Article Originally Published by Raven Jordan on North Texas Daily
Article Originally Published by on North Texas Daily
Imagine an interactive, colorful wonderland of yarn, cloth and other fibers featuring work from a UNT alumna and a cast of all-female fiber artists. This concept will come to life next year through an installation called “Intangible.”
“Intangible” is the cooperative partnership of Craft Yarn Council and the Dallas art gallery Sweet Tooth Hotel. UNT alumna and fiber artist Jackie Lawrence created a large latch-hook piece to promote the installation’s preview on Oct. 12 at Sweet Tooth Hotel. She will have other works exhibited when the installation officially opens in 2020.
“It is essentially an example of what I will be doing, but I spent about a month working on that while I was working 40 hours at my internship over the summer,” Lawrence said. “I probably spent 10 to 15 hours a week [on the piece] for a month. This time I have like six months to work on everything else, but I’ll basically be doing that times 20.”
Lawrence connected with Craft Yarn Council, the nonprofit sponsoring the installation, when she started participating in its yarn photoshoots a couple of years ago. Craft Yarn Council selected female fiber artists from across the nation for the installation, but many are from Texas. Lawrence said all the artists are connected to Craft Yarn Council in some way.
“We’ve got a couple of bigger name artists, like London Kaye,” Lawrence said. “She’s kind of like a yarn celebrity, she’s got a lot of really awesome clients. So we have big names like that. Then we have smaller artists like me, but yeah, it’s really cool that we have some more local, smaller ones.”
Dionne Pinder, Craft Yarn Council’s director of communications and social media, is another Dallas fiber artist to be featured in “Intangible” with her pom-poms that will cover an entire room. She said the experience with the other artists has been great because of the representation.
“So far working with a group of all-female artists has been great,” Pinder said. “Not a lot of light is shown on female artists creating large labor-intensive work in the art space, so the fact that six women in the fiber space have an opportunity to develop work for a gallery so ingrained in the DFW art scene is amazing.”
Regarding the all-female artist feature, Lawrence said it was not intentional.
“It’s just really awesome, I’m excited,” Lawrence said. “We didn’t even do that on purpose, either, that’s kind of how it came together.”
Sarah Guenther, the public relations coordinator for Craft Yarn Council, met Lawrence in 2016 at church and said the idea for “Intangible” has been in the works since 2018. It is meant to bring more attention to the diversity of the fiber community.
“In 2018, [Craft Yarn Council] office staff brainstormed ways to make yarn more relevant,” Guenther said. “We reached out to Sweet Tooth hoping to partner with them on their next installation by creating one yarn-themed room. They immediately latched onto the idea and shared that they wanted their next installation to be all yarn. We are setting out to create a fiber fairytale that will break world records, showcase the innovative ways fiber is being used today and encourage people to see fiber arts in a whole new light.”
The artists featured in “Intangible,” including Lawrence, run their own small businesses for their craft. Lawrence’s online Etsy shop is called Forest Fibers, where she primarily posts and sells small circular embroidery hoops.
“I taught myself embroidery almost four years ago, and I started Forest Fibers almost three years ago,” Lawrence said. “I started out with a little book of patterns and went with some little tutorials online and then kind of wanted to do my own thing. So that’s when I started Forest Fibers.”
Guenther said Forest Fibers served as an inspiration for her own craft.
“Forest Fibers is what inspired me to try my hand at embroidery and I hope to one day be as good as Jackie,” Guenther said.
Lawrence said she was dissappointed in the discontinuation of UNT’s fiber program in 2018. At the time, it was the only fiber arts program at a public university in Texas.
“It was definitely a big deal,” Lawrence said. “I still stay in touch with some of the students there, so it’s sad to hear what’s going on now in Fiber classes. It all sucks, but a lot of beautiful things have still come from it and I’m just grateful that I ended up where I needed to be.”
Lawrence said she is passionate about fiber arts and believes it is more versatile than it is given credit for and should be taught as much as other art forms.
“It’s so versatile, there’s so much you can do with it,” Lawrence said. “I do installation, but then I also crochet and knit stuff for myself. It’s just a really useful thing to know.”
Tickets for “Intangible” are on presale for 2020, with $1 from every ticket going toward Warm Up America!, a nonprofit charity donating warm items to people in need.
Featured Image: Jackie Lawrence poses for a portrait in front of her yarn shelf in her Denton apartment on Oct. 29, 2019. Image by Meredith Holser
Source: North Texas Daily