Sunday, May 20, 2018

Text'art: a very special group

me, Dianne, Helena, Michele, Lauma, and Colleen,
outside the Chihuly exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts

Once again, I have been struck by how fortunate I am to belong to Text'art, our group of six textile artists, formed some ten years ago at Dianne's initiative.

a virtual reality experience at the Musée des maîtres et artisans du Québec

Last week we met for a quick coffee at a lakeside café, to talk about applying for a group residency. I threw out an invitation. "Who's interested in driving to Ottawa to see the new show of Impressionists at the National Gallery?" Everyone whipped out their cell phones, checked their calendars and within a minute we had agreed on a date. How special is that?

A walk through the woods, trilliums as far as the eye can see

Our current members are Lauma Cenne, Michele Meredith, Colleen PaulDianne RobinsonHelena Scheffer, and me. (Two past members, Pam Chasen and Linda Forey, left us when they moved away.) All of us are also members of other, larger groups (art, quilting, photography, weaving...), and each of us comes to the group with a unique skill set.

We meet once a month. Usually a lunch is involved. Sometimes we just meet in one of our homes, to catch up on each other's news and projects. Often we will experiment with a new technique or material. Gelatin plate printing? Collagraph printing? Ice dyeing? We've tried them all.

At other times we will visit a resource, like Papeterie St-Armand, or Au Papier Japonais, or C & M Textile and the other shops on St.-Hubert St. that sell threads, buttons and lace.

With an invited guest, we toured the Musée du costume et du textile du Québec.

Often our destination is a museum. Local favourites are the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the McCord Museum, and the Musée d'art contemporain.

on a tour of Habitat 67

At other times we will take in a show at a gallery, often chosen because one or more of us is showing our work there.

At least once a year we will take a road trip to Ottawa, Toronto or Quebec City. And then there is the retreat at Dianne's cottage, something we all look forward to every summer.

at the opening of our current group show

Most recently, we collaborated on a group show, De Musei Fabrica: Cloth and Stitch Inspired by the Maude Abbott Medical Museum, now on display at McGill University. This special challenge has brought us closer together. And who knows what the future holds?

Why am I writing this? Firstly, to express my gratitude and appreciation to the members of Text'art. I really cherish the support we are able to give to each other.

And perhaps to encourage you to pull together a small group of your own. Meeting with six or seven people with a common interest offers an intimacy, a flexibility and a mobility that's not available in a larger organization. It works for us!


Dianne Robinson said...

Nice write-up Heather! And what a great group!!

ligo54 said...
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hularagana said...

Very special indeed! I feel privileged to exchange thoughts and grow with you all! Thank you for your kind words.