August 5 - October 29, 2022
The Front Gallery
Echoes is an exhibition of fiber art by artist Rena Wood. Employing vintage textiles and hand embroidery, Wood creates artwork that honors textile histories and past makers. Over the last 8 years, each piece has been made, added to, and re-made (in some instances) to investigate the essential role that memory plays in life. ‘Echoes’ relates to the textiles and patterns, reminding us of people and places that we may have forgotten. It refers to the reimagining of the handwork process, over and over again, to try and find meaning through obsessive making.
My work gives physical form to the ephemeral sense of memory. The time I spend working is marked by each stitch, each knot, and each repetitive act of my hands. The result of my slow and repetitious handwork connects my process to the biological phenomena occurring all the time, gradually growing, multiplying, or deteriorating. I use stitching to create drawings on the surface of cloth to show a suspension between formation and falling apart, tangling and unraveling, the acts of remembering and forgetting, and to represent time passing and time stopped. I am intrigued by ideas about the visual aspects of how memories might appear in our brain and the changes that occur as memories are lost.
Fiber artist Rena Wood received her BFA in Fibers from the Kansas City Art Institute and MFA from the Department of Craft/Material Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is an Assistant Professor of Fiber Art at Tennessee Tech University’s Appalachian Center for Craft. As a Fiber Arts educator, she has taught workshops on embroidery and fiber processes at art centers and craft schools throughout the country. Previously, she was a Visiting Instructor at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania and a Visiting Assistant Professor at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. Rena has been an Artist in Residence at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft in Houston, TX, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN, and at the Craft Alliance in St. Louis, MO. Her work has been shown nationally in solo and group exhibitions. She was awarded a Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship in Craft for 2023.