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Group exhibition ALL:ONE debuts a promising batch of emerging textile artists

Kailey Adams, Kody Berry, Anna Hobbs, Christina Kosinski, Erin Lawless, Elizabeth Ogletree, Aja Steele, Ashley Wills
Kailey Adams, Kody Berry, Anna Hobbs, Christina Kosinski, Erin Lawless, Elizabeth Ogletree, Aja Steele, Ashley Wills
Courtesy of the Artists

art exhibit

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The group textile exhibition ALL: ONE had its artist's reception on Thursday May 9 at The Lamar Dodd School of Art's Gallery 307. Eight artists presented their work which ranged in style and concept but all of which commanded the large presentation space.

The artist's were present at the reception on the third floor which they they shared with the Scientific Illustration and Animation Exit Show. Meanwhile, Interior Design hosted their reception on the first floor of the same art building.

Typical of exit shows ALL:ONE was a bustling and crowded success in terms of public turn out. The work itself was both interesting and made a good example of what variety there is within The University of Georgia's Fabric Design department. Diversity for a a textile exhibition often means using different technical processes: weaving, dyeing, or finishing. In this exhibition there was a diversity of cross disciplinary elements. Fabric was displayed in many sculptural, performative, and creative ways. None of the artists in this show chose to produce practical fashions, yet in the case of Ashley Wills some of the work was, in fact, worn by models.

A conceptual twist is important to all of work on display, for example Aja Steele's quilts were the most traditional pieces at first glance. However, the encoded text within the quilt's pattern alluded to the psychological relationship implications of certain bedding.

Likewise, artist Christina Kosinski puts a spin on what you might naturally expect from car upholstery. Her sculptural car doors were not coverings or interior design, but rather colorful patterns of fabric molded into the forms themselves. This writer notes the refernce to "art cars" decorated in outrageous ways or "yarn bombing" in which objects are reclaimed in a type of feminist critique. Kosinki leaves interpretation partially up to the viewer, but admits the inspiration comes from a typical family obsession with cars. She calls her art, "Junkyard Casual."

Anna Hobbs' covered fairty tale sized books in a variety of candy colored covers. This artist combined her fabric creation with illustrations. The audience would be allowed to turn the pages if they were brave enough to touch.

Being close enough to touch Elizabeth Ogletree work would not serve you well. Her projections on hanging scrims of cloth required some distance to fully see. In fact, Ogletree's work was best viewed before the crowed arrived and in the dark. This was one of the small concessions that comes from group shows.

Equally hands off was, Erin Lawless' work under glass which mimiced body parts in non-literal ways. It may have been a matter of personal taste, but this writer was interested to see a whole room of these pieces or else a larger version of the different sets.

The work of Ashley Wills was the most unavoidable. In some cases, the performer models would sneak up on people in the gallery if they even tried to turn their backs nearby. Children were of course captivated by the colorful alien figures, delighting to take pictures with the wearable work. It wasn't only the children, though, because all ages couldn't help but smile at the decorated lattice work as it swayed and twirled.

The proud director of this group and program is Jennifer Crenshaw. This class of graduating fiber artists represents one of Crenshaws first cohorts of students. She succeeds Glen Kaufman who started The University of Georgia's Fabric Design after studying with Loja Saarinen at the genesis of the Cranbrook Academy. So, this crop of work is perhaps an illustration of the type of program to come in the near future.

But what will the future hold for these artist? Some are already working on commercial side of production, while others are ready to get out and start their own studio practice. Will Kosinki revisit her car doors? Will Wills continue with her work in the direction performance and costume? And what will Director Crenshaw have in mind in the coming years.

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