You don't have to be a kid to appreciate the woven, crocheted, and threaded universe of Sew What?, a new textile-based exhibit opening at the Children's Museum of the Arts in New York on Febuary 5, 2016. The show is like a Pixar movie, with familiar materials and eye-grabbing imagery for the kids, but plenty of contemporary art concepts for adults to grasp onto—one artist's work even looks like a demented Mickey Mouse.
From a surreal grey felt fireplace by Australian artist Timothy Paul Myers, to Jeila Gueramian's rainbow blanket-fort-on-acid, _Sew What? _weaves and braids environmental responsibility, recycling, the historicity of found objects and multicultural tradition into a gorgeous, squishy landscape.
Aside from giving crafty artists a place to showcase their wares, one mission of Sew What? seems to be actually educating visitors about the processes behind the $1.2 trillion textile industry. "Most textile arts begin with twisting or spinning and plying fiber to make yarn (called thread when it is very fine and rope when it is very heavy)," the Children's Museum of the Arts explains the basics in a press release. It continues, "The yarn is then knotted, looped, braided or woven to make flexible fabric or cloth, and cloth can be used to make clothing and soft objects. Techniques of dyeing, printing, embroidery, needlework, knitting, quilting, and sewing all are a part of textile arts."
With the popularity of textiles in contemporary art, from street artist HOTTEA's yarn bombs to Erin Riley's risque erotic tapestries, now is as good a time as any to learn about the material these projects are built upon.
The full list of contributing artists includes Louise Bourgeois, Adrian Esparza, Eliza Kentridge, Larissa Mellor, Timothy Paul Myers, Sheila Pepe, Robb Putnam, Alicia Scardetta, Susan Beallor-Snyder, and Nathan Vincent. Check out their work in the images below.
Sew What? is open to the public at the Children's Museum of the Arts from February 5th - May 22nd, 2016.