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New Hope Arts presents ‘Fiber, Fabric, Fashion’ Exhibition and workshops

by Lori Goldstein, lorigoldstein102@gmail.com

New Hope Arts’ fourth FFF – Fiber, Fabric, Fashion – an invitational exhibition of contemporary textile art, returns on May 14th-June 5th. As with the three previous FFFs, it is curated by Sandy Morrison, who has been a gallerist at NHA for the past eight years.

With its live fashion runway show, FFF has been one of New Hope Arts’ most popular events. For the first show in 2016, people had to be turned away because the gallery was at full capacity. Sandy was all set to present a fourth FFF in May 2020 when Covid happened.  

This spring, due to all the variants that arose while planning FFF, she and executive director Carol Cruickshanks decided to schedule an afternoon when visitors can observe a semi-professional fashion shoot by fashion photographer Rachel Heuber, with four female designers represented, including Morgan Grabarz, an emerging designer who’s in her last year at FIT and was an intern for Sandy when she was in high school. 

Sandy herself sold vintage clothing back in the ‘80s, so she likes to include it in the fashion shows.  This year’s vintage clothing will come from Lambertville’s The Sojourner shop and New Hope’s Night Bird Vintage. 

“The fashion led me to the fiber artists” says Sandy. “What drew me to it is the fact that it’s ‘slow art’. These are people spending hundreds of hours hand-making, hand-building, hand-dyeing their pieces, and I think in a world where everything is fast, fast fashion… this is the exact opposite…to me it’s art because of the slow process.” She alludes to Nelly Kouzmina forages for roots, plants, and flowers in the woods to eco-dye fabric.

Annali Martin previously upcycled a collection of coats from other garments and scraps.  Working almost exclusively with tablecloths from the 1940s, Gail Sorkow has made floor-length ballgowns.   Sandy defines upcycling as “taking a garment no longer usable or outdated and creating something out of it, uplifting it with a new design.”  A number of young artists create “green” fashion, using sustainable materials. Fiber artist Lisa Sanders uses “basic fibers we use every day, but she turns them into these organic, almost biomorphic shapes,” describes Sandy.   

With 14 artists represented at FFF 2022, Sandy is excited to have Michael Ross’s work, which has been juried in national shows, back again. “He’s trying to change the image of a quilter,” explains Sandy. “When you say quilter, you could think folk, craft, a little old-fashioned, mostly something women would do.  He prefers to call his pieces ‘stitched compositions.’”

When Sandy went to Montclair Art Museum to scout for talent, she found Katie Truk’s sculptures. Her medium is pantyhose with wire. Tapestry weaver Rita Romanova Ghekt’s work will also be shown.

Julie Bradly-Norton creates jewelry with repurposed leather. Jeweler Kathleen Scullion uses antique beads and some created by glassblowers. “Jewelry fits in FFF because you need accessories for the fashion show.  It’s an extension of the fashion,” says Sandy. Kevin Kroupa’s and Holly Wellington’s jewelry will also be in the exhibition.

Gallery hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, noon to 5:00pm. New Hope Arts is at 2 Stockton Avenue in New Hope. The exhibition and special events are free of charge.  They include:

  • Sat/Sun, May 14th and 15th, 12 to 5 pm: Two-day fiber art installation by Lisa Sanders.
  • Sat, May 21st, 1:00 to 4:00pm: Live fashion photo shoot.
  • Sun. May 22nd, 1:00 to 4:00pm: Live fiber art demonstration by Katie Truk.
  • Sat. May 28th, 2:00 to 3:00pm: Gallery talk by Michael Ross.

PHOTO CAPS:

  1. Stitched composition by Michael Ross
  2. Fiber sculpture by Lisa Sanders
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