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A view of the Gorge in fiber

Interpretive Center show runs through June

A new art show, "Vistas: A View of the Gorge in Fiber" by the fiber art group The Four Directions, will run through June 29 at the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center in Stevenson.

The Willamette Valley based group consists of four fiber artists who have combined their passion for fine art, surface design and textiles into a dynamic view of the beauty found in the Columbia Gorge.

Coming from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, the four women -- Christina Brown, Caroline Burton, Monika Talarek and Karen Van Hoy -- share one thing: a deep love of things fiber.

"Being a fiber artist is the best of all possible worlds, art-wise," said Brown.

"I especially love the tactile quality of fabrics, from the smoothness of silk to the rough-hewn textures of raw linens and handwoven fabrics," said Van Hoy. "Fabrics are a joy to me. They touch us and touch our lives every day, comforting us and whispering wonderful stories. They speak of our past, our present and what things we value."

Two of the artists are graphic designers. One has a background in photography and calligraphy, another in dressmaking. Each has their own "specialty" and love to share ideas and inspirations with each other. This is especially helpful, an as artist's life can be particularly insular. The group has found that in joining together they gain new viewpoints and by combining their strengths, they can widen their outreach into the art world.

A common "thread" binding the group's work is a deep love for nature and the environment.

"Nature, architecture, everyday surroundings, pictures, fabric, thread and my love of free-motion machine embroidery all inspire me in my creative work," said Burton. "I love trying different and new techniques through mixed media. The combination of fabric with paint, plant material, objects and found items rescued from the trash thrills me."

Pieces range from landscapes to free-flowing abstract designs in wall hangings, garments, accessories, jewelry and postcards; some evocative, some whimsical.

Burton's "Rowena Loops" is a joyful spiral of color, while Talarek's work invites the view to stop and reflect.

Although the show will run for three months, it is an evolving show with new pieces being added as pieces are sold. A portion of each sale benefits the museum's program and operation.


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