Textile Art From Around the Globe and Close to Home at DFAC

July 19, 2021 | By Laura Kepner

Through August 15
Dunedin Fine Art Center

Textiles have been part of the human experience for more than 30,000 years, so obviously, there has been time for every culture to develop unique techniques and traditions.  The Dunedin Fine Art Center is showcasing four quilt/textile exhibits with a global perspective.

“What’s so fun is these exhibits are so diverse,” says Ken Hannon, DFAC’s Vice President and COO. “Each brings an overall sense of purpose.”
. . .

Tentmakers of Cairo

Historically crafted by men, Tentmaker work is brilliantly colored appliqué derived from mosque floors and Koranic calligraphy of Old Islamic Cairo.

. . .
Catherine Bergman, DFAC’s Curatorial Director, presents this exhibit in a style developed over hundreds of generations. “It’s like being in a bazaar,” says Hannon. “They are literally hung floor to ceiling, some hang three-high. It’s invigorating.”

Explore the intricacies of this virtuoso artform
at tentmakersofcairo.com/the-history


Social Justice Sewing Academy

The Social Justice Sewing Academy (SJSA) is a youth education program bridging artistic expression with activism to advocate for social justice.

The program reaches youth through a series of hands-on workshops in schools, prisons and community centers across the country, using textile art as a vehicle for personal transformation.

These young artists develop a partnership with their communities and become “agents of social change.”

Explore the work of the Social Justice
Sewing Academy at sjsacademy.org

. . .
Cloth in Common

Fiber arts of varied styles and expression all inspired by the theme of greenspaces represent a 12-person international invitational fiber arts collective including “artistic, soulful perspectives from around the globe.”

“Our quilts are based on a one-word prompt submitted once every two months by a member. We have two months to complete the quilt.”

The artists share their work and thoughts
at clothincommon.com

. . .

The Return of Velvet Elvis

DFAC’s Velvet Elvis 2020 was a huge success, even with the limitations we were all experiencing, so of course, Velvet Elvis 2021 has to happen!

Community artists painted a variety of velvety masterpieces which are currently hanging in the halls at DFAC, where patrons can choose their favorite by purchasing tickets and placing them with the painting of their choice. Tickets are five for $10 or 15 for $20. Elvis will be in the house on August 6 to name winners.

. . . 

“The exhibits don’t compete with each other,”  Hannon concludes. “Each is unique. I’m always amazed at textile art. It seems to be limitless.”

Workshops to complement
the exhibit experiences

E Pluribus Quilt
Saturday July 24  from 12-3 pm

Renowned San Francisco quilter Joe Cunningham presents a virtual workshop that starts with a classic “Tin Man” quilt block—a perfect workshop for using up scraps, or for using small pieces of all the fabrics in your stash.

This 3-hour workshop will give you an introduction to Joe’s freehand cutting and sewing techniques, all in the comfort of your own sewing room.

Students will be sent a recording of the class, which means you will be able to take it any time you like for a week. Tuition: $35 DFAC Members or $45 Non-Members. All Levels. Online.

Details here


A Beautiful Work
The Story of the Tentmaker’s Art
July 28 from 7-8 pm

A discussion with Dr. Sam Bowker, co-author of The Tentmakers of Cairo: Egypt’s Medieval and Modern Applique Craft.

This illustrated lecture reveals the history of khayamiya (the intricately appliqued tents of the Egyptian tentmakers) as a story of relationships to other artforms, including architecture, contemporary quilting and the paper cut-outs of Henri Matisse. 

These stories connect the joyful exuberance of this style of textile art with deeper histories of Islamic art and Egyptian culture. 

Free. Registration is required.

Details here


Stitch Like an Egyptian
Saturday, August 14 from 10 am – 5 pm

Tarek Abdelhay

Experience a one-day, one-of-a-kind workshop with Tentmakers Ahmed Kamal and Tarek Abdelhay in person as they bring all of their skills from the Cairo Market to Dunedin.

$125 DFAC Members or $155 Non-Members. All Levels. *Supply Kit option: $50

Details here


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