This past Sunday on November 5th Humanities Pathway Students went to Brea’s Art Gallery and were able to see a women’s trade of the past–textiles–through the eyes of modern women artists that use them to voice issues that women and society as a whole experience today. The exhibit Threads that Bind features all women artists, and all the pieces are a form of textile. Embroidery, weaving, and tapestry were just a few of the many styles shown that highlighted how textiles can be a very expressive medium for art even in the 21st century. 

Peggy Wiedemann, Anna Luisa Delgado, and Melody Nunez were all some of the many women artists featured at the gallery, which can be seen in the photos above. Peggy Wiedemann is known for her weaving and basketry techniques with natural materials such as pine needles (seen in the second photo above). Anna Luisa Delgado highlights the Mexican immigrant experience through the use of tulle which Humanities student Ryan studies in the first picture above. She also uses other mediums such as ceramics, which she currently teaches at the collegiate level. Melody Nunez who specializes in fiber art is known for her use of handmade vintage textiles, which she incorporates into her work and gives them “new visual significance” (third photo above). 

One artist I would like to highlight is Indigenous artist Brittany Kiertzner who focuses on fiber as a “sculptural element” and the “intrinsic value” of a work. She takes traditional stitching and incorporates Iroquois weaving techniques to create pieces of abstract embroidery that are open to viewers’ interpretation and connection. Riese Pinick (8 1⁄2 years old) comments on one of Kiertzner’s pieces titled “Dreamcatcher Cast to Earth” (seen in the title photo at the top of this article or middle photo above),saying she interprets it as a “crazy sunset/plant.” She further comments on Kiertzner’s techniques stating how she used “unusual colors” but “when you put them all together it looks good.”

The exhibit also included an interactive activity for visitors to make their own quilt square and then add it to the “community quilt” that was placed on the wall. This activity further reinforced the message of the exhibit that traditional art made by women in the past can still be sources of inspiration today. Art is something that is accessible to everyone and is just as poignant today as it was in the past. Although a needle and thread might not be your medium of choice, the message art brings can be just as sharp and beautiful. The Brea Art Gallery will be showing this exhibit until December 8th and I highly recommend you visit and experience these intricate pieces for yourself. Don’t forget to add a square to the quilt!

Photos: Christa Chane, Brianna Cupsa, Michaela Cupsa, Mrs Pinick, and

Source: Current exhibit. Brea Gallery.