The Anderson Center presents Material, a group exhibition of contemporary textile-based work by Minnesota artists featuring new approaches to traditional art forms and time-honored techniques. The exhibition opens on February 10 and runs through April 24, 2021. A free artist reception will take place Friday, April 9 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Refreshments will be provided.
Through sewing, crochet, piecework, and garment construction techniques, the artists featured in Material address timely themes that range from intersectional identities to a prevalence of plastic waste. Featured artists include Anna Carlson, Dawn Zero Erickson, Su Legatt, Ka Oskar Ly, and Erik Jon Olson.
Carlson, a former Anderson Center artist-in-residence, looks at the experience of a Major Depressive Episode through a fiber-based installation and related book, both employing indigo dye. Red Wing based Erickson creates multi-layered works of color and pattern that reflect her extensive travels and experiences. Su Legatt has created a series called “Advice from Minnesota Grandmothers,” a community-sourced collection of grandmotherly advice displayed through screen prints on upholstery fabric ringed with crochet. Ka Oskar Ly uses garments to explore Hmong-American identity, especially in the ways that LGBTQIA Hmong youth use clothing to convey identity. Erik Jon Olson maintains a strong commitment to a waste-free artistic practice, drawing on his love for pop and graphic arts to sew large-scale work made of quilted plastic sourced from local supermarkets.
“Women artists and artists from non-Western backgrounds have long demonstrated that these methods belong in conversations about contemporary art. Sewing, needlework, and functional processes have been considered ‘craft’ techniques, implying that they are somehow lesser than ‘fine’ art,” says curator Stephanie Rogers. “The artists featured in this exhibition are building from a decades-long, national conversation about art that includes people such as Ruth Asawa and Faith Ringgold. The use of soft materials, surface decoration, pattern, and familiar and domestic forms is evocative in and of itself. The artists featured in Material build on the ideas associated with these techniques and forms, moving this important art historical conversation forward in our place and time.”
Handicapped accessible and free to the public, the Main Gallery at the Anderson Center is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (beginning Feb. 10). This exhibit is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
About the Artists
Anna Carlson’s conceptual work explores dress and identity through the processes of dyeing and printmaking. She combines her interest in current issues with her practice by merging hand and digital processes. “My creative journey began as a child; I loved to make paper dolls and cut out dresses from wallpaper sample books.”
Based in Red Wing, Dawn Zero Erickson is an independent artist/designer whose textile designs have been exhibited extensively throughout the world and are in the permanent collections of the Kyoto Textile Museum in Japan, the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Design in New York, and The Art Institute of Chicago as well as numerous private and corporate collections. Her considerable foreign travel experiences (including Asia, Eastern Europe, India, Russia, Turkey, and former Soviet countries) are evident in her work.
Su Legatt is an artist, educator, and community organizer. Collected through internet crowdsourcing, each of her pieces in Material shares a simple yet memorable bit of guidance from a Minnesota Grandmother; screen-printed onto fabric collected during an annual local clean up week and finished with a crocheted doily border. These quirky wall pieces balance the sentimentality of this precious knowledge with the playfulness often associated with time spent with grandparents.
Ka Oskar Ly is a queer Hmong French American multi-disciplinary artist, organizer, and creative cultural producer based in the Twin Cities, MN. Ka’s approach is informed through immersing herself in processes and community to seek authenticity in intersectionality and shifting narratives. She fosters spaces and brings her own story to life, creating with integrity to advance community progress and thoughtfully navigating through to address systemic and social change.
Using quilted plastic waste as his medium, Erik Jon Olson creates works that deal with the effects of consumerism, mass consumption and unfettered capitalism. By layering environmental issues with social justice messaging, his art emphasizes our alienation from the environment and each other, our willingness to waste and our subsequent need for healing.
This invitational show has been curated by Stephanie Lynn Rogers.
Featured image: “Follow a Rag Rug Road,” a quilt made of plastic waste, by Erik Jon Olson