A Fiber Art Invitational: Bonnie Peterson, Kathy Weaver, Tricia Coulson & Astrid Hilger Bennett

Iowa and Illinois fiber artists will be showcased in Fiber Art Invitational, June 16- July 16 at Iowa Artisans Gallery. Held in conjunction with In the Heartland: A Midwest Weavers’ Conference in Grinnell, the event mines the rich fiber heritage in the area. Illinois artists Bonnie Peterson and Kathy Weaver both use a narrative approach in their work, while Coulson and Bennett are more abstract.

Illinois artist Bonnie Peterson creates fiber art and paper maps that chronicle her interests in the wilderness. Her pieces are like crazy quilts incorporating silks onto which photographic images have been transferred. Stitching is primitive. Peterson tells stories about her family, social issues, history and the backcountry areas she’s visited. Bonnie Peterson received Illinois Arts Council grants in 2008, 2003, 2000 and 1995, a grant from the Illinois Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and other prizes. She was an Artist-In-Residence at Yosemite, Rocky Mountain, Isle Royale, and Crater Lake National Parks. Her work is in the collection of the Museum of Arts and Design, NYC, the National Park Service and private collections. Peterson has an extensive exhibition record, including Paradise Lost? Artists on Climate Change, a collaboration between artists and scientists, spearheaded by the University of Wisconsin. She also participated in Collaborative Vision: The Poetic Dialogue Project. She attended the University of Illinois-Urbana and received an MBA from DePaul University.

Kathy Weaver’s unusual art quilts tell humorous stories, and Iowa Artisans Gallery is showing her Robo Sapien series. “My work addresses aspects of the intersection between technology and art. By using the labor-intensive quilt medium, nostalgic materials, and the robot persona, the pieces have layers of meaning about time, personal and political conflict and memory. The robot represents scientific and technological improvement resulting in change to the status quo. The robot’s setting is that of a tilted stage or shadow box and in this environment the robot is a translator of events, an alter ego, a doppelganger. The robot can be an observer, a soothsayer, a malcontent or a destructor.” Weaver's recent solo exhibitions include After the Soup, at Women Made Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, and at McHenry County College (IL), Kishwaukee College (IL), Goshen College (IN), and Beloit College (WI).

Tricia Coulson's small "artifacts" involve a time-consuming process of dyeing, stitching and embellishing fabric, a way of working which she says is out of character with today's "production-oriented values." Coulson's hand stitched doll clothes and embroidered tea towels led to her current studio work. A resident of LeClaire, Iowa, she has exhibited locally and nationally.

Iowa City artist Astrid Hilger Bennett creates painterly art quilts using only her own handpainted and monoprinted fabrics. She has participated in Quilt National 2007, the 9th Quilt Nihon Exhibition (Japan) and many other regional and national exhibits. Her work has been featured on the cover of the Fiberarts Design Book VI.

Bonnie Peterson - "Keweenaw"
Kathy Weaver - "RoboSapien Agent #3"
Tricia Coulson - "Portal 4"
Bonnie Peterson - "Keweenaw" - Detail
Kathy Weaver - "RoboSapien, Agent #5"
Astrid Hilger-Bennett - "Standing Tall"
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