In stitches


Blurring the fine line between craft and art, MCLA Gallery 51 now is presenting Threaded, a variety of unconventional objects and spaces created from fabric, yarn and thread by both local and national artists.

The exhibition, which opened on June 25, will run in the Main Street gallery in downtown North Adams through July 26. It was curated by two of the artists whose work is included in the show, Angela Zammarelli and Ven Voisey.

According to Voisey, the works are unconventional as fabric, yarn or thread are typically used for making clothing, blankets, doilies and other common items constructed from textiles.

"Instead, we have lace and pearls stuffed into a sausage casing, stitching into paper as a method of demonstrating the approximated life-span of the stitcher, a giant fabric squid, and a ragged feather pillow in a cage that shivers and occasionally loses feathers when people walk through the door," he said.

"There is something innately approachable, touchable and available about textiles: they are made to be pliable, manipulated altered, to fit the form of the body or object they conceal or reveal," said Voisey. "Reaching for the materials at hand, the artists in Threaded communicate their thoughts on gender, isolation, love, and a desire for human connection.  The works speak about being soft and flexible. They are held together by string." 

Several of the artists contributed quilts to the exhibit.

"My quilts are a mix of photography, paints and dyes, thread work and fabric manipulation," said Karylee Doubiago. "I utilize whatever technique it requires to tell the complete story."

Fabric collage artist Carla Michel explained that her quilts combine several of things she loves- printmaking, collage, American history and dump-picking.

Other works in the show include the hand-sewn dolls of Stephen St. Francis Decky. His characters are born in acrylic paints then later brought out into the real world as hand-sewn dolls. These dolls are then placed on sets and either photographed or filmed back into that other world. 

Other Threaded artists include Timothy Abel, Michael Gaughan, Olivia Park, Emmett Ramstad, Molly Roth, Melissa Wagner and Anna Weber.

Threaded is part of the four-month-long DownStreet Art project, a program of MCLA's Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC). Also a program of the BCRC, MCLA Gallery 51 is at 51 Main Street in North Adams. The gallery is open every day from10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 413-664-8718, or go to Gallery51 .