Off the Grid: Contemporary Fiber Art Exhibit Opening at The Barn Gallery

A new group exhibition opening at YoloArts’ Barn Gallery in Woodland takes quilt making into another realm and out of the traditional fabric block construction and into the use of textiles as a means of freeform expression. The exhibition, Off the Grid, opens with a meet the artists reception Thursday, November 10 at The Barn Gallery in Woodland.

The exhibition, curated by YoloArts creative director Janice Purnell, highlights innovative approaches to contemporary and traditional methods of fiber art including fabric sculpture, collage, stitching, piecing, weaving, and embroidery.

The media used in the creation of these art works is as diverse as the pieces, and include fabric, paper, ink, cotton, cotton canvas, buttons, yarn, Bermuda grass, Dallis grass, invasive morning glory, clear enamel, wool yarns, cotton threads, newspaper, felt, raw silk, California buckwheat, avocado pits, silk, found objects, up cycled clothing, acrylic paint, wood, and wire.

The works of these 19 artists from Davis, Winters, Woodland, Sacramento and the Bay Area reflect their personal journeys, and address current social and political themes:

Jane Ingram Allen, Lynn Beldner, Brandy Bennett, Melanie Bown, June Daskalakis, Zen Du, Gioia Fonda, Roberta Monte James, Marjan Kluepfel, Penelope Lenaerts, Tanya Lieberman, Barbetta Lockart, Natalie Nelson, Carole Pirruccello, Elisa Reutinger, Marguerite Schaffron, Abigail Vargas, Susan Broadhurst Werrin, and Roxanne Brodeur Young.

“I love how this show encompasses so many different expressions in fiber arts from quilting and fabric sculpture, to weavings and more conceptual pieces. These innovative approaches beautifully communicate the inner world of the artists,” Purnell recently said.

Artist statements prepared for Off the Grid include:

Jane Ingram Allen, Santa Rosa, innovative use of handmade papers made from natural plant fibers:

“Daily Scrolls was done during the first days of the pandemic quarantine, and I made one handmade paper scroll each day with different techniques and fibers and sometimes drew or painted on it with pictures and words reflecting my thoughts for the day. The 81 small scrolls, each about 4” x 6”, are rolled and placed inside a recycled black shelf. People can take out a scroll, unroll and read it, contemplate, and then put it back for the next person. It was my way of sharing thoughts and connecting in the time of isolation.” Visitors will also have a chance to create and contribute their own paper scroll to the display.

Elisa Reutinger, Sacramento, illustrates the Off the Grid approach with her free form quilt:
“Freely sewing shapes, textures, letters and lines continue to challenge me! With this freedom comes a way to express myself through stitching. With no preplanned pattern to work from, the organic stitching is a form of self-expression. The hand dyed background fabrics (vintage linens and old quilt blocks) provide a monochromatic calmness and modern feel to the piece. My inspiration has been the book The Intentional Thread by Susan Brandeis.”

Zen Du, Woodland, innovative use of felt and sculpture:

“Wool, with all its fascinating properties, has always been a wonder fiber for me. The interlocking scales of each wool fiber makes this humble material a perfect building block for environments I aspire to create with small felted objects. These objects can be organized and reorganized into groupings I call Biopoiesis, which is a borrowed term from biology describing the natural process of life arising from non-living matter such as simple organic compounds and is the basis of a theory on the origin of life on Earth.”

The meet the artists reception will be hosted 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday, November 10. Music by DJ Eddie Lampkin, light refreshments and Yolo County wines will be available.

Off the Grid continues at The Barn Gallery through February 11, 2023.

Also opening November 10 inside the Gibson House is a new show, Stitched Together: Quilts from the Yolo County Historical Collection. This exhibition in the Gibson House, built in the 19th century, will feature historic quilts and textiles showcasing the history of quilt making in the region and runs through February 3, 2023.

Regular open hours of The Barn Gallery are Wednesdays and Thursdays 2:30-5 p.m, select Saturdays and by appointment.

The Barn Gallery and the Gibson House are located at 512 Gibson Road in Woodland. For more information contact YoloArts at 530-309-6464 or

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