Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Uncommon Threads: Reimagined put on by The Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts

Florida Institute of Technology and the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts present the annual textiles symposium, Uncommon Threads: Reimagined, on Feb. 18-19. Now celebrating its 11th year, Uncommon Threads is offered to the community as part of Florida Tech’s expanding focus on the textile arts and seeks to help expand arts patrons’ understanding of textile scholarship by bringing renowned speakers and industry insiders to Brevard County.

Since 2004, this singular event has presented internationally recognized curators, scholars and experts from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Fashion Institute of Technology. This year, Uncommon Threads will host Dr. Elissa Auther, Windgate Research Curator of the Museum of Arts and Design and Bard Graduate Center, New York.

Auther’s book, String, Felt, Thread: The Hierarchy of Art and Craft in American Art (Minnesota, 2010), focuses on the broad utilization of fiber in American art of the 1960s and 70s and the changing hierarchical relationship between art and craft expressed by the medium’s new visibility. In addition, she co-curated and edited the accompanying catalog for the exhibition West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977 (Minnesota, 2012). Most recently she co-curated the retrospective exhibition of the painter and photographer Marilyn Minter and she has two new publications on the fiber-based work of artist Josh Faught. She also co-directs Feminism & Co.: Art, Sex, Politics, a public program at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver that focuses on issues of women and gender through creative practice.

As part of the symposium, which is being held in conjunction with the Ruth Funk Center’s feature exhibition, Reimagined: Innovations in Fiber, Auther will present a free lecture, “Miriam Schapiro’s Unheralded Legacy”  at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, in the Gleason Performing Arts Center on the Florida Tech campus. This illustrated lecture examines the pioneering work of artist Miriam Schapiro, who passed away at the age of 91 in 2015, and considers the legacy of her practice in art today. The legacy of Schapiro’s innovative, subjective approach to abstraction has yet to be fully appreciated, and Auther will also discuss the artist’s work in relation to artists utilizing fiber, ornamentation, and pattern today. Reservations are not required for the Feb. 18 lecture. Free parking is available.

At 10:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 19, Auther will present, “Josh Faught: Fiber and Feeling,” followed by a champagne reception, three-course luncheon and an Artisan Showcase highlighting local artists featured in the Ruth Funk Center’s gift shop. This event is in the Hartley Room of the Denius Student Center on campus. Tickets, with limited availability, are $75 each. Valet parking will be available. Uncommon Threads: Reimagined is sponsored by Nita Grisham of Wells Fargo Advisors. The honorary chair of this event is Midge Dunn. For more information or to make luncheon reservations, contact the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts at (321) 6748313 or by

Images: Headshot courtesy of Elissa Auther; Josh Faught, It Takes a Lifetime to Get Exactly Where You Are, 2012, 8 x 20 feet. Courtesy of Lisa Cooley Gallery, NY.

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