A Place for Art
As many of you know, our lovely downtown Missoula space used to be the Monte Dolack Art Gallery (designed by our very own Ann McDowell). It is a place made to contain and display art in its many forms. As such, it is only fitting that for the last two months, the Modern Quilt Guild brought joy and color to the gray walls of our classroom with their glorious works of sewn art. What’s more, from August until October, the Missoula chapter of the Textile Artists group, known as ‘TARTS’, will have their unique art on display in our classroom!
A New Medium
Textile art is broadly defined as, “art that uses plant, animal, or synthetic fibers to construct practical or decorative objects”. The TARTS are comprised of a range of talented individuals as expansive and varied as the art itself. Some are experienced quilters wanting to experiment or learn more about embellishing and fabric manipulation. Others are folks looking for a creative outlet using different mediums to enhance their current artistic endeavors. Then there are folks that just want a social opportunity with other creative people.
There are two TARTS groups that meet in the Missoula and Ravalli County areas. At these meetings, members gather to share their creations, gain inspiration for new projects, and demonstrate or provided a hands-on opportunity to try a technique of textile manipulation.
Periodically these artists display their work at galleries, quilt shows, artisan venues, or in magazines, and now they will be displaying the amazing results of their latest textile challenge at The Confident Stitch!
Much of the art that will be presented was inspired by the techniques featured and demonstrated in the Karen Eckmeier’s book ‘Happy Villages‘ in which she creates marvelous little cities of fabric by glue basting various geometric shapes, stitching them together, and over-laying them with tulle.
A selection of each TARTist’s work will be a variation on Eckmeier’s theme, so they are sure to be breathtaking! As mentioned, for the next two months, all are free to come and admire the display during store hours. However, to kick everything off, there will be an instructive demonstration Friday, August 2nd from 4-6 pm during which you can peruse the art (and fabric!), enjoy some refreshments, and witness the artistic process first-hand!
Interested in joining TARTS?
While the Missoula chapter of TARTS is not currently looking to expand, the Ravalli County group has space for a few new recruits! They meet the third Monday of every month at Corvallis Methodist Church. Furthermore, there are no membership fees or commitments required. If you’re interested in learning more about this group, you can contact Christine Wright at [email protected] or join their group on Facebook!
A Call to Artists
We believe art of all types is transformative for both humans and the Earth. Those of us trapped in a pattern of hyper-consuming should, instead, slow down and create. The act of creating heals us. Above all, making and absorbing art creates a sense of place and community. The Confident Stitch is already a place of creation. However, what our experience with the MQG and TARTS is teaching us, is that there’s always room for more. More creating, more learning, more teaching, and more understanding.
And so, we want to keep this trend going! We don’t want a month to go by without local art gracing our classroom walls. Thus its time to spread the word! The art we have most recently displayed is textile-based, but artists interested in displaying their work here should not feel bound to this medium. We want it all, with the only condition being that the art must be hang-able. Paintings, dioramas, embroidery, calligraphy, wool felting, whittling, etc! Call 406-540-4068 or email [email protected] to find out more about displaying your art in our space. We can’t wait to hear from you!