Sari yarn

From the BlogSubscribe Now

Woven in Woodstock

After a summer that my family will probably remember as an endless string of days of dealing with multiple tick-borne infections – a common occurrence in the Northeast – I was looking forward to spending a week on the Connecticut coast in mid-September. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. Due to unforeseen circumstances, including last-minute construction scheduled to happen next to our rental property, my husband and I decided to stay home and make a couple of day trips instead.

Disappointed but not defeated, I turned to a list I had compiled over the years of places to visit when I needed a “pick me up.” Not surprisingly, Woodstock in New York is at the top of my list. I was too young, and an ocean away, to attend the famous Woodstock Music & Art Fair in 1969, “An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music.” I get goose bumps just thinking about spending three days hearing and seeing several of the all-time greatest musicians at the same concert – like Janis Joplin, Santana, Joan Baez, Grateful Dead, and The Who, among others – culminating in a two-hour session by Jimi Hendrix and his band.

The Woodstock I have come to know and love is the Colony of the Arts, with its galleries, recital halls, tasteful little shops, and bustling art scene. I am especially partial to fiber and textile art, so when I found out that the Woven exhibition at the BYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts would be all about it and more, I told my husband to get ready for our day trip. He listened and, knowing my tendency to lose my sense of time when surrounded by art, he packed his laptop…just in case.

Woodstock Byrdcliffe GuildBYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts in Woodstock

Woven is a beautiful collection of woven art pieces of various mediums, including paper, wire, hangers, pencils, resistors, ceramic, and fiber. Curators Sylvia Leonard Wolf and Tina Bromberg chose an exciting mix of high quality works that displayed well in Byrdcliffe’s small, but warm, gallery space. For me, a special treat was seeing up-close a piece by Sheila Hicks.

Highlighting the interdependence of ingenuity, skill and imagination, the objects making up this exhibition celebrate freedom from functional constraint. The overriding issues are: does the artist’s imagination and ability to execute his/her concept spark an awesome, unexpected visual and emotional reaction – and if so, will it encourage the viewer to liberate his/her imagination to a place previously unrevealed?

– Byrdcliffe Guild Website

I took numerous photographs (with my phone camera) and only some of them are included in this post; they are sorted alphabetically by the artists’ last names. I hope that the visuals will entice you to make a last minute trip to see the exhibition, or introduce you to an artist, or artists, you would like to explore further, which certainly happened to me. Please note that each picture will enlarge when you click on it.

Woven at the BYRDCLIFFE

BYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts
August 16 – October 6, 2013
Woven (front left)Woven (view 1)
Woven (back left)Woven (view 2)
Woven (back right)Woven (view 3)
Woven (front right)Woven (view 4)

SUGGESTION: Check Nicole Jaffords’ blog for the desciption of the exhibition opening night. Nicole is a lovely portrait artist from Austin and was lucky to be on her yearly summer visit to Woodsctock at the time of this event.

— GO to TOP —

  • Susan Brandeis, Messages from the past, 2001.
    (digitally printed, hand-dyed, screen-printed, discharge-printed, felted, reverse appliquéd, appliquéd, and machine-embroidered cotton, silk, and wool fabrics)

    Brandeis: Messages from the past
  • Marsha Farley, Untitled (019), 1983.
    (resistors, resin)

    Farley: Untitled (019)
  • John Garrett, New Age Basket #7, 2010.
    (steel and copper sheet, steel, copper, brass wire, circuit board material, paper, saw blade, bullet-riddled steel, crocheted copper wire, wire fencing)

    Garrett: New Age Basket #7
  • Sheila Hicks, Niña Niña, 2005.
    (cotton, wool)

    Sheila Hicks
  • Nancy Koenigsberg, Sea/Sky, 1995.
    (coated copper wire)

    Koenigsberg: Sea/Sky
  • David Poppie
    (colored pencils on wood panel)

    David Poppie
  • Joanne Russo, Red & White Teapot, 2010.
    (black ash, hook & eye, wire, waxed linen, beads)

    Russo: Red & White Teapot
  • Zoe Siegel, Untitled (Woven).
    (wire and paper)

    Zoe Siegel
  • Mamie Spiegel

    Mamie Spiegel
  • Altoon Sultan
    (wool, linen, tempera)

    Altoon Sultan
  • Harriet Tannin

    Harriet Tannin
  • Suzanne Tick, Counterbalance, 2011.
    (wire and metal hangers)

    Tick: Counterbalance
  • Grace Wapner, The Myth of Heaven, 2013.
    (burlap, paint, buckram)

    Wapner: The Myth of Heaven
  • James Brendan Williams, Another Tear in the Ocean, 2013.
    (fishing net, flagging tape, wood, paint, tennis balls, racquetball, plastic, and papier-mâché)

    Williams: Another Tear in the Ocean
  • Bhakti Ziek, Counting.

    Ziek: Counting

    — GO to TOP —

    At the End of Your Visit

    Before you leave the Byrdcliffe building, spend some time at its gift shop. You will find beautiful works made by local artists, that are hard to resist!

    After the exhibition, my husband and I crossed the street for a coffee break at the Java Lounge, located on the second floor of the famous Joshua’s Café and Restaurant; its banana & chocolate pie is to die for. If you are quite hungry, I also recommend eating at Cucina, located in a restored and rambling farmhouse a short drive from the downtown. Anything from their contemporary Italian menu, made with seasonal local ingredients, tastes delicious.

    Take a stroll around the downtown and let me know what else you discover!

    — GO to TOP —


  1. Thank you for writing such a great review of our WOVEN exhibition in Woodstock. You understood exactly
    what we were trying to do, and your photos are excellent. With much appreciation, Sylvia

    • My pleasure. It was easy for me to write about beautiful, well chosen, and knowingly displayed art. I look forward to seeing, and reviewing, future exhibitions at the Byrdcliffe art center.

  2. Hey Gordana,

    What a beautiful review! And thank you for your kind words. I would love to put a link to your blog on mine and perhaps feature some of your work, so let’s be in touch! We plan to start really pushing the site in the next few months. Best, Nicole

  3. lola hotard says:

    Your photos and commentary were wonderful. I feel as though I have done the trip myself and viewed the lovely and unique works of art. Wish I could have shared coffee and pie with you and Mirko as well.
    Thank you from the Pacific Northwest, Lola

Speak Your Mind