Greater Reston Arts Center is pleased to present STITCH, a group exhibition examining the growing popularity of traditional needlework and its incorporation into diverse forms of contemporary art. The exhibition will run from January 16 through March 1, 2014 at the gallery, located in Reston Town Center.

Traditionally regarded as a craft or relegated to the category of “women’s work,” needlework— including stitching, embroidery, knitting, and crochet—has become an increasingly vital element in contemporary mixed-media compositions. STITCH will present surprising manifestations of needlework in combination with painting, sculpture, photography, and video. Utilizing traditional fibers as well as metal thread and human hair, these artists draw, sculpt, and embellish with needlework, producing objects that explore personal narratives, family history, and gender stereotypes, among other concepts. The show features a diverse range of contemporary artists drawn from the mid-Atlantic region, including Stephanie Booth, Orly Cogan, Suzi Fox, Rania Hassan, Kate Kretz, Pam Rogers, Erin Endicott Sheldon, and Nathan Vincent.

Featured artists Kate Kretz and Stephanie Booth both utilize human hair to stitch haunting works reflecting personal experience and family heritage. New York City-based Orly Cogan stitches, appliques, and paints on vintage linens to create complex narratives exploring the nature of contemporary femininity and relationships. Erin Endicott Sheldon also utilizes antique linens, which she embellishes with a complex web of needlework and beads to create compelling associations. Pam Rogers stitches together actual leaves and utilizes needlework in other passages of her nature-inspired work. Rania Hassan blends needlework and painting, examining the act of knitting and its implications of communal connectedness. Suzi Fox manipulates wire thread to create conceptual works exploring materiality and exposing internal processes. Finally, Nathan Vincent challenges the concept of stitching as a feminine occupation, crocheting objects typically associated with male pursuits.

Washington Post review

Image credit: Kate Kretz, Heart Center (detail), 2009
Photo credit (below): Greg Staley