FiberPhiladelphia 2012

The Doo has been asking me for a few weeks what I want to do for my upcoming birthday, and I haven't been able to give him an answer. He offered Sleep No More, which I want to see but somehow am not in the mood for, then I thought a symphony would be nice, but now I think I've made up my mind.
copyright FiberPhiladelphia
A friend of mine just earburned me on facebook regarding the upcoming FiberPhiladelphia art and fiber festival, and I'm sold. As if I needed further proof that the planet is going fiber-crazy, this festival sets out to shine a light on the explosion of artists using textiles within their work. The keynote speaker, Elissa Auther, will open the festival with a lecture on how "The 21st century has witnessed a tremendous increase in the visibility of fiber in art, a rise related to the broader currency of craft within the context of DIY and artisan movements, among other social, political, and cultural forces."
It's not just Baader-Meinhof. I'm seeing it everywhere because it is everywhere. It seems I started knitting right when knitting and fiber-related, DIY projects were hitting an upswing. I'm finally riding a zeitgeist!
The festival is running from March through April, so I'm going to have to look through the exhibition schedule with a fine-tooth comb in order to figure out when is best to go. I'm already picking things that I would really love to see. I live in NY; I can take day trips, right?
The first thing that caught my eye, which I will share with you here, is the work of Melissa Maddoni Haims. Melissa is a Philly artist who likes to work with recycled and reclaimed fibers to create crocheted and knitted sculptural works. She has a piece called Heaven, which is showing in the festival and looks like something I could stand under for hours.
Heaven, copyright Melissa Maddonni Haims and Haimshouse
She writes: "As you enter into this alternate cosmos, convoluted, cloud-like sculptures, stuffed with recycled fibers, hang from the ceiling. In this version of heaven, many of the sculptures are formed and named for those who have passed from this world to the next, including the artist’s mother, the catalyst for this project. Others have been commissioned to memorialize loved ones. These sculptures are organic and unconventional, not at all the predetermined forms associated and derived from faded stitchery pattern-books. Here we have rambling rows curling around into sensuous newness."
Melissa is also a yarn bomber, which doesn't surprise me at all.
Click here to see more of her fantastic fiber work—she also knit and crocheted a Hell!
I'm going to continue looking through the festival offerings as time permits and keep posting here. Maybe the process of sifting through everything will help me make a decision about when is best to go, and hopefully it will help others too. It looks like a pretty packed schedule!

Happy crafting!



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