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3rd Biennial National Juried Fiber Arts Exhibition

June 27-August 19th

We are so excited for our 3rd Biennial National Juried Fiber Arts Exhibition!
This exhibit includes all forms of fiber art: functional, wearable, and fine art, original in concept and design from across the country.
An awards reception will take place on Friday, July 21st from 5-7pm at which time Judge Elsabé J. Dixon will provide her remarks regarding the winning pieces.  The reception is open to the public.

Meet the Juror/Judge - Elsabé J. Dixon

Elsabé J. Dixon is past Executive Director of the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History, has served as agency grant writer and President for the Washington Sculptors Group, Washington DC, currently teaches art at Averett University, and has done nonprofit management workshops through the Duke University Continuing Studies Program. Dixon has a background in Fine Arts and has done independent curatorial work for Riverviews Art Gallery in Lynchburg; Penn State University, PA; George Mason University, VA; and McLean Project for the Arts in McLean VA. She sits on the Advisory Board of the McLean Project for the Arts, the Washington Sculptors Group, as well as the Hillyer Gallery in Washington DC (jurying 18 solo exhibitions for the Hillyer per year). Dixon holds degrees from Averett University (BA) and a Masters from George Mason University in New Medium Studies. She also studied Art History at the Corcoran in DC, as well as the Manhattan College in NYC and took American Art History courses through VCU. She is dedicated to public service and advancing the role of art, history, and education through community engagement.

Juror's Statement


The 3rd Biennial National Juried Fiber Arts Exhibition at the Bower Center for the Arts, features a new generation of national artists working within the parameters of fiber. This show includes work by thirty artists who speak to contemporary issues of identity, place, gender, power and environment through the use of such diverse fiber techniques as installation, sculpture, quilts and basketry. These fiber-based media communicate personal, ecological and political issues, through a selection of works that can be read as autobiographical and socially critical.

Upon entering the exhibition, one encounters Kristina Penhoet’s cascading blood red fiber waterfall referencing the female body – both internal and externally - invoking an immediate emotional and visceral response from viewers. Penhoet employs fiber techniques with found materials such as manufactured textiles and various threads, which she wraps and braids. Beyond the work itself, Penhoet’s “When We Are, They Are Us” (Red Waterfall) fully occupies the architectural space of the Bower Art Center, and also teases out thoughts about the building (a former church) and the female body. Other artists who conjure up issues of identity are Sylvia Schieber’s intricate fiber masks, Marian Zielinski’s quilt: “Before During and After,” and Bunny Goodjohn’s “Unearthed.” Helen Blumen, like Kristine Penhoet, uses red to great effect and also addresses the body. One of Blumen’s works depicts a red quilt of the Corona Covid19 Virus, and another consists of a quilted sculptural form, consisting of parts that fold up and expand, alluding to building blocks. Martha Franklin wove fiber into bright red paper in a poetic assembly simply called “red”.

Yanceyville artist, Shirley Cadmus, uses a 3D pen to weave fantastic mythical basket forms that have immense presence and power. In each vessel, Cadmus exudes color and texture, while also taking on individual characteristics. Some vessels are tall and thin, others are round, and yet another filled with patterns – each almost invoking the presence of a person. One vessel, “Silver and White – Searching for Peace,” is fully constructed from glow-in-the-dark 3D pen filament that can be seen when the lights are

turned out. But, other smaller works that draw from traditional basket weaving techniques, such as Lynda Barlow’s “Red Bud” and “Desert Reflections” intricately woven, and stitched pods invoke tremendous power through their sheer beauty and mastery of medium.

It is important to recognize the artists in this exhibition who rendered the natural world, which is - through pollution and climate change - going to be severely and irrevocably altered in the years to come. When standing in front of Carol Monti’s quilted natural scene “Ebb and Flow,” one can almost smell the leaves, hear the water in the creek, and feel the dappled shadows and sun on one’s skin when looking at the foliage. Sarah Bolduc’s tempered hand dyed fabric backgrounds with brighter flower and plant parts in her quilts, seem to remind one of botanical specimens strewn on a gardener’s sorting table. They are quiet reminders of the natural world using nature’s pallet. Joyce Duncan’s “Even in Death I will Praise God,” offers a quiet contemplative landscape with the sun breaking through clouds above a tree. Laura Brown’s quilt called: “Life in Places” mimics the ripples of water as it parts for a pebble – capturing a moment in time, while Sarah Entsminger’s quilts conjure up branches that seem to reflect the ecology of rivers and streams. Jennifer Galvin’s handmade paper works “ Solitude” and “Melody of Roses” creates atmospheric depth that is quite captivating, while Patricia Carr’s quilts offer intimate glimpses of an exposed nest with three blue Robin eggs and an abstract rendering of reeds and water. On a more intimate scale, Gina Louthian-Stanley’s works “ Broken Wing” and “Over the Mountain” offer narrative photographic transfers, carefully stitched and threaded, blurring the line between the drawn and stitched line. Fiber sculptor Laura Lester masterfully packs a punch while juxtaposing smooth surfaces against texture, natural fiber against unnatural materials and using color as identifier. Both her sculpture, “Somewhere Spring Must Flower,” and her low relief piece: “Hear the Rain” use natural and industrial surfaces that lean toward exceptional design.

Abstraction, especially amongst quilters, is a challenge of the right depth perception on the one hand, and an absolute grasp of color theory on the other. Marian Zielinski’s “Letting Go” embodies all in perfect balance creating an uncanny sensation of movement. Zielinski creates a staggering optical illusion that almost dizzies the senses. Kevin Womack’s meticulous texture and color plays: “Keep Out” and “Tornado” are also stand-outs for this exhibition, with Ellen Lindner’s flatter surface abstracts: “Easily Distracted” and “Good Possibilities” also incorporating strong design principles. Arlene L. Blackburn captures a realistic late afternoon sun on a building façade, but it can be read as an abstract. Emily Keown’s “Yellow 1: Sage” very specifically references the color of Sage, depicted in various found materials and stitched ribbon. Joanna Sunshine’s textured freeform works explore smooth coils in one work, feathers in another, and lacy weft in a third, while Myania Moses’ brings together figurative forms in pattern

creating deep perspective abstract designs, conjuring up a dance, and a riverwalk. Gwen Goepel’s: “Never Ending” reiterates a joyful array of circles and Teresa Blatt’s white and black paper collage piece holds strong lines and shapes that allows the viewers imagination to project its own narrative.

Marianna Baker and Maria Geary tackled wearable art in a fun and interesting way - one offering words, and the other offering texture and found objects to create a narrative.

The 3rd Biennial National Juried Exhibition brings together works that are experiential, realistic, fragmentary, sculptural, but fundamentally tactile, prompting the audience on multiple sensory levels to remember.

View Elsabe's award selections and judge comments HERE.

View the LIVE BROADCAST of our Awards Reception HERE.


Exhibit Gallery

Please enjoy our 3rd Biennial National Juried Fiber Arts Exhibition below.  If you are interested in purchasing one of these works of art, please contact our office at 540-586-4235 or  Each image includes the artist's name, title of the work of art, dimensions and price.

Find a full video tour through the exhibition HERE.

Judge Elsabe J. Dixon's remarks on the winning pieces:

Best in Show

Kristina Penhoet’s piece called “When We Are They Are Us”, while addressing the postmodern questions on repurposed fabric, Kristina calls attention to the voice of womanhood symbolized by a red waterfall.

2nd Place

Shirley Cadmus’ “Patterned Basket” might seem traditional but its scale and the contemporary application of a 3-D pen bearing witness to hours and hours of weaving, brings this piece to the forefront when it comes to exploring new material.

3rd Place

Carol Monti’s “Ebb and Flow” quilt falls into the realm of realism and in being so requires absolute observation and attention to minute details. This figurative work (based on observation) is a technical masterpiece.

Award of Merit: Marian Zielinski’s quilt “Letting Go” takes the traditional medium into the realm of a post contemporary illusion, reflecting not only spatial depth in the design but also carefully weaving letters and symbols into the abstraction.

Judges Recognition: Two works that truly stood out to me for their mindful use of materials and their technical splendor were the work of Sarah Bolduc, “Nature’s Garden” and the small exquisitely woven pods by Linda Barlow “Red Bud”.

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