Local artisans have transformed the loneliness of the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic into stunning works of art that will soon be on display. Scottsdale Public Art will host the INTERWOVEN exhibit from April 13 to June 30 at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library.
INTERWOVEN presents works by artists who participated in the “Inspiration Challenge”. During the 2020 pandemic lockdown, the Telaraña Fiber Arts Guild offered a challenge to keep its members engaged with each other and celebrate the beauty of Arizona. The resulting textile arts and the visual images that inspired them make up this exhibition.
In the “Inspiration Challenge”, participants looked to visual images of stunning Arizona landscapes as inspiration to create a piece of fiber-related art. The artists took images of Arizona’s plants, canyons, lakes and skies to inspire their creations, using the fiber art techniques of their choice.
Karla Elling creates art with her husband, Jim Elling. The duo make lamps using Karla’s handmade agave paper stretched over Jim’s welded frames. Their sculptures, “Evening Primrose Floor Lap”, “Night Blooming Cereus Lamp” and “Prickly Pear Skeleton Stump Lamp” will be featured in “INTERWOVEN”.
“In October 2020, when we were all in isolation, Maureen McCarthy of Telarana challenged fellow guild members to stay inspired by the Arizona landscape,” says Karla Elling. “My passion was to make paper from Hesperaloe funifera, an agave, and I had collected dead prickly pears, soaking them to remove the stinky sap and dipping the beautiful skeletons in agave pulp. My husband, Jim, welded rebars and attached low-voltage lights.Our inspiration was night-blooming cacti and rotting opuntia stumps.
As seen in the exhibition, each piece consists of three parts: the visual image that served as inspiration, the fibrous creation inspired by that image, and a statement from each artist describing the relationship between the two; showcasing the diverse talents of Telaraña members.
Wendy Raisanen, Curator of Collections and Exhibits for Scottsdale Public Art, is delighted to introduce the Telaraña Fiber Arts Guild to Scottsdale.
“The inventive way they responded to the loneliness of the early days of the COVID-19 lockdown is so inspiring,” says Raisanen. “Their artistic appreciation of the Arizona landscape is a comfort in our uncertain times.”
In addition to the exhibit itself, there will be an opening reception from 10-11:30 a.m. on April 22 at the Civic Center Public Gallery inside the Scottsdale Civic Center Library, 3839 N. Drinkwater Boulevard in Scottsdale.