River Valley Arts Collective is pleased to announce Lost and Proud, an exhibition of painting, drawing and photography by Liz Collins, Katie Ford, Anne Lindberg, and Laurel Sparks, artists who integrate techniques traditionally employed in weaving and fiber art in to their studio practices. This exhibition and related activities will take place at The Thornwillow Institute in Newburgh, New York, an organization committed to promoting and perpetuating the art of craftsmanship in all its forms.
The exhibition’s title Lost and Proud cites a seminal work by pioneering fiber artist Lenore Tawney (1907-2007). Tawney challenged the technical conventions of weaving that she had been taught at the Penland School of Crafts in the early fifties, inventing a process she named “open warp,” in which erratic-weft threads illustrate a strong relationship to drawing.
Here, we explore various approaches to process and gesture through the lens of Tawney’s legacy of proficient materiality and innovation in the work of four Hudson Valley artists—Liz Collins, Katie Ford, Anne Lindberg, and Laurel Sparks. Like in Tawney’s open warp tapestries, these artists rarely adhere to rigid expressions of the grid, embracing instead more fluid and improvisational compositions. The exhibition also considers the relationship between line and thread, with works on paper that relate to the qualities of textile. The title Lost and Proud suggests a confident and experimental mode of working, typified by each of these artist’s inquisitive and open-minded approach to their practice.
In conjunction with the exhibition, River Valley Arts Collective has produced a digital publication that explores Lenore Tawney’s legacy alongside the contemporary art practices of the exhibition’s artists, with newly commissioned texts by Karen Patterson, Curator, Fabric Workshop and Museum; Jennie Goldstein, Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art; and Shannon Stratton, Executive Director, Ox-Bow School of Art.
River Valley Arts Collective was founded by Alyson Baker in January of 2019, and is currently presenting itinerant programming in the Hudson Valley while working to secure and equip a permanent location. As goals are fully realized in the coming years, it will provide artists with the resources to create and present their work and host programs that connect and foster the creative community of our region. Central to River Valley Arts Collective will be an exhibition venue alongside three expansive communal studio spaces outfitted with tools and equipment for work in fiber, wood and clay, available to artists of the Hudson Valley and artists who are participating in area residencies.
River Valley Arts Collective is grateful for generous support from: The Al Held Foundation, Athena Foundation, Atlas Studios, Mark Dion, Kristen Dodge, John B. Koegel, Esq., The O’Grady Foundation, Clay Rockefeller, Richard Salomon Family Foundation, and The Lenore G. Tawney Foundation, and Luke Ives Pontifell, The Thornwillow Institute.
Lost and Proud is curated by Candice Madey.