creative: impact – A tapestry of artists creates a gallery
Like the separate threads of a tapestry, twenty individual artists have intertwined for more than two decades to shape the WSG Gallery. This artist-owned and operated gallery has weathered the winds of change and now a pandemic. Textile artist and member Cathryn Amidei takes us on WSG’s journey to the future when she joins Deb Polich of Creative Washtenaw and David Fair of WEMU in this week’s edition of “creative: impact”.
Washtenaw County’s creative industries add hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy. In the coming weeks and months, 89.1 WEMU’s David Fair and co-host Deb Polich, CEO of Creative Washtenaw, explore the myriad of contributors that make up Washtenaw County’s creative sector.
ABOUT CATHRYN AMIDEI:
Since 2003, I have dedicated myself to Jacquard weaving.
The matrix formed by the weaving is the most real way I have to express what I observe and understand. The matrix is the place where things develop and emerge. The type of weaving I practice – jacquard – gives me direct access to it. Direct access is a very powerful concept that has changed the way I think about connections, systems and interactions in general. Fabric, like us, may appear sturdy, but is actually made up of many discrete elements and is derived from many processes and is also in a constant state of change.
My work is derived from photographs that I have taken or from drawings and “shots of color” that I have made. I use these sources to weave pieces that have emotional and physical vitality. I develop texture and color by dyeing the threads myself or creating structures that optically generate color and finding materials that have energy. My ultimate goal is to create warm and connected art on many levels.
It turns out that all I have done is a study of movement, trajectories and change. Everything is in motion all the time. We are on the move – physically, emotionally and spiritually. I think of the trajectories of my sons and how they compare to the paths we take throughout our lives or in a single day. I think of the traces and trails of human migration, and of creatures large and small, crossing the earth today and in the past. When I weave I am in motion, throwing shuttles that carry lines on trajectories through space, building a matrix that is both complex and simple, has micro and macro history and realities. I think it’s beautiful and also overwhelming to realize that we are on multiple paths all the time, shared paths and colliding, moving us at different speeds at the same time. As an artist, I try to create works that illuminate intersections and the resulting collisions.
Cathryn holds a master’s degree in textiles from Eastern Michigan University. She was an associate professor there until 2018. She lived in Norway for a year working with the company that manufactures the loom (the TC2) which she uses to create her art and currently represents them to users in the United States. She has traveled extensively to install, train, teach and support TC2 users. She is the director of the Digital Weaving Lab at the Praxis Fiber Workshop in Cleveland Ohio. She represents herself and has exhibited in the United States and abroad and will undertake commissions. Cathryn shows her work to WSG Gallery in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
ABOUT THE WASHINGTON STREET GALLERY (WSG):
Together again! The artists and co-owners
March 2020 – we closed our doors on Main Street, Ann Arbor.
In October 2020, we moved into the UPSTAIRS gallery at the Ann Arbor Art Center. We exchanged shows monthly while maintaining a strong online presence. You can enjoy our monthly shows online or purchase artwork from our website. We are also on Instagram, and Fasbook. We have also partnered with Artistic!
We plan to open our own doors again when we find that perfect place, when it is safe to do so.
Until then, we will remain active and connected and especially together!
A little history…
WSGgallery is owned and operated by an artist. We are local artists living in or near Ann Arbor, Michigan.
We are celebrating 20 years of art in Ann Arbor.
Voted Best Gallery of Fine Art, Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County 2016, 2015, 2011 and 2009.
We show: paintings: abstract, figurative, landscape, watercolor, sculpture: ceramic, assemblage, cast bronze, installations; paper arts, book arts, fiber, jewelry, glass art, drawing, photography, printmaking
Named after the original location on Washington Street, the WSG Gallery has been in downtown Ann Arbor since 1999. Originally designed by 12 local artists, the gallery grows with the community.
As of 2020 launch, WSGgallery has 15 owners / members producing 9 shows per year. Our shows rotate every 6 weeks. Our annual calendar includes an exhibition of featured artists by one of our members as well as works in the main gallery which includes works by Visiting artists. We also produce 2 shows featuring the work of guest artists: our Holiday show and this year 15 + 15 : a show featuring the work of artists we admire. It is a tradition of 16 years of amazing local art.
The original Washington Street Gallery home
In 2003, the gallery moved to Liberty Street. The first opening was on Valentine’s Day.
In 2008, the gallery moved again to 306 S. Main street.
First opening in the new location – March 7, 2008.
List of members: Norma Penchansky-Glasser, Barbara Brown, Marilyn Prucka, Martha Rock Keller, Nora Venturelli, Adrienne Kaplan, Marlee Hoffman, Elizabeth Schwartz, Valerie Mann, Nina Hauser, Middy Potter, Dee Ann Segula, Alvey Jones, Jean Lau, Michelle A. Hegyi, Lynda Cole
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