Twice a year, for 10 days each, the curators of browngrotta arts in Wilton, Tom Grotta and Rhonda Brown, open their gallery/home — built in 1895 and contemporized by architect David Ling in 2000 — for “Art in the Barn,” a unique, annual salon-style exhibition. This May, from Saturday, May 7 through Sunday, May 15, browngrotta arts will present its Spring 2022 exhibition, Crowdsourcing the Collective: a survey of textile and mixed media art, featuring 42 artists from 13 countries.
The exhibition: For over 30 years, browngrotta arts has been advancing the field of contemporary fiber arts and mixed media by curating and exhibiting renowned contemporary artists who celebrate the exploration of fiber art techniques. The artists in Crowdsourcing the Collective illustrate the vitality of art textiles, fiber sculpture, ceramics and mixed media — art forms that are currently experiencing a surge in popularity. The journey of the artists in this exhibition provide a map of where craft and fiber art are now and how they got here. Some of the artists began working during craft and fiber art’s less popular period in the 1980s and 1990s, while some have been working since fiber art’s heyday in the ’60s and ’70s. They differ in material and approach; they come from four continents and the influence of place is often evident in their work.
From the 1960s, for example, Adela Akers has been creating large-scale weavings. Gyöngy Laky has been a force in the field since founding Fiberworks in the 1970s, a prestigious textile gallery and academic program in Berkeley, CA. Lia Cook and Naomi Kobayashi participated in the prestigious Lausanne Biennials of International Tapestry in the 1970s; Laky in the 1980s. Artists in the exhibition who began exhibiting in the 2000s, like Stéphanie Jacques, Rachel Max and Neha Puri Dhir, have continued this legacy. Stéphanie Jacques, Rachel Max and Neha Puri Dhir — claiming textile artist pioneers as an influence.
The work in this exhibition reflects an impressive range of materials and techniques: tapestries of silk and agave, sculptures of seaweed, seagrass and willow, wall works made of sandpaper, hemp and horsehair, and ceramics of Shigaraki clay. The scope of these artists’ preoccupations are also on view — from environmental concerns, to questions of the cosmos and identity, to explorations of material and process. It includes new work, work from earlier periods and work from artists invited specifically for this exhibition.
- The Opening and Artists Reception takes place Saturday, May 7 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 276 Ridgefield Rd., Wilton, CT.
- Hours for Sunday, May 8 are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- For Monday through Saturday, May 9-14, hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Hours for Sunday, May 15 are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Safety protocols: Eventbrite reservations are strongly encouraged. Masks are not required but are encouraged for the unvaccinated or those who feel more comfortable wearing one. No narrow heels please (barn floors).
Art for a Cause: A portion of browngrotta arts’ profits from this exhibition (for the months of May and June) will benefit Sunflower of Peace, a non-profit group that provides medical and humanitarian aid for paramedics and doctors in areas that are affected by the violence in Ukraine. browngrotta arts will also match donations collected during the exhibition as part of browngrotta arts’ 2022 “Art for a Cause” initiative.
About browngrotta arts: browngrotta arts presents museum-quality artworks by more than 100 international artists are represented through art catalogs, art fairs, co-partnered exhibits at museums, retail spaces, and an online gallery. Known worldwide, the gallery is a Connecticut “hidden gem.” It has published 52 art catalogs and two books and placed works in private and corporate collections in the US and abroad, including the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Arts and Design, Art Institute of Chicago, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum. The gallery also regularly works with architects and interior designers offering consultation for commissioned artworks and site-specific installations for commercial and residential spaces.