Art spotlight: 'Land by Hand' at Textile Center

  • Article by: MARY ABBE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 14, 2012 - 2:24 PM

Work of 15 women is featured.

“#419 Grassland Series”

Photo: Sharon Meyer Postance,

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Made from wool, silk, cotton, birch bark and other mostly natural stuff, the art in "Land by Hand" is a celebration of the ingenuity and skill of 15 Minnesota women. Their wall hangings, sculptures, clothing, basketry and ornaments draw inspiration from the landscape. Pieces range from quilt-like abstractions by Mary Hark, Jill Lynn, Morgan Clifford, Lettie L. Blackburn, and Nancy Condon to clever clothing by Mary Mortenson, who garnished a vest with embroidered wheat stalks, and miniature felt landscapes that Jo Wood embellished with beads. In an imaginative tour de force, Vernal Bogren Swift batik-dyed floating figures tumbling to the ocean floor in her astonishing "Earthquake's Kitchen." Note especially her clever dog-shaped tables. In her elegant wall piece "Mother, May I?" Kathleen Smith symbolically sculpts a female torso from stained silk that's quilted like contour-plowed farms. Sharon Meyer Postance made paper for her elegant "Grassland" basket, shown here, from corn husks and other plant fibers harvested on her northern Minnesota farm. After traveling to Bemidji, New York Mills, Mankato and Lanesboro, the show is taking a well-deserved final bow at the Textile Center, which organized it. (Ends July 7, free. Textile Center, 3000 University Av. SE., Mpls. 612-436-0464 or www.textilecentermn.org)

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