Loaded with color and texture, a trio of exhibits called "Textiles XXX Three" is now being served at the Dunedin Fine Art Center.
Look for weavings inspired by 19th century Navajos, fun figurines and contemporary textile trends.
The show serves as an appetizer for "Convergence 2008," an international, biennial textile conference sponsored by the Handweavers Guild of America.
Tampa will be the epicenter for the June 22-29 event; some 60 exhibits and other special events will take place across the bay area and state.
"We are honored to participate in the Tampa Bay-wide celebration of Convergence," said Catherine Bergmann, DFAC curator. "Folks visiting our arts center will get to preview the fabulous spectrum of fiber arts."
The Dunedin fiber fest runs through July 6. Admission is free. Some of the works are for sale.
Inside the DFAC's Entel Gallery, the exhibit "Surfacing" showcases creations by members of the Tampa Bay Surface Design Guild. The talented bunch of locals have given textiles such as paper, cloth and yarn a whole new twist.
Dorothy Boynton, 79, transformed a leather work boot into a whimsical House Boot by adding a roof and chimney, painting it yellow and covering it with storybook characters.
"It's about the old lady who lived in a boot. She had lots of kids but didn't give a hoot," the Palm Harbor resident said.
She fashioned another sculpture, Yo Yo Man, from paper and gave it an antique look with shoe polish.
"I made him but didn't know what to do with his hands so I gave him a yo-yo," she said. "I do a lot of praying and ask the Lord to help me get ideas that are different."
Other artists have dyed, quilted, woven, embroidered, sculpted, beaded and stitched their way into the exhibit.
Artist Sarah Butz created Paper Bag Meditation from brown paper grocery bags.
"Reusing this throwaway material in an unexpected way, especially with textile techniques, is my current fascination," Butz explained on her artist's statement.
The second display, called "Luminous," remembers Jan Boyer, a former artisan and DFAC faculty member, through her collection of natural pigment-dyed textiles. She died in 2006 of ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
The third exhibit presents the work of weaver Connie Lippert of South Carolina, who will be represented in June's Convergence conference. Her designs, based on the Navajo wedge weave that dates back to the late 1800s, can be seen in the Center Gallery.
Lippert employs natural dyes for color: indigo, goldenrod, black walnut and marigold.
She writes, "My work celebrates nature and the spirit that reveres the natural world— a world I fear we are losing. My message is one of environmental respect and protection."
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