Wyoming Arts Council

Needle Trade Art Show opens at WWCC in Rock Springs

Kolodzey’s “Floating Insects” 42″ x 38″

“Needle Trade” presenting the works of Carmen Hay Kolodzey and Miriam Schaer will open at the Western Wyoming Community College Art Gallery October 6. The shows name was chosen in reference to the labor intensive histories of the thread medium in the US, prior to the design simplification which came about with the use of the computer.
“Needle Trade” includes pieces using altered fabrics and mixed mediums. These artists achieve lyrical results from their nontraditional materials of fabric backing and items of clothing that are reconstructed. Both artists deconstruct and then reinvented to create their art.

As Kolodzey states, she “deconstructs before I construct.” She uses colorful patterned fabrics which she deconstructs into “fringes which are then hand-sewn in hundreds of layers onto canvas, Lutrador, or paper.”

Born in Germany, Kolodzey has a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts and Textile and a Master’s in Fine Arts and Textile Education for Secondary Schools, both from German Universities. She taught fine arts and textile in Germany for 11 years before moving to New York in 1990 to work as a professional artist.

Since 1990 she has shown her work at many shows in such places as New Mexico, Colorado, New York, California, Germany and Argentina, to name a few.

“My body of work encompasses abstract work as well as work addressing socio-political issues,” she explains. “I consider it an achievement if the viewer of my work is attracted by its beauty and at the same time is inspired by its social message.” Schaer often relates the works to literary sources both appropriating and expanding for today’s time and place.

Schaer uses everyday objects in her art. “My work is often about transformation,” she explains. “For example, I often use garments — especially bustiers, bras, girdles, kitchen aprons, children’s clothing and gloves — as both means and vehicles of containment.” Included in Western’s show is an object which began as found objects — gloves lost on the streets of New York City. They take on a new life as a woven snake.

Schaer earned Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degrees from Philadelphia College of Art and from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She has been a visiting artist at several institutes including the Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha in Spain, University of Belgrade in Serbia and Montenegro at most recently at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Her works have been show worldwide including such places as New York, Canada, Egypt and Estonia.

The WWCC Art Gallery is open Monday through Thursday 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. and Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. “Needle Threads” is free and open to the public.

Lower left: Kolodzey’s “AiryDay”

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