At the Center: Masters of American Craft with Yvonne Pacanovsky Bobrowicz

In a three-part series, we are introducing you to the three artists featured in “At the Center: Masters of American Craft” installation at the Philadelphia Museum of Art now through July 2018.

The curator of this installation and the author of this piece is Elisabeth Agro, the Nancy M. McNeil Curator of American Modern and Contemporary Craft and Decorative Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Coffee With Aubrie Costello

Installation and silk graffiti artist Aubrie Costello uses words to create art that moves: both physically and emotionally. Her designs are inspired by the people of Philadelphia and the words they use in their everyday lives. Here is her story.

Susan Hill

Kansas City, MO

I begin each piece by hand weaving textiles on a traditional loom in my one-person studio. These pieces are then incorporated into assemblages using a variety of fabrics to compose subtle narratives based primarily on my garden and the surrounding landscape. Finally, movement and gesture are created and details defined, using a variety of stitching techniques. The finished pieces are mounted and framed under museum glass.

Yukako Sorai

Berkeley, CA

The magic confluence of colors and forms create my textile art. Such works condense multiple layers of colors and manifest a continuous epiphany of textile bodies, which scoop out organic patterns and shapes. Natural mirabilia and uncanny forms inhabit these fibers, which become receptacle of the fabulous. Felt transforms into sculptures, which emanate a permanent attractive power. This art work symbolizes the movement of the matter that crystallizes and became transfigured into a myriad of fractals. Every cell is the result of multiple layers of bi-colored felt that cling together and expand infinitely.

Gina Pannorfi

Chicago, IL

I am interested in color, texture, pattern and process. I employ techniques grounded in ancient tradition, and use them to design and create unique textiles that embody both painting and sculpture. I begin when I layer together hand cut, hand dyed silk with merino wool. I then manipulate the layers and permanently alter them when I wet felt them by hand. As I shrink the wool I control the shape, edging, and weight of the final piece; intern, gathering and puckering the silks surface. Further applications of hand sewing and embellishment are also incorporated into my process. The result is a textile that is luxurious and one of a kind.

Dianne Nordt

Charles City, VA

I raise a flock of Merino sheep on my farm in Virginia. I use the wool to hand weave blankets in my home studio. I combine the naturally colored fleece, in shades of brown, gray and white, with accents of color which I hand-dye using plants, tree bark, and sawdust. I grow many of my own dye plants. Each blanket is numbered, dated and hemmed by hand.

Claudia Mills

Philadelphia, PA

My first priority is to create a well-designed piece, a functioning floor covering showcasing both beauty and durability. I have been weaving rugs for close to thirty years, adapting the traditional rag rug craft to my own contemporary aesthetic. As a designer I try to strike a balance between color, texture and pattern in each rug: interlacing colored yarns and strips of fabric to create infinitely variable possibilities for color and textural effects. While my rugs have a contemporary, vibrant feel they retain the texture and warmth of traditional rag rugs.

Susan Lenz

Columbia, SC

Stained glass windows, decorative building motifs, and even aerial views of urban cities inspire this custom framed (museum glass), decorative fiber art series. Each piece is a collage of synthetic fabrics with metallic foiling, free-motion machine embroidery and melting techniques. The substrata are recycled felt that once wrapped a kayak being shipped to a retail shop. Each piece is a unique, one-of-a-kind creation inspired by the colors and shapes of Austrian Freidensreich Hundertwasser's eco-friendly buildings. Each is made solely by the artist.

Kristy Kun

Portland, OR

I am deeply moved by the transformative qualities of wool and plant fibers, which, when plied correctly, parallel environmental transformations; Birth, fruition, decay. Formations of water, earth and sky, emerge as if breathing and alive. My hands translate this energy and these textures from nature into new form using ancient methods and timeless imagery.

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