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Earthworks

The Carnegie Center for Art and History in New Albany, Indiana is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit, Earthworks: Art Quilts by Pat DaRif, Joanne Weis, & Valerie White, on display October 30 through December 30, 2009. The exhibit focuses on nature and the relationship of human beings to the earth. Each of the artists, Pat DaRif, Joanne Weis, and Valerie White—all members of the River City Fiber Artists—have recently touched on this theme in their individual art quilts. In planning for this group exhibition, the earth became a theme around which they discussed and created artworks. Each artist’s works relate to different aspects of the earth. The Earthworks exhibit, opening reception, and related programs are generously sponsored by the Carnegie Center, Inc.

There will be an opening reception for Earthworks on Friday October 30 from 6 to 8 pm. Visitors can enjoy refreshments, live music by the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Quartet, and the opportunity to meet the artists featured in the exhibit. The opening reception is free and open to the public.

Pat DaRif creates somewhat abstract images of water, trees, grass and other natural elements on fabric by dyeing cloth using, primarily, shibori and tray dyeing techniques. She then quilts the dyed images to create her finished works. In her artist’s statement, DaRif writes, “By taking an abstract, somewhat minimalist, approach in preparing this work, I hope to have evoked the beauty and fragility of nature and, by extension, a sense of our responsibility to safeguard and preserve it. I fear that time is running out on our ability to reverse the deleterious effects of human behavior on the planet and can only hope that this show will be a beautiful, yet urgent, reminder of the need for action.”

Joanne Weis examines the fragility of what humans have and could lose in her silkscreened and quilted works of art. She exhibits a series that looks at food grown in the earth that then becomes the central part of people gathering for ritual. Weis writes, “The work in this exhibition has been inspired by our universal connectivity to the earth. Earliest intelligent life is evidenced by seeds and agriculture. Food is embedded in our rituals of passage, worship and other significant social experience. Much of our world is threatened but as we recognize potential catastrophe, we are beginning to take some corrective steps. My prayer is that my art may enhance this restoration.”

The artworks of Valerie White express her feelings about the earth by showcasing a variety of root systems. She brings to light the typically hidden beauty of roots and root vegetables by using a variety of techniques on fabric, including dye paints, laminated fabric, and monoprints. White writes, “The root systems of plants and vegetables hold a particular fascination for me. I am attracted to the size, shape, and color of all roots. To discover a tiny plant with thousands of roots, compared to a large plant with only a few is a curious act of nature. This series was created to not only document the mystery of what lies beneath the soil, but also to renew our appreciation of that beauty.”

There are a number of free programs scheduled in conjunction with Earthworks, including two gallery talks with the artists and lectures on sustainability and other environmental topics. Please note those programs that require pre-registration (812-944-7336). Full program details are available at www.carnegiecenter.org.