Upstate artists Wadi Cantrell and Amy Morris will exhibit their unique and colorful fiber arts in the show “Off the Chain” Aug. 3 through 28 in Gallery III of the Artists Collective | Spartanburg.
“With this exhibition, I hope to convey that modern artistry includes textiles and traditions that span generations,” says Cantrell, who describes herself as “an Afro-Latina and a Dominican Jersey girl.”
“Everyday objects can be art, anything that requires fabric is a potential show piece,” she adds.
“The exhibit is created using traditional techniques from the yarn being hand dyed by myself and other artists and then woven by hand on looms,” Cantrell says. “This is a collaboration of two artists – myself and Amy Morris – creating wearable art that functions as baby wearing wraps, cowls, scarves and framed pieces.”
“The art of weaving serves many purposes, all with function and beauty,” says Morris, who will exhibit wearable art as well as wall hangings. “The traditions and techniques passed down from weaver to weaver are sacred. My career as an artist centers primarily around creating baby-wearing pieces for caregivers to use for their babies and children.
“With this exhibit, I would like to show several of the forms weaving can take outside of basic cloth,” she adds.
“I hope that viewers are inspired by the interpretation of color on cloth and an appreciation of living traditions,” says Cantrell, who received an associate degree in communication arts from Brookdale Community College in New Jersey and pursued a BFA in graphic design from the University of South Carolina Upstate.
“The colors are inspired by my Caribbean heritage and incorporate a Taino Spirit line,” she adds. Nine pieces will be exhibited; all will be offered for sale with prices ranging from $75 to $500.
“This work is a departure from my previous work as previous mediums have been painting and graphic design,” Cantrell says. “Being a ‘Jack of all trades,’ I have found a meditative practice in weaving, from setting each piece up to the intricate patterns that are woven, turning simple yarn into living, usable art.”
She adds that the exhibit was prompted by support from senior Collective members. “Had it not been for their constant, gentle nudging, it probably wouldn't have happened. What I like about the Collective is the positive and inspirational environment, how inclusive it is, and how the members are positive and encouraging.”