Felicia V. Bland, Artist & Owner,
Artist Felicia V. Bland’s Fall Peachy Scarf made with a knitting loom, exhibited at the InterWoven Exhibit at BSB Gallery.
Fine Arts: Fiber exhibit opens at new artspace in downtown Trenton
by Janet Purcell For The Trenton Times
BSB Gallery is expanding. With guidance from Trenton Downtown Association’s executive director Tom Gilmore, the gallery in downtown Trenton’s former Broad Street Bank building is opening three recently renovated rooms. Called G-2, the rooms will be used as space for artists to showcase innovative artworks, an experimental lab and a room for classes, workshops and lectures.
While prepping and painting the rooms, curators Christy O’Connor, who does multimedia painting and sculpture, and Aine Mickey, a fine art and documentary photographer, put out a call for fiber artists to participate in the celebratory launch exhibition.
“We’d learned there is a large fiber arts community in Trenton, but it’s more of a function group making things like scarves and quilts,” says O’Connor. “We want to add an art form as well as a functional craft.”
“And to involve the Trenton community in fiber art,” Mickey adds. “When we put out the call we got 40 applicants. We looked for aesthetic appeal, skill level and our personal tastes as jurors and we selected 24. A lot was very dramatic and out of the box.”
The exhibit is diverse, including everything from soft fiber sculpture, thread needlework, crochet, knitting, and weaving. The art is creatively displayed on pedestals, hanging on walls, and suspended from the ceiling.
One work that Mickey describes as “a great representative of diversity” is “A Portrait of the Past and Present” by Krystie Lemonias. It’s a profile portrait combining collage and quilting of brightly colored fabrics presented on a background printed with repetitive squares.
Another highly innovative work is a thread on canvas portrait of a weathered and wrinkled man. Titled “Mike,” the artist, Patricia Dahlman, sewed the image on an 8-by-10 inch canvas, thread by thread, defining facial features, and light and shadow, showing the aging of the man. Commenting on Dahlman’s skill level, O’Connor says, “I keep wondering how on earth would someone have the planning skills to conceive it and bring it to life on the canvas.”
And there are several of Sarah Schwindt’s “A Trap of My Own” comprising her acrylic and wool arm-knitted yarn nets. O’Connor and Mickey have dramatically draped them from the 30-foot ceiling, connecting gallery corners, and as exclamatory wall art linking works by fellow artists.
Other exhibiting artists are Felicia V. Bland, Agathe Bouton, Layo Bright, Samantha M. Connors, Kate Eggleston, Robyn Ellenbogen, Anna Fine Foer, Katte Geneta, Zhen Guo, Heidi Hankaniemi, Julie Harris, Beverly Keese-Kelly, Jolanta Michalska, Ann Marie Miller, Tatiana Oles, Theda Sandiford, Ayala Shimelman, Rachel Blythe Udell, Dominique Vitali and Joanna Wallace.
The new G-2 exhibit space is dramatic in and of itself. Aine Mickey painted it dark grey with white accent walls. The ceiling soars to 30 feet and a large window floods the room with natural lighting. “We wanted the space to be innovative and we figured the dark grey walls would make things pop,” O’Connor says.
In addition to the InterWoven exhibition other scheduled events are “Stop In & Stitch Thursdays!" where participants are encouraged to bring in their current fiber project to work on in the gallery or under a tent at the Capital City Farmer’s Market (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
Call BSB Gallery for details on the following workshops: Visible Mending: The Japanese Art of Functional Embroidery; a 5-Week Frame Weaving Workshop; Embroidery With Qaysean Williams; and, Japanese Bookbinding.
BSB Gallery was launched in 2018 with its stated mission to cultivate creativity and make the arts accessible and welcoming to Trenton residents. Now with its expansion to the G-2 Gallery and extended art space, it joins Artworks Trenton in welcoming the community to the Creek to Canal Creative District (C2C) in downtown Trenton.
IF YOU GO:
- WHAT: INTERWOVEN
- WHERE: G2 Gallery & Classroom, BSB Gallery, 143 E. State St.
- WHEN: Aug. 2- Sept. 21. Hours, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday-Saturday; opening reception 4-8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 2
- CONTACT: 609-599-3268, www.bsbgallery.com