The Beginning of Everything But Now

Everything But Now  is a four-person exhibition of works in thread, wood, and fabric. Sarah LaBarre and Tom Lundberg embroider artworks by machine and by hand, marking in stitch the passage of time and layers of experience. Anne Bossert and Jan R Carson express ideas about perpetual change and longevity by combining fragments of wood or silk into furniture and textiles. Together, their works contemplate temporal awareness and pose questions of an individual’s place on the fulcrum of now.

The exhibition opens July 13, 2018 in the north gallery. Featured artist and Artworks studio member Jan R Carson writes:

“As I write, four of the five textile artworks I’ll be exhibiting in “Everything But Now” are folded and hanging neatly in my guest room closet. They are waiting, not quite complete.

This show came about because two years ago I pitched Sarah LaBarre’s embroideries to the jury committee for exhibition at Artworks. I wanted to see fine craft (ceramics, jewelry, glass, furniture, etc.) included in the repertoire of contemporary art exhibited here, so I was pushing for fiber art. During that committee meeting, my pitch for Sarah morphed into a curated exhibition of fiber art, and I agreed to include my own work in textiles. “Okay,” I said. And I wondered if I was up for the task.

So, Sarah’s work was definitely in. She’d been my studio assistant while earning her MFA at Colorado State University. I relived my own grad school experience as she navigated hers. When we met, I’d just begun making textile art after twelve years working as a full-time production artist (making mobiles). It was helpful and incredibly inspiring to have someone in my studio that understood the history, limitations, and appeal of working in fiber. Our work is completely different in media, process, and imagery—but the source pool of our ideas is strikingly similar. We both pull our artworks from a place of longing and loss. After graduating in 2015, Sarah moved back to Oregon, but we have stayed close friends.

The north gallery is a very large space. I felt strongly there should be a sculptural component in the show. Without hesitation, I invited Anne Bossert to exhibit. Also a MFA graduate in fibers from Colorado State, Anne and I met through a mutual artist friend. I’ve long admired her work: her craftsmanship is impeccable. Her colorful fine art furniture—dyed, not painted—often includes cloth she weaves herself to accentuate her designs in wood. I knew the bold, bright colors and pieced structure of Anne’s furniture (and sculpture) would play off the same aspects in my own compositions made from silk. Our works would sing to each other from across the gallery, echoing line and stripe and block.

One more…I needed one more. Anne: “What about Tom?” Me: “That’d be terrific! But do you think he’d even be interested?” Tom Lundberg was our graduate school professor—for all three of us. Tom’s works are exhibited world-wide and he is a star in the fiber art world. He’s known for his badge-size hand embroideries featuring everyday objects as cosmic icons, at once graphic and impressionistic due to flecks of multitudinous colors of single-thread stitching and layering. What an honor it would be to have my work displayed alongside Tom’s! Plus, his hand-embroidery would pair nicely with Sarah’s machine-stitched artworks. Once the idea was raised, I couldn’t cower. So I composed a carefully worded, gracious and courageous email, asking Tom if he’d be our fourth.

And here we are, over a year later, less than one month from our opening. Sarah is planning to camp and drive to Colorado with her dog, Dottie. Anne is finishing up two commissioned pieces of furniture that will be included in the show. Tom has promised something never before exhibited. And my textiles are hanging in the closet, waiting for the light boxes they will be mounted upon to arrive.

Opening night is July 13th, 6-9pm. I hope you’ll join us for “Everything But Now” as we showcase vibrant color, depth of meaning, and a love for fiber. Oh—and we’ll explain that title at our artist talk on July 19th, 6pm.”

– Jan R Carson

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