DECATUR — A patchwork of pieces can make beautiful art, and an interesting exhibit.
Jami Fawley, Decatur Area Arts Council Gallery Coordinator, invited the two St. Louis-based artists to exhibit their work at the local gallery because they work well together. “Their work really complements one another,” Fawley said. “It explores different takes on fiber arts.”
The artists will demonstrate some of the works during the First Friday Gallery Walk on Friday, Aug. 6, in the Anne Lloyd Gallery.
Lisa Hinrichs creates what she defines as abstract fiber collages. “The surfaces of my work are highly textured and sometimes described both as quilt-like or architectural,” she said.
Hinrichs’ pieces involve multiple layers which hide or reveal what is above or below. “The top layers are mostly dyed or painted fabrics and/or paper,” she said. “The bottom layers of my work are wool fibers which act to bind all the layers together through a process called nuno-felting or fabric lamination.”
Hinrichs also defines a few of her pieces as Boroscapes. “Which express my feelings about the repair and patching of both the built and natural world including human lives,” she said. “The title "Boroscape" is a reference to Japanese Boro Cloth, the highly stitched and repaired cloth of 19th century Japanese peasants, made out of necessity, but which is beautiful and now appreciated by many collectors.”
As a mother, Hinrichs began working in the architectural field, eventually transitioning to graphic design. Approximately seven years ago she became a full time artist. “Making artwork is a challenge and an adventure and I love every minute,” she said about the difference in work days.
Although the two work well together, Farren and Hinrichs have unique styles.
Suzy Farren works in a variety of mediums, but much of her work is with fiber and mixed media. “My work is intuitive, which means I don’t begin with an idea of how each piece will turn out,” she said. “I just start.”
No matter the piece, Farren begins with a surface such as a piece of paper or cloth adding fragments as she goes. Fragments of cloth are stitched or paper is glued. “I won’t like how it looks so I’ll rearrange them, or maybe I’ll tear up the pieces and reconfigure the piece or paint over it,” Farren said. “And little by little, the piece takes shape and it begins to feel like a finished piece. But if I’m not happy with it, or if it’s not something I feel really represents me, I’ll keep working until I feel the piece is the best that it can be, the best that I can make it, that it makes me happy.”
All material is important to Farren’s work, much of which will be seen as handmade books. However, she said her work is always imperfect. “Which is a reflection of me,” she said. “But books demand a certain amount of precision. What I love is making the pages pretty much the same size and then figuring out how they all work together.”
For example, her "Leaf Book" is eco-printed images with pockets and flaps and surprises in it. The "Avocado Book" is made from paper dyed with avocado. The process did not work the way Farren had hoped. “So it was all screwed up,” she said. “But actually I like when something doesn’t work out the way I expect because it means I have to be creative in addressing the problem. And it’s always better than it would have been because it means I have to come up with new and interesting ways to hide the screwed up part. And that’s what makes the pieces uniquely mine.”
August art exhibits
ANNE LLOYD GALLERY. The Decatur Area Arts Council downtown gallery will feature the fiber artists Lisa Hinrichs and Suzy Farren. The First Friday Gallery Walk will be 5 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6, in the gallery. An artist’s talk will be at 6 p.m.
BLUE CONNECTION. The Millikin University's student-run art gallery will continue to feature Shannon Cook, the 2021 Robert Harrison Crowder Artist-in-Residence. The exhibit can be seen during the First Friday event Aug. 6.
CENTRAL ILLINOIS TITLE COMPANY. Steve Steorger’s pastels and oils will be featured again at the S. Water St. location through August.
DECATUR AIRPORT GALLERY. The pastels and oil paintings of Sue Goodpaster will be on display again at the Airport Gallery throughout August.
GALLERY 510. The downtown gallery will feature the artwork of Nicole Christison through August.
GIERTZ GALLERY. Beginning June 14, the Parkland College Gallery will feature “Around the Block III: Artists from our Neighborhood,” until Aug. 14.
The 2021 Art and Design Faculty Exhibition will begin Aug. 23 and run through Oct. 16.
For more information, visit Giertz Gallery at Parkland College Facebook page or www.artgallery.parkland.edu.
HISTORY ROOM. Decatur Public Library history room will feature exhibits with Decatur in the 1930's, Past shopping centers and malls, Longview Place and Wabash Crossing Part 2, 75th Anniversary of the Decatur Airport and Vintage Photos of Decatur.
KEEPERS OF THE ARTS AT FLOURISHES GALLERY AND STUDIOS. The downtown Shelbyville gallery will feature the dog paintings of Sandy Brix until August 29. Check out the gallery’s website for exhibits and further information. For an appointment, call (217) 827-5690.
LINCOLN ART INSTITUTE. Beginning Aug. 12, the Logan County Artists’ Lincoln gallery will feature an open exhibit for the LCA artists at the main gallery, 112 S. Mclean St., Lincoln. For future visits, call (217) 651-8355 for an appointment.
ROCK SPRINGS NATURE CENTER. Rock Springs Nature Center's will feature John Martina’s wildlife photography in the south gallery of the nature center. The north gallery will display the watercolor paintings of Sue Watts.
The exhibits will be on display throughout July and August.
TARBLE ARTS CENTER. The Eastern Illinois University gallery is closed for the season. For further information, call (217) 581-2787 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
UNIVERSITY GALLERIES. The Illinois State University art gallery will schedule appointments for gallery visits. The current exhibits will include Caroline Kent’s “What the Stars Can’t Tell Us” beginning Aug. 11, and T.J. Dedeaux-Norris “Second Line,” beginning Aug. 4. Both exhibits will be on display until December.
For more information on future exhibits, visit galleries.illinoisstate.edu.
UPSTAIRS GALLERY. Barn Colony Artists will be featured again at the Decatur Public Library’s second floor gallery.
WILDFLOUR ARTISAN BAKERY CAFE. Pam Marty’s artwork will be the featured artist through August.
PHOTOS: Children make bubble art at the Decatur Area Arts Council
PHOTOS: Children make bubble art with the Decatur Area Arts Council
Contact Donnette Beckett at (217) 421-6983. Follow her on Twitter: @donnettebHR