Halliday’s Fiberly News 16: A Few Suggestions of Fiberly Things to in February 2016

It’s Oscar season and in spite of whatever commercial hype they may represent, I’m still a sucker for trying to get to as many of the nominees as I can.  I’ve been to precious few this year, but two that I have seen are visual beauties.  Carol, a movie portraying forbidden love between two women in the 1950;s, and The Danish Girl, a movie revealing the  painful struggle of a of a transgender artist at the turn of the century provide much textile eye candy. The content of both is poignant and important, reason enough to see the movie, but the textiles are breathtaking.  The movies are gorgeous with stunning clothing in every scene.  Although I think Eddie Redmayne is a bit flat in his role, Cate Blanchett and Roony Mara breathe subtle depth into their characters.

Locally, if you haven’t seen Material Mythologies  at the Minnesota Museum of American Art, go over before it closes on April 3.  It brings together the fiber stars Sonya Clark and Mary Giles ,and Jae Won Lee whose approach to ceramic installation feels like fiber. 



IMG_0544Jae Won Lee

IMG_0573Mary Giles

IMG_0557Sonya Clark

IMG_0558Sonya Clark detail


Teri Greeves, an artist that I had just discovered and hadn’t realized was in the show until visiting the museum, uses beading knowledge acquired from her Kiowa roots to express her narratives.  The fifth artist, Helen Lee, uses extraordinary feats of glass making as expressions of language.

IMG_0539Teri Greeves

IMG_0568Helen Lee

I wrote a blog previously on rock star Sonya Clark, who uses hair and materials related to hair as a metaphor for examining issues of racial identity.  We all have the wonderful opportunity to hear her speak at Mia on February 18, 2016.  Her lecture is in conjunction with the opening of the exhibition State of the Art, Discovering American Art Now.

Mary Giles had a stunning retrospective last summer at Textile Center, and if you missed that show, or want to revisit it, here’s a link to the slideshow:  http://www.textilecentermn.org/mary-giles-a-retrospective-opens-july-14.  Mia also currently has a piece of hers on display.

DSC_9282-768x509Mary Giles




Halliday’s Fiberly News 15: My Overview of 2015

I had a wonderful series of art experiences in 2015, which also played a role in my failure to blog. I had intended to blog about each experience as it unfolded.  Alas, no time.  Instead I now will recap the year.    Here are brief details working backwards from the most recent.

In December of 2015 I finished a commission of Brass Kimono 2.  These images were taken in the owner’s home.

kimono mary marsden meIMG_9881

kimono backIMG_9878

Kimber Olson and I mounted a show at the Owatonna Hospital on October 30, 2015 that will be up through February 2016.

IMG_9543Migration, one of my pieces

IMG_9563This is Kimber’s piece detailing the brain

I spent the month of October at a residency at the Vermont Studio Center.  This was a phenomenal experience for me, and much new work will be coming soon.  I met amazing fellow artists, Chris Mauersberger, Jenna Richards, Carrie Dickason; fantastic writers, Anna Vodika, Leslie Schwartz, Essie Chambers to name a very few.   Among the highlights were  studio visits from visiting guest artists John Jerome O’Conner

5c9fb450751065c1063768de3feb8ae0A Recurrence Plot

and the fiber referenced sculptor Elena Herzog.

Elana Herzog Southern Lights 72 dpi        Southern Lights, 2014


VSC verdant treesIMG_9017      VSC treesIMG_9013
The splendor of verdant Vermont.

Stayed tuned for developing work from my VSC experience.IMG_9106      IMG_9232


August -October 2015 I was delighted to have my work hanging in the lobby of the American Craft Council offices.


This lead to a wonderful interview with Peter Shea of Bat of Minerva, and is archived at the University of Minnesota.

You can check out the interview here:  Download: audio, small video, or original.

IMG_8312Afghan for PeteIMG_6873Detail

In July I created a site specific piece for Tuck Under Gallery.  Kudos to Pete Dreissen for his own work, and his support of so many artists.

May-August I was thrilled to show the Poetics of Evolution in my hometown, at the Duluth Art Institute.  Many thanks to Marlys Johnson and Annie Dugan for making this happen

Duluth Art Inst Postcard

IMG_6962At the Artist’s Talk


And here is a link to a featured interview on KUMD radio:  http://kumd.org/term/carolyn-halliday#stream/0

In June of 2015 I was very honored to be invited to show in Radical Basketry, at Textile Center.


Natural Disaster and Human Intervention III

In May Kimber Olson and I mounted together another show which was at the Phipps. It is a pleasure for the two of us to work together.


IMG_6625Buckthorn (hanging)Natural Disaster and Human Intervention II (in the foreground)

Kimber and I were happy to have a third show together this year, at my beloved Textile Center,in April 2015.

Version 2

2015 was a year of continuous shows for me. As I look ahead to 2016, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunities of last year, and eagerly embrace the artistic unknowns of this new year.

Halliday’s Fiberly Art News 14: A Nabadi Happy New Year

I have been remiss in my blog updates but 2016 brings an opportunity to recommit. It seems my busy show schedule throughout 2015 is to blame. Yesterday I somewhat impulsively responded to an opportunity to participate in a brief workshop cosponsored by Midway Contemporary Arts and FD13. FD 13 artist residencies aim to connect international artists  with Minneapolis/St Paul artists and community. Currently Ei Arakawa , Gela Patashuri, and Sergei Tcherepnin are in residency, creating the exhibition and performance “Room & Board & Crate & Barrel & Mother Vertical” at Midway Contemporary Arts. Gela is here from Georgia, located in the Caucasian Mountains and Ei and Sergei are New York artists. During yesterday’s hour long workshop, a group of random people made metal Nabadi’s with the resident artists, culminating in a winter dance at Hampden park.  The Nabadi’s will be used as part of the Midway exhibition which opens January 21. A Nabadi is a traditional dark felted garment worn by mountain shepherds whose stiffness also allows it to provide a kind of shelter.  Felted  from the course black guard hairs of the Karakul sheep, this workshop appealed to my love of textile traditions applied to contemporary art concepts.images

Additional intrigue for me was the metal from which they were constructed.  The galvanized steel and 1/4 rivets were very difficult to manipulate but others’ stronger hands succeeded in getting them completed.

Here’s an image of the classic garment.

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 4.28.03 PM


And here are images of the construction

IMG_0259   (Kelsey Olson’s arms)


IMG_0261Here am I, down coat under Nabadi, ready to head into the below zero weather.

After an improvised dance led by the resident artists, we left the heavy Nabadi’s in the snow, making a lovely tribute to the close of a beautiful winter’s day.




Once again I celebrate the creative interpretation of textiles/garments as sculpture.  Thank you fd13 and Midway Contemporary Arts.

Halliday’s Fiberly Art News 13 (Kate Anderson’s Knotting)

Yesterday I had the wonderful experience of taking a short cyanotype workshop with artist John Marshall at the MN Musuem of American Art.  The workshop was offered in conjunction with their current “Summertime”  exhibit featuring pieces from their permanent collection, and included a 2011 cyanotype from John.  This funky photo was not intended to be a selfie but it does give a sense of John’s work.

IMG_6512Skyride (with reflections of  MMAA)

While waiting for the cyanotypes to expose I perused the exhibit and had the happy surprise of finding this excellent work by Kate Anderson.

IMG_6509 Matisse Teapot, 2001

Kate Anderson creates exquisitely crafted work that  uses a traditional basketry knotting technique learned in a workshop taught by Jane Sauer.  She chooses the teapot form which allows for commentary on form vs function, craft vs fine art and then quotes from iconic references (like Matisses’s cut outs) to further play with meaning.  What a treat to find this on display, right now, in downtown  St. Paul!

IMG_6510Another view of Matisse Teapot (in vitrine)

My other favorite item in this eclectic show is a Tlinglit Red Snapper fishing hook.


Thank you to John Marshall for a generously informative workshop, to Christina Chang for making it happen, and to the MMAA for it’s often fiber focused displays.

Halliday’s Fiberly Art News 12: Carlton College

Currently at the Carlton College Perlman Teaching Museum is a dynamic show of four installations that are material and process driven.  Curator Laurel Bradley has often chosen fiber forward shows that have caught my attention, including Gender Stitchery in 2007 with Ghada Amer and and Elaine Reichek.  In 2011,  A Complex Weave  spoke again of stitching, gender, and identity and included work by Sonya Clark.  The current show, Swing Low was curated with the nifty ceiling grid system in mind, that can be lowered and raised for elaborate installations.

Generating the most buzz that I’ve heard about the show, is Hottea’s The Collector,a prism of hanging yarn that artist Eric Rieger based on the digital color picker used in his job as a digital designer.  hottea installThis is an image I took of his image in his presentation, showing the installation in action. Those are bags of thread groupings that are waiting to be unleashed.

.hottea Here is Eric trimming threads right before his presentation.  And this view, taken by me from under the sculpture, is what he said is his favorite corner.

hottea favDetail of : The Collector

In the background is the work of Rebecca Hutchinson, The Structural Bloom.  She uses handmade paper, porcelain, and paper clay to reflect her experiences of nature.  She up cycles old clothing to make her paper.

huchensonDetail of The Structural Bloom”

simonsonDetail of : Twighlight

Elizabeth Simonson, whose work mesmerized me at the Weisman where she constructed elaborate wall installations of cellophane tape and piano wires (in 2010), created Twilight from beads and monofilament.  Inadvertently (according to her) working in systems, she intends to work with the processes of life.  After my familiarity with her seemingly abstract work, this piece struck me as surprisingly reminiscent of folk art.  I find myself falling prey to the contexts of a material, in this case beads, which I think were chosen simply for their power to refract light.

The fourth artist represented, Alison Hiltner, who describes herself as “an archeologist of science fiction”, made Survival Tactics, an interactive installation.”   The piece uses LED lights and vibration motors that activates the hanging twines in response to viewers and each other.  Conical groupings on the ceiling are intended to be a root colony responding to its world.


Take a lovely spring drive to Northfield. You’ll enjoy the show.

And, while your there, notice this piece hanging in the stairwell.

Carlton stair sculpture I couldn’t find its label so I’m unable to give proper credit, but I was very drawn to the piece.

Halliday’s Fiberly Art News 11: Contexture Closing

I have been woefully behind in my commitment to a regular blog, but today I vow to get a couple of posts up, albeit belatedly.

My show with Kimber Olson at the Textile Center, our third version of “Contexture”  opened March 6  along with two other shows which featured Jenny Angus in the main gallery.contextureTree Salutation:  Wintercontext 3Gallery shot of Contexture

bugs gallery shotGallery shot of Jennifer Angus’ fabulous bugs.  You’ll be able to see Creepy Crawly until May 16 but Contexture comes down Monday April 27.  It’s been a fun showing, with 250 people turning out for the opening.   Terra IncognitaKimber’s Terra Incognita with my Tree Salutation: Fall in the background.

spring quilt 2Tree Salutation:  Spring

Thanks to all who visited and gave me positive feedback.  You have through April 25 for a final peek.  Enjoy.

Halliday’s Fiberly Art News 10 Public Private Experiment Update

When I decided to leave my “Public Private Art Experiments” outside for a long time, I knew I was taking the risk of losing them.  So I have been pleasantly surprised at the long life my trees enjoyed with little human interference during 2014.

.trees det 10.22.14

trees 10.22.14You can see them here in October’s snow.  I hadn’t documented them for a couple of months, but I checked on them most every day.  One fell down in December for which I made a temporary repair, but they continued to hang on.  And I continued to meet people who told me they had enjoyed coming upon them.  So I was pretty shocked on December 23, when this scene greeted me.

No treesGONE.

Completely gone without even a trace of wire.  I checked the creek and all around the various paths I walk, but found nothing.  This spurred into making the less traveled trek to my east creek installation.  By this time I wasn’t really surprised to fine this.

Pub priv 4 all goneThe wire was gone and the vines were collapsed.  I dug around for any remaining wire and found this.

pub prive 4 wireMy choice to leave my works unattended is part of the excitement of the experiment.  I certainly didn’t want someone to take them, but I also view it as all part of the collaboration.  If anyone knows anything about what happened to them, I welcome news.

Meanwhile my nearly invisible and much more subtle collaboration with vines remains safe.

Pub Private 3 whole

You can tell by my frosty nose that it was still up during this recent cold spurt.

Me winter public 3

I hope the wire isn’t just being sold, but however the materials reemerge in the world is all part of the process of the work, and how viewers engage with something I call art.

Halliday’s Fiberly Art News 9: Orly Genger

2015 has arrived with my vow to keep my blog semi regular.  My backlog of blog topics will start tonight with my Thanksgiving trip to Oklahoma.  OK contem

The last thing I expected on this trip was to have an art rush.  But through a serendipitous outing to the Fred Jones Museum of Art on the U of O campus, I picked up a new art publication called Art Desk, a striking publication published in OK.  When I saw a terrific spread on the work of Orly Genger, I had to buy the magazine.  Then when I actually read the article, I was ecstatic to discover she had a current installation in Oklahoma City, just thirty minutes away from the university.  So  my family and I excitedly headed out the next morning in near summer weather to a narrow strip of land near downtown OKC that was labelled Oklahoma Contemporary.

Orly GengerO

Orley Genger, a MFA grad of Chicago,and and undergrad of Brown, makes a series of knotted structures, often from lobster rope.  The first work of hers that I saw in press was crocheted.  But this and other installations have a more complex knotted structure.

Orly Genger blue det

In this photo you can see the color change in the predominately red-orange structure, so colored to reflect and celebrate the Oklahoma terrain.  She paints her rope to achieve the desired color, with this shot showing previous blue not quite covered.

This installation seems as solid at cement, and uses a lot of rope.

Orly me

Contrast it with the screen shot from a 2010 sculpture of hers.

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 12.55.27 AM

I could write more but I’ve run out of time, so instead you can read this NYTimes article:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/05/arts/design/orly-genger-in-madison-square-park.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

and visit her website:  orlygenger.com

Enjoy and Happy 2015

More to come soon….

Halliday’s Fiberly Art News 8 (you missed it)

11/8/2014 is when this was written, but languished in the draft box until now.

I had hoped to visit Materiality: Paper, Wood, Cloth at the Robbin Gallery earlier in the month so I could encourage you all to visit, but life’s full schedule intervened, and I couldn’t get there until yesterday, its final day.  Alis Olsen, Terri Power, and Kit Eastman pulled this show together based on their mutual processes of material driven art.  Kit has a long history of lovely, finely crafted Katazome, or stencil dyeing on fabric.  New to me were her pieces that incorporated embroidered texture.  It is an addition I like.

I met Alis back in 1999 through the WARM Mentor Program and have felt an affinity for her work since then.  Photographer turned sculpture, she works with wood often found on her property in Colorado, and plays with themes of humans’ impact on the environment, and trees in particular.  She was eager for me to see her interpretations of quilts for this show after having seen my Japenese Beetle Lace: Birch, which also uses a quilt format.  Alice cut squares of thin wood on which she had various fragments of vegetation, and connected them with twine.

alis olsen quilt

Detail of one of the squares:Allis O det quilt

All of the materiality of the work stimulated me, but I became especially intrigued with the work of Teri Powers.  I’ve seen very little of her work and this work was quite different from what I had seen.  My favorite piece in the show was Nature of Plasticity , described as found objects and acrylic boxes.

T. Power Nature of Plasticity copy

Her cattail fiber and clay monoprints  titled Sedimentality 1 and 2 captured the visceral appeal for me that I find in the works of artists who use primitive materials, such as outsider artist James Castle and art brut  star Jean Dubuffet.

T Power Sedimental 1 2

Kudos to these three women for pulling together an interesting show in this little gallery off the beaten track.  I hope you’ll get to see some of these pieces elsewhere.

Halliday’s Fiberly Art News 7 (WAI Panel 11/5/2014)

I’m excited by this soon to happen panel at St Catherine’s University  next week.  Karen Searle is textile maven, knitter extraordinaire who has published me several times in her writings on contemporary art knitters.  Erica Spitzer Rasmessen  is one of my all time favorite artists.  And I’ve seen only a bit of Jessica Larson’s artwork over the years but have been very drawn to her use of materials.  I mentioned her, and her Women Troubles  in my first blog.

Maybe I’ll see you there!

This is the information sent out by the Women’s Art Institute.

Fiber arts details small

The Women’s Art Institute cordially invites you to a panel presentation:
Fiber Arts:
Women’s Work and/or Feminist Statement?

Three prominent Minnesota artists will present their work and consider the question.

Karen Searle
Erica Spitzer Rasmussen
Jessica Larson
Moderator: Patricia Olson

Since the invention of textiles in antiquity, the fiber arts have been considered women’s work, and have
therefore been designated as a minor art in western culture. Lately, they have shed their aura of domesticity
and have been embraced both by the feminist art movement and post-modern sensibilities.

Free and open to the public.

Wednesday, November 5, 7:00 pm
Lecture Hall, Visual Arts Building, St. Catherine University
2004 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul

Reception to meet the artists follows presentation.For more information: 651-690-6636  |  www2.stkate.edu/studio-art/wai