WSU Museum of Art to Present Work of Fiber Artists

PULLMAN, Wash. — The Washington State University Museum of Art will present the exhibition, “The Thread That Binds: Marita Dingus, Mar Goman, and Joan Schulze,” featuring three West Coast artists who use textile and fiber techniques to create unique art forms.

The exhibition will open Monday, Jan. 8, and continue through Feb. 4 in the Museum of Art in the Fine Arts Center at WSU’s Pullman campus.

Curated by Museum of Art Director Dyana Curreri-Ermatinger, the exhibition focuses on the work of a trio of artists who reflect on society, feminist issues and expressionism in textile works.

Dingus is a Seattle-based artist who draws on a variety of materials — from fabric to found objects, twisted wire and colorful thread — to address traditionally female-gendered handicrafts of crocheting, knitting and quilting. In her work, Dingus raises feminist issues while building upon traditional women’s work. She also touches on the concerns of slavery, feminism and AIDS in her textile-based work.

Goman’s works challenge the fine line between what might appear to be an artifact and what is a contemporary form of expression. In one example, the Portland, Ore., artist’s voodoo, doll-like poppet sculptures refer to a time when slaves in America were forbidden any sacred objects, figures or charms. These small dolls were used as religious figures without raising suspicion. While the poppets are bound to this fiber tradition, the form is also a direct offspring of a contemporary approach to sculpture that breaks down barriers between art and craft. A catalog of her work is available for purchase during the exhibition.

Schulze, an internationally recognized artist from San Francisco, synthesizes the influences of pop art, feminism, folk art and formalism by incorporating a variety of media in her art. As represented in her recent series of quilted, wall hung, and mixed media works, “Objects of Desire,” Schulze draws on images of commercialized, idealized feminine beauty in the advertising media, reflecting on the fleeting nature of physical beauty and romantic love. Her use of printed fabric or paper remnants and photographic images act as a mnemonic device injecting an expansive remembrance of personal experiences and reality. A monograph on Schulze, including an essay by the curator, will be available.

Schulze will present a lecture, “Sources of Inspiration,” Thursday, Jan. 25, at 7 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center, followed by a reception and book signing from 8-9 p.m. She will discuss how images captured during her travels throughout the United States and around the world have influenced her mixed-media textiles and collages.

On Friday, Jan. 26, Schulze will present a free workshop, demonstrating her techniques to Fine Arts students and faculty. The workshop is free and will be scheduled in accordance with available times of the students and faculty.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Schulze will also conduct an adult workshop, “Thinking Small, Creating Beauty, and Exploring Possibilities,” Jan. 27, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center. Space is limited. For more information, contact the Museum of Art at 509/335-1910.

The WSU Museum of Art is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 1-5 p.m. The Museum will be closed Jan. 15 and March 17-25 (open by appointment March 19-23); the Museum will close at 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 29.

All events are free and open to the public. The gallery is wheelchair accessible. Parking permits for weekday visitors may be purchased at the Cougar Depot at Davis Way (Hwy 270) and State Street, or at the WSU Parking Services on Wilson Road, directly uphill from the Fine Arts Center. On weekday evenings, parking is available in the Fine Arts parking structure, off Stadium Way at Grimes Way, for an hourly fee. Weekend parking is free.

Funding for museum exhibitions and programs is provided by the university, the Friends of the Museum of Art and private donors. Additional support has been provided by Bank of America, Opsis Architects, the Pullman Community Foundation/Foundation Northwest, the Pullman Kiwanis Club, Pullman Transit, Tri-State Distributors, the US West Foundation, the Washington Mutual Foundation, the WSU Visual, Performing and Literary Arts Committee, the Washington State Arts Commission and private donors.

Additional support for Museum of Art workshops has been provided by IKON Office Solutions, the Pullman Kiwanis Club and the Pullman Community Foundation/Foundation Northwest.