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Materialized Magic : Mythical Creatures in a Yarn-Artistry Habitat
Exhibition at the Arlington Arts Center-Jenkins Community Gallery, June 25-July 31
Opening June 25, 6-9 pm.
“Healing Power of Yarn and Wool”
Spotlight on Materialized Magic participant, Amy.
Amy with Magnolia, the daughter of another Materialized Magic participant.
Brave, resourceful, creative, Amy is one of the regular participants in Materialized Magic, a community fiber arts exhibition, which is in the final stages of completion to open at the Arlington Arts Center on June 25th. Amy, who became wheelchair bound around 5 years ago due to a debilitating and painful nerve injury, nonetheless participates actively in Materialized Magic. “These fiber art events are important to me because it got me involved in a positive and creative community and has encouraged me to get back into art,” Amy explains. Amy and her mom Margaret got involved in previous yarn bombs through the invitation of a friend who knew it was right up her alley. Since then, Amy and Margaret have been involved in community fiber activities organized by artist/curator, Stacy Cantrell, whose work will be showcased in this exhibit along with co-artist/curator Erika Cleveland.
Amy, already an accomplished crocheter, became more involved in needle felting during this project. In addition to the mediums of knitting and crochet used in typical yarn-bombs, one of the differences of the Materialized Magic project is that it also includes sculptural needle felting. Needle felting is a method of using a barbed needle to interlock colored strands of wool together to create a dense surface. Amy created an adorable needle felted family of gnomes. She has been assisting Erika Cleveland in teaching others to needle felt during the meet ups.
Open to the community at large, one of the missions of the Materialized Magic project has been to teach crochet, knitting and needle felting to as many people as possible for free. During the duration of this project, over 20 meet-ups in six different locations were held. During these meet-ups, over 50 people have been taught how to needle felt, knit or crochet. Materialized Magic is funded by a CRAVE (Creating resources for artistic vision and engagement) grant sponsored by the Torpedo Factory and Convergence. This grant has allowed us to provide free materials for participants to take home and continue to make pieces for the project. Materialized Magic is a gallery transforming project with a habitat that will include woodland, water and desert elements, all constructed out of fiber.
Amy comes to these meet ups with her mom, Margaret, because they are fun and social but more than that, she finds healing for her body and soul. An example of this healing is the needle felted wheelchair bound mermaid that Amy’s mother, Margaret, created for her, a sort of portrait made out of love for her daughter. Amy taught her mother how to needle felt. Like Amy, the needle felted mermaid sports colorful hair and requires the use of a wheelchair because it is difficult for her to navigate on land. This mermaid will become part of the exhibit, along with the family of gnomes, mushrooms and crocheted puffy clouds that Amy has created. Come and see Amy’s work along with many other wonderful creations for the exhibition!
I've been making dolls for about ten years now. I believe that dolls serve as representations and reminders of the best part of ourselves. I am excited to share with you here my learnings about new methods and techniques for doll making and healing. So glad you are here!