|Optical Fiber Review by Ashley Rodriguez Reed||| Print ||
On the edge of Chinatown in Philadelphia is a gallery called Space 1026. To get in you can call to make an appointment or show up and pull the string connected to the doorbell and see if anyone is in. On the second floor is the gallery space. It was immediately inviting and cozy with artists’ studios in the background making it a perfect fit for the show, Optical Fiber. In March, as part of Fiber Philadelphia, Space 1026 curated this show with six different artists from around the country.
Takashi Iwasaki and Annie Larson
The variety of what was represented and yet still very connected was impressive. The art ranged from colorful machine-knitted wearables from Annie Larson to detailed embroideries both abstract and reality
Allison Watkins whose background is in photography, hand embroiders images of clothing from her closet on to transparent white fabric. This is reminds me of how clothing stays with us over time and begins to shape our identity. I think of how attached I can be to favorite shirts long after they need to be tossed. On the other side of hand embroidery is Takashi Iwasaki. His hand-embroideries are hardedge, imaginative, and lively like an animation. They seem alive like they will easily float off the surface. The bright colors tie nicely to Anna Larsons knitted clothing that hangs in space on hangers, which then is followed seamlessly next to the closet studies of Allison Watkins.
Next is Erin Riley, who is a graduate of the Fibers program at Tyler School of Art, Temple University. Her traditional tapestry weavings are anything but when it comes to the content. Scenes of women in what seem to be the young and carefree attitude of partying are depicted in the weavings. They are faceless but I still feel sad for them, whoever they may be. Still within the carefree attitude but this time from a light-hearted approach is the duo of New Friends, who are Alexandra Segreti and Kelly Rakowski . The two met online and decided to collaborate through their love of textiles and the fact that imagery is used over and over. This is documented on their site Nothing is New, which serves as an eclectic mix of inspiration and made objects.
Keeping with the upbeat spirit, Megan Whitmarsh collages materials and content from old and new. Her sculpture and wall drawing brought a retro feel to the young, fun-loving vibe that this show encompassed. Optical Fiber was a sensory delight that managed to cover many facets of our modern culture from design to social issues and imagination.
may 1 2012
Biography: Ashley Rodriguez Reed
Ashley Rodriguez Reed is an artist and art educator. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2009 in printmkaing along with her art history minor and K-12 teaching endorsement. She also studied at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad for pattern design and printed textiles. She has taught for several non-profit organizations such as Why Arts?, Arts for All, and Omaha Creative Institute. She will receive her MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in August of 2012. Ashley is currently studying at the Temple Campus in Tokyo to finish her degree. Next fall, she will be teaching Silkscreen on Fabric at Tyler School of Art.
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