Monthly archives: April, 2011

Summer Stock: Artist Lectures, Classes, Workshops and Walkthroughs

Here’s a list of opportunities to connect this summer with the artists that browngrotta arts promotes and information on an interesting Archaeological Textile Course at Bryn Mawr:


Reflective Haze by Lewis Knauss, photo by Tom and Carter Grotta

Lewis Knauss
August 22nd to August 26th

Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass Village, CO
“Advanced Fiber Workshop”

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda by Sheila Hicks, photo by Tom Grotta

Sheila Hicks
May 5th, 10:30 a.m.
Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia
http://www.icaphila.orgWalkthrough: Sheila Hicks: 50 Years

Glacial Planes by Nancy Moore Bess, photo by Tom and Carter Grotta

Nancy Moore Bess
April 29th to May 10th
Snow Farm, Williamsburg MA
Japanese Inspired Baskets

June 5th to 11th
Snow Farm, Williamsburg MA
Japanese Inspired Baskets

June 24th to 28th
Peters Valley Craft Center, Layton NJ
Japanese Packaging: Paper, Baskets & More

July 9th and 10th
Garage Annex School (GAS), Easthampton MA
Japanese Packaging: Seeking a Narrative

July 17th, 12 to 3 pm
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA
Artist Demonstration, “Bamboo and Tea
Exhibition: “An Unspoken Dialogue with Japanese Tea

August 12th
Berkshire Botanical Garden, Stockbridge MA
Wrapping Your Garden: Herbs, Flowers & Veggies

Mandella by Pat Campbell, photo by Tom grotta

Pat Campbell
July 25th to July 29th
Waynflete School, Portland, ME Works” for Grades 3-8

Kayak by Chris Drury, photo by Chris Drury

Chris Drury
May 3rd
Tagore Festival, Dartington, Devon, UK
Artist’s Talk

Big Question, By Gyöngy Laky, photo by Tom Grotta

Gyöngy Laky
May 26th, 6 p.m.

The Textile Museum. Washington D.C.
Lecture: “Geometric Disturbances

July 17th to July 29th
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, Maine
Visiting Artist

Tall blue tapestry

AZUL Y NEGR by Carolina Yrarrázaval Photo by Tom Grotta

Carolina Yrarrázaval
August 15th to August 21st
Santiago/Valparaiso/Ilsa Negra, Chile
Pre-Columbian Textile Techniques Workshop
click for details


For extra credit, at Bryn Mawr
June 5th to June 11th
Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA
Textile Archea: CIPS Archaeological Textile Course
(Centers on the tools and techniques employed in the analysis of
archaeological textile materials of ancient Peru and introduces students to the archaeology of the Andes.)

Eco-Art News: Green: the Color and the Cause at the Textile Museum in D.C.

Gyongy Laky 101L ALTERATIONS apple, grapevine, nails, wire, 58″ x 68″ x 3″ 2008

This Earth Day, visit the Textile Museum’s new exhibition, Green: the Color and the Cause, in person or the gas-free way: online The exhibition includes 34 artists, including Gyöngy Laky and Jiro Yonezawa. These artists work in natural, eco-friendly and repurposed materials and/or create works that reference diminishing resources, species extinction and the like. Online, there is an image for each artist, along with a description and in some cases, links to videos in which the artists describe their work, show their process or their inspiration. You can browse by artist name or by theme: The Color, Nature, Global Choices, Interconnectedness, Repurposing, Sustainability or Adaptation. There’s also a slide show about the history of the Green Movement in this country. The exhibition runs through September 11, 2011. The Textile Museum is located at: 2320 S Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008. For more info call: 202-667-0441. Also, online at, Eco-Art for Earth Day, through May 1st.

Textile News: Lia Cook’s Work in the Lab — Measuring Art’s Emotional Impact

Comparing the perception of a photo versus a woven image using E

Last week advocates were on Capitol Hill urging additional funding for arts programs with a series of subjective arguments — the arts enrich lives, enhance communities and assist at-risk kids struggling to stay in school. With the help of scientists at the University of Pittsburgh, however, artist Lia Cook has been able to quantify that impact by obtaining an objective measurements of viewers’ reactions to her work. As an artist-in-residence at the University’s TREND program (Transdisciplinary Research in Emotion, Neuroscience and Development, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine) Cook was able to compare the emotional responses of viewers of a flat photographic image of a human face versus the reaction to her works, large woven faces that look photographic at a distance but dissolve into maze patterns up close and finally into visibly interacting threads. Cook’s original hypothesis was that the woven interpretation of the face would result in a different emotional response compared to a flat photographic print. “I wanted to explore the nature of people’s emotional connection to woven faces,” she explains. “I thought that the material and structural aspects of the textile, the physical evidence of the hand and the memories associated with these tactile experiences might intensify the reactions. Something about the textile engenders embodied emotional response beyond that of the two–dimensional photo.”

Diffusion Spectrum Imaging (DSI)

To obtain the data necessary to test this hypothesis, Cook, in collaboration with scientists at TREND tried several approaches, including electroencephalography (EEG), Pupil Studies, EyeTracking and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). The hypothesis was confirmed, Cook and the scientists could see noticeable differences in individual images from the fMRI data and in records of electrical brain activity from EEG when volunteers compared flat and woven images. Through the project Cook was not only able to answer her initial questions, but she began to create new work inspired by the experience. She noticed, for example that the fibers of the brain visible when using Diffusion Spectrum Imaging were similar to the interlacing fibers of textile constructions. She underwent this imaging on herself and then, using software from MGH/Harvard, Biomedical Imaging Lab, she was able to manipulate the images of these images as a starting point for her latest weavings, which combine faces and images of brain fibers. The result is in keeping with the aim of the TREND residency, which hopes that artists will encourage scientists to think in new creative ways while learning the tools of the scientist to develop their artistic ideas or to look at their art work in new ways. Cook’s description of her experiments. “An Investigation: Woven Faces and Neuroscience,” appeared in the December issue of ETN Textile Form

Example of Lia Cook combing woven and brain images

From April 15 to October 22, 2011, a solo exhibition of Cook’s work, including some of the works created since the TREND residency, will open at the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh as part of the Bridge 11 Exhibition Series.  On May 5th,  Cook and Dr. Greg Siegle of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine will present a lecture,”Woven Faces, Mapping the Emotional Brain,” at 6 pm.  Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10—5 pm. For more information, visit or call 412.261.7003 x 26.

Installation News: Grethe Sørenson for Tronrud Engineering in Norway

Greyscale+Colour by Grethe Sørensen photo by Bo Hovgaard

In 2010, Danish artist Grethe Sørensen was commissioned to produce a site-specific, large-scale work of textile art for Tronrud Engineering in Hønefoss, Norway. Tronrud Engineering specializes in developing machinery within the industrial automation area. The firm’s new location, designed by Norwegian architects Snøhetta (Snoarc), is situated at Eggemoen, the largest natural flat plateau in Norway.

Tronrud-Grey by Grethe Sørensen photo by Bo Hovgaard

Detail Greyscale by Grethe Sørensen photo by Bo Hovgaard

The work that resulted was Fjeld og li og fjord, a title taken from a quotation from a Danish song about Norwegian landscapes which means “mountain and meadow and fiord.” For the work’s motif, Sørensen took as a point of departure the contours of the landscape around Eggemoen, and rendered these contours in three variations on the same theme — Contour, Greyscale and Color — one theme for each floor in the building. The textiles are integrated into the structure of the building; placed opposite the entrance doors on three floors above each other covering walls of 15 square meters each. Each piece consists of 5 panels of jacquard-woven fabric.

Tronrud-Black by Grethe Sørensen photo by Bo Hovgaard

Detail-Contour by Greteh Sørensen photo by Bo Hovgaard

The first floor shows a color fantasy of the landscape theme. This image is the first impression to visitors and it may be seen as an expression of the creativity that is one of the main characteristics of Tronrud Engineering. The second floor has the Greyscale. From a distance it gives a three-dimensional impression of the landscape. On closer inspection, it’s evident that it is made up of different patterns in black and white – typical digital patterns. These patterns reference Norwegian a traditional knitting pattern, “lusekofte,” a Norwegian sweater pattern, dating from the 19th century. It features a black-and-white design, and the name means “lice jacket,” after the isolated black stitches. The Greyscale motif represents tradition combined with innovation as an expression of the versatility and wide-ranging skills represented by the people in the company. On the third floor is the pure black-and-white image of the landscape with contours and a line in red. This piece expresses the sharpness, seriousness and precision for which the firm is known.

Portrait of Grethe Sørensen¸photo by Bo Hovgaard

The samples were woven by Sørensen on a handloom with digital single-thread control. The final pieces were woven on an industrial jacquard loom at Digital Lab, at the Audax Textile Museum, Tilburg, Netherlands.