As I write this, I am sitting in the McMurray Foundation Gallery at the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Capser WY. Circling the walls is a parade of my work. I've calculated that a third of the work was already completed when I got the invitation to have a solo show here and the rest is new work made over the past year and a half for this show.
In this same room, laid out over 7 tables, is my "Crazy- A Contemporary Quilt About Fashion's Pressing Problems." I have spent the last week welcoming classes and individuals to join me in learning the slow craft of embroidery while talking about Fast Fashion and its issues. Tonight the public is invited to preview the exhibition and watch the documentary, The True Cost by Andrew Morgan. Afterward there will be time for discussion and project collaboration. I hope you can join us but if not, take a minute to watch the trailer for the documentary and consider renting the whole film. It will open your eyes!
Thank you to all the people who contributed to the "Crazy" quilt during the September Cheyenne Artwalk. A special thanks to Vanda Edington and Barbara Wolf who are coming back for their third day of embroidery this Thursday! They'll be sneaking in their final stitches before I roll up and package the segments.
Preparing art to travel takes time and thought. I'm using old blankets and comforters to sew pockets for my 2-D work. Heavy duty card board tubes rescued from the back hallway of the Hynds building are now protecting some of the work. Foam insulation boards will cradle my 5 foot wide Leap 366 Life Ring. When the show is over I will reuse the foam as foundation boards for my artwork. My goal is to be as environmentally responsible as I can with not only my artwork but the way I pack and protect it. If you have been following the fires in California and Oregon and the storms off the East coast, you know climate change is real and dangerous!
I'll leave you with a quote from an article I read yesterday;
"If everyone in the U.S. brought one used item instead of new in 2019 it would save nearly 6 billion pounds of carbon emissions generated by the production of new garments. That's the equivalent of taking more than half a million cars off the road for a full year"
“Crazy Stitch In”
Blue Door Arts 1608 Capitol Ave
Cheyenne Artwalk September 10th 5-8pm
“Crazy” is a nineteen inch wide by seventy foot long instillation taking its design inspiration from the wildly popular, intricately decorated, Crazy Quilts, of 1800’s America. The piece is composed of layers of thrift store clothes from the top 36 exporters to the United States .
Designed to spark conversations about “Fast Fashion” and its cost to textile workers and the environment, “Crazy”is a collaborative project involving participants in the “Slow Craft” of embroidery and the social aspects of a traditional quilting bee. To date I have done embroidery collaborations with children and adults in private and public settings
from Cheyenne to Istanbul.
Join in on this informal
No experience necessary
For the past year and a half I have been thinking about and working towards my solo show at the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper WY. The room I have been given is the McMurray gallery. It's white walls are spacious and waiting to be filled with my work starting September 25th. I will be showing work that is inspired by Wyoming's geology and landscapes as well as two pieces that use textiles to tell personal and global stories.
In addition to the show I will be an artist in residence from September 21st to the 25th. The museum has an active educational component that will be working with me on the ongoing "Crazy- A Contemporary Quilt About Fashions Pressing Problems" project. The public is also invited to drop in and collaborate through embroidering with me on the quilt.
Filling a room with my art and only my art is exciting and a bit nerve racking! Art is a form of communication for me. I can't wait to see how the exhibit communicates to me and to the people that come to see it.
Georgia Rowswell is a mixed media artist living and working in Cheyenne WY.