Monthly archives: June, 2012

Who Said What: Ada Louise Huxtable

Ethel Stein preparing a warp, photo by Tom Grotta

What has set handcrafts apart, and always will, is the individual vision and extraordinary skill of those who create a unique, material work that can range from the practical to the abstract. The union of that vision and skill has an emotional charge lacking in impersonal articles of mass production, delivered with an unapologetic emphasis on the delight of the thing itself. That kind of direct, pleasurable response is almost totally lacking in the gloom and grunge of the arts today.

Coming in from the Cold,” Wall Street Journal, December 22, 2011.

Guest Post Alert: Carol Westfall

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Felt Balls for Peace, Carol Westfall, felted wool with barbed wire, 3″ each, 1994, photo by D. James Dee

We’ve uploaded a new guest post, Textiles and Politics by Carol Westfall. “Textile art is no exception to the rule that art both drives and documents political upheaval,” she writes. This post examines the textile in relationship to national and international political issues, including war, population control, energy and natural resource use and economic inequality. Westfall will be among the presenters at the Textile Society of America’s 13th Biennial Symposium in Washington, DC in September.

Art Event: Wendy Wahl Speaks at the Flinn Gallery, Greenwich, Connecticut, Sunday, June 10th

Wendy Wahl works on her installation “Uncovered Grove” at Newport Art Museum. The show will run through February 3, 2008. (photo by Jacqueline Marque)

This Sunday at the Flinn Gallery in Greenwich, at 2 p.m. artist Wendy Wahl will speak about her works of recycled encyclopedias and industrial paper. Wahl is one of 31 artists whose work is included in Paperworks: material as medium at the Flinn, curated by Kelly Eberly, Barbara Richards and Rhonda Brown and Tom Grotta of browngrotta arts in Wilton, Connecticut.

26ww SEEDS(of knowledge) WB vol.18/19 Wendy Wahl World Book encyclopedia pages on inked panel 21.25″ x 34.25″ x 1.625″, 2011

“I love the materiality of books,” says Wahl. Her “branches” of encyclopedia pages reference a medium in transition. Wahl began working with encyclopedias in 2005, though she had created works of industrial paper before that. Her works of repurposed encyclopedias address a set of ideas including accessibility and accumulation, synthesis and sustainability. Installations from this series have appeared at the Newport Art Museum and the Bristol Art Museum in Rhode Island and the Fuller Craft Museum of Art in Brockton, Massachusetts.

FlinnGallery installation of Paperworks: material as medium

“Digital media has led such artists as Wendy Wahl to re-evaluate the potency of the printed word,” Akiko Busch wrote in an essay in the catalog The 10th Wave III, “Wahl finds different ways to reconfigure the pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica; the leaves may be stacked into forms that suggest an alternative forest of knowledge or tightly scrolled and packed within a frame, making for a composition that suggests a cabinet of hidden knowledge, those archives of information that are at once visible and concealed, at hand and remote.”

26ww Seeds(of knowledge) WB vol.18/19, Wendy Wahl, World Book encyclopedia pages on inked panel, 21.25” x 34.25” x 1.625”, 2011, photo by Tom Grotta

Wahl ‘s work can be found in the permanent collection of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (New York, NY) and the American Embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan (through the Art in Embassies Program). She has exhibited throughout the world at venues such as the Contemporary Jewish Museum (San Francisco, CA), the Newport Art Museum (Newport, RI), the University of Wollongong (Australia), and the International Textile Convention (Kyoto, Japan). Her work is regularly reviewed on the Encyclopedia Britannica Blog.

PAPERWORKS Installation at the Flinn gallery

The Flinn Gallery is open daily from 10 – 5 pm on Monday – Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 10-8 on Thursday and 1-5 on Sundays. The Gallery is sponsored by the Friends of the Greenwich Library. It is located on the second floor of the Greenwich Library at 101 West Putnam Avenue, Greenwich, CT 06830. For more information contact the Gallery, 203-622-7947; email: or browngrotta arts, 203-834-0623; email: