The Sordoni Art Gallery opens Material Impulses

Jordan Daniel, staff writer

The Sordoni Art Gallery had its opening reception on Jan. 30 for the new exhibit: “Material Pulses: Seven Viewpoints.” The exhibition is from an organization called the MidAtlantic Arts Alliance and curated by fibers artist, Nancy Crow, an internationally renowned artist and teacher from Ohio.

“The exhibition is solely focused on quiltmaking; however, this is probably not what many will expect when they visit the gallery,” said Heather Sincavage, director of the Sordoni Art Gallery. “It is a very contemporary viewpoint using traditional methods.

“The quilts on our exhibition are not meant to be used but instead use the craft techniques such as applique or shibori dying in colorful and exciting compositions.

“In the piece by Christine Mauersberger, you will find it deconstructed in numerous pieces and suspended from the ceiling,” she added.

The exhibit includes elements that are different from past exhibits. This is the first exhibition in the gallery’s history to feature quiltmaking, as well as the first to focus on fiber arts, which is a fine art consisting of natural or synthetic fiber and other components, such as fabric or yarn.

“Quilts have a rich history tied to both women’s history and African American history,” said Sincavage. “While the quilts we are featuring are contemporary, we intend to have discussions around their historical significance in relation to our screening of two episodes of “Why Quilts Matter: History, Art, and Politics” on Feb. 19.”

The exhibit features seven artists from the US, UK and Canada: Denise L. Roberts, Claire Behn, Jayne Willoughby, Mary Lou Alexander, Christine Mauersberger, Barb Wills and Elizabeth Brandt. Although the pieces are all unique they complement each other well.

“This show was curated beautifully,” said Jessica Morandi, junior digital design and media art major as well as designer and social media ambassador at the Sordoni Art Gallery. “My favorite piece is The Habits of Being by Elizabeth Brandt. It is captivating. The colors are so bright and the way it is all woven together is beautiful.”

People who visit the exhibit can walk through the art gallery at their own leisure. However, the gallery has observed the direction in which the majority of people go through previous exhibits.

“We typically watch how people are inclined to peruse the gallery,” said Sincavage. “We have noted where they tend to naturally begin and have built our color story in that manner.”

The reception included an Art in Context lecture given by Eva Polizzi, fibers artist, who spoke about how many women fiber artists do not get the recognition they deserve in art history.

The film screening of “Why Quilts Matter: History, Art, and Politics,” is by RSVP only. Anyone intrested in attending can reach out to gallery attendants in person or call 570-408-4325.

“This show is magnificent and extraordinary in every sense of the word,” said Morandi. “The quilts are so carefully and beautifully done. Their impressive size just adds to the wonder of them all. It is a visually fun show.”