Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tennessee Presents Textiles runway show—
a celebration of textile arts

A beautiful fall November day welcomed artists and fiber art enthusiasts to the southeast's Tennessee Presents Textiles artwear show and sale last weekend. A crowd of nearly 200 enjoyed a day of unique artwear and fiber art accessories presented runway style.

The featured guest speaker, contemporary folk artist, Rachel Clark, opened the event with a presentation of over 20 of her wearable art pieces. I've taken Rachel's workshops and attended her lectures, and her personality, humor, and tell-it-like-it-is style quickly ignites the room with energy and puts an audience at ease. You can be sure you're in for a treat when Rachel is on the agenda!

I also had the pleasure of picking Rachel up from the airport shuttle service in Chattanooga and driving her to the location of the show in Vonore, TN (accent on the VON). It was a delightful hour and a half of one-on-one with one of my favorite textile artists. Among the topics of conversation were her lost luggage (which she was surprisingly calm about), pattern making, print production and some new workshops and classes she was developing. Her mind and creativity never stops.

Rachel and I at the runway show.
Rachel's presentation and trunk show started off with three vests made with her "Picture This" vest pattern. This is a versatile pattern which I use over and over for my own pieces. It is a perfect canvas for piecework or can provide a great silhouette for other techniques.

Also included were pieces from her "Out of the Crayon Box" collection.
Student work from the Fashion and Design Department of Rangsit University in Thailand was also featured.
 The techniques were innovative and created unexpected textures.

Rachel and I got a back stage look at these garments after the show. These students are so talented and their work is inspiring!
Here is Geri Forkner (left), the Creative Director and driving force behind Tennessee Presents Textiles, at her artist's booth. Geri is a master at nuno felting and is now developing techniques combining hand-dyed silks, weaving, nuno felting and needle felting. (The dark brown scarf, center front, came home with me!)
Artists booths at Tennessee Presents Textiles
The second half of the runway show consisted of the garments from the "The Power of the Pocket" Challenge (Thank you, TPT, for crediting me for the Challenge idea) and work by twenty regional fiber artists. Artists had their work on display and for sale, including hand-dyed silk jackets, vests and scarves; felt bags, pouches, scarves and wraps; knit, woven and quilted garments; jewelry and other accessories.

It was a fabulous event and a wonderful celebration of textile artists and wearable art!
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