Freeform Fiber Art Exhibit
U.S. Premier of 50-Years of Flower Power & works by Karen Ballard
Exhibit Dates: October 15-December 4, 2021
Gallery Hours: Monday-Saturday (10 am-5 pm)
9419 Battle St, Manassas/703-330-2787
Wild Webs features the freeform fiber art creations of local artist Karen Ballard and the U.S. premier of Prudence Mapstone’s collaborative freeform crochet and knit artwork 50-Years of Flower Power. Freeform fiber art is fiber art that is unrestrained by patterns, techniques, materials, shapes and/or colors. Karen Ballard exhibits a sampling of freeform crochet, beading, and weaving creations, most of which are jewelry pieces. Karen is one of Prudence’s students, and a contributor to 50-Years of Flower Power.
Prudence Mapstone’s 50-Years of Flower Power is a large (33 feet x 5 feet) collaborative freeform piece created with contributions from more than 200 people, representing 24 countries. 50-Years of Flower Power has been shown throughout Australia and in Hamiton, New Zealand. The artwork was made to commemorate 50 years since the term ‘Flower Power’ was first coined in Berkeley, California, and used as a passive resistance slogan for non-violent protest against the Vietnam War. This ‘flower power’ or ‘hippie’ art style is often recognizable from its simple, graphic, brightly coloured, poster-like designs; and as many flower children sought a return to basics and simple living, crafts had a resurgence, and a distinctive style of no-rules crochet sprang up as a small part of the hippie, grass roots ethos.
About the Artists
Karen C.K. Ballard is a textile and bead artist, and writer that has lived in Northern Virginia most of her life. Her first art classes were taught by her mother, the local artist: Cecille Kuhnke; and at age 7 her great aunt taught her the basics of crochet. These classes instilled Karen with a lifelong love for textile arts and history. Since then she has taken numerous classes in textile art techniques, textile history, beading, and color theory. Karen is a professional member of the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA), earned CGOA’s Master of Advanced Crochet Stitches and Techniques, and is 2020’s inductee to the CGOA Hall of Fame. She has designed bead-crochet jewelry for Caron Yarn Company, created historically accurate textile items for living history programs, created theatrical costumes, taught crochet, sold designs to magazines, won first prize in CGOA’s 2012 Crochet Design Contest in the Small Wonders category for her “NC Necklace”, and participated in exhibitions of freeform crochet art (including Prudence Mapstone’s “50 Years of Flower Power”).
Prudence Mapstone is a textile artist, teacher, and author specializing in knitting and crochet. Prudence was born in Sydney, Australia and currently is based in Brisbane. She is one of today’s most renowned freeform knitters/crocheters. She taught herself how to crochet in her teens and at a very early age started designing and combining techniques in an ingenious, extremely tactile way. Subsequently she has published numerous books and tutorials as well as taught classes in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, North America, Asia, and on the high seas. She also has curated art shows and organized collaborative art works coordinating the work of textile artists and crafters worldwide.
books, tutorials, and patterns for sale
Gallery Director, Jordan Exum: 703-330-2787
9419 Battle St, Manassas, VA 20110
VirginiaARTfactory.org / instagram: @VirginiaARTfactory
Prudence Mapstone and contributors, 50 Years of Flower Power: crocheted & knitted, mixed fiber and beads, including (but not limited to) cotton, wool, synthetics, glass beads, 33 ft x 5 ft.
Karen Ballard, NC Necklace: crocheted Japanese cotton thread and Kreinick filament, with MOP chips, glass seed beads and Ultrasuede backing.
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