example, Rebecca Medel uses the ancient technique of knotted netting, linen, ramie, and cotton to create grids that, through their shape and structure, reference “celestial maps, starlight, and galaxies.” With her massive 1000 Kannons—comprised of 95 panels installed in a 32 x 27 foot space—Medel explores time and space metaphysics, as well as symbolism.

High Fiber: Recent Large Scale Acquisitions in Fiber

September 30, 2012 – January 20, 2013
Dawn Walden
Random Order Anishnaube, ca. 2006
Cedar bark and cedar root
51 x 23 x 23 inches
Racine Art Museum, Gift of Danielle and Norman Bodine
Photography: Jon Bolton

High Fiber premieres an impressive array of fiber pieces never before seen in the museum’s galleries. RAM’s largest gallery space is transformed with larger than life-size sculptures by significant contemporary artists who have established reputations working with materials such as fabric, metal wire, and cedar. Created with techniques such as weaving and knotting, and touching on a variety of subjects—including metaphysics, the human condition, and the natural world—the works featured in this show delight the eye and engage the mind.

In the 1970s, decorative and conceptual textiles (created by people with training in weaving, design, and sculpture) were being produced on a large scale, literally. Less utilitarian and more sculptural, these fiber pieces were often three-dimensional and displayed individually or in groups as installations and environments. This artistic exploration coincided with a surge in the hobbyist interest in fiber processes, such as knotting, macramé, and other non-loom-based techniques. The natural quality of materials, such as sisal and raw wool, were emphasized. As time has moved forward, contemporary artists have expanded these investigations, sometimes combining traditional textile techniques with synthetic materials, as they explore personal, social, political, and cultural topics.

High Fiber includes artists who have been working with textiles for decades, pushing the boundaries of the media and offering different ways for understanding the materials. For example, Rebecca Medel uses the ancient technique of knotted netting, linen, ramie, and cotton to create grids that, through their shape and structure, reference “celestial maps, starlight, and galaxies.” With her massive 1000 Kannons—comprised of 95 panels installed in a 32 x 27 foot space—Medel explores time and space metaphysics, as well as symbolism.

Gallery of Work

Exhibitions at RAM are made possible by:

Platinum Sponsors

The Estate of Karen Johnson Boyd
David Charak
Judith and David Flegel Fund
Ron and Judith Isaacs
Nicholas and Nancy Kurten
Racine Community Foundation logo
Windgate Foundation

Diamond Sponsors

City of Racine’s Grow Racine Grant
Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation
Ruffo Family Foundation
Ruth Arts Foundation

Gold Sponsors

Anonymous
Tom and Irene Creecy
Richard and Patricia Ehlert
Trio Foundation of St. Louis
W.T. Walker Group, Inc.
Wisconsin Arts Board

Silver Sponsors

Anonymous
Baird
Beta Diagnostic Labs
A.C. Buhler Family
Lucy G. Feller
Ben and Dawn Flegel
Jim Harris
Sharon and Tom Harty
Horizon Retail Construction, Inc.
Lise Iwon
J. Jeffers & Co.
Johnson Financial Group
Dorothy MacVicar
Jan Serr and John Shannon

Bronze Sponsors

Ellen and Joseph Albrecht
Andis Foundation
Susan Boland
Virginia Buhler
Dave’s Wine Garage
Educators Credit Union
Express Employment Professionals
Bill and Debbie Keland
Susan Manalli
Jean and Alex Mandli, Jr.
The Prairie School
Cathy Stanghellin
Twin Disc, Inc.

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