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The Textile Museum goes 'Green'
Apr '11
The Textile Museum asked artists to respond to “green,” and this spring, their collective answers are on view. Today, the word “green” is as likely to refer to eco-consciousness as the color itself. Often incorporating recycled and sustainable materials, artists from around the world respond to these dual meanings of “green” in Green: the Color and the Cause, on view at The Textile Museum April 16 -September 11, 2011.

The exhibition will showcase the art of contemporary makers, including site-specific installations and a growing garden sculpture, alongside historical precedents from the museum's collection. The objects on view may be united in concept, but the approaches and materials each artist, past and present, used vary greatly—visitors to the exhibition will see recycled tire strips and clothing, peacock feathers, paper and natural fibers in weavings, sculptures, clothing, installations and more.

On April 16, The Textile Museum will launch a paperless interactive web catalog, where visitors can learn more about the art on view in Green and participate in the ongoing “green” conversation, including posting their own green artwork in a continuous Flickr photo gallery. Visitors to The Textile Museum will have a chance to engage directly with the exhibiting artists during the “In Their Own Words: Artist Lecture Series” or at a hands-on summer arts workshop.

Green: the Color and the Cause will feature original contemporary works by 32 international fiber artists, ranging from stitched canvas to sculpture. These works are presented in conjunction with 13 historical pieces from The Textile Museum's permanent collection that explore how cultures across the world have captured and interpreted the color green through textile art. Although it is the most common color in nature, green is notoriously hard to reproduce with natural dyes.

“We are excited to inspire reflection on the environmental concerns facing us today through the artwork in Green,” says Textile Museum Director Maryclaire Ramsey. “This exhibition provides a forum for contemporary fiber artists to contribute to this global conversation, and for the public of Washington, D.C. add their own voices.”

To assemble the group of artists represented, The Textile Museum issued a call for entry to contemporary fiber artists across the country and around the globe. Exhibition co-curators Rebecca A.T. Stevens and Lee Talbot reviewed more than 1,000 works of art submitted by nearly 300 artists. From this group, the co-curators selected 32 contemporary artists representing 18 U.S. states and 6 countries to participate in the exhibition.

Green is the third in a series of exhibitions exploring the cultural and artistic significance of specific colors in textile art; it follows Red (2007) and Blue (2008). Because textiles reveal so much about a given culture's tastes, technological advancements and rituals, The Textile Museum is in a unique position to help shed light on the symbolism of color.

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