A small but intense and colorful embroidered portrait of a man enjoying his pipe with closed eyes, by Julie Marks Blackstone, called “If Courbet Had Kandinsky's Palette,” has won the top prize in Fiberworks 2012.
A dark, ornate, wooden frame makes the hues of the Shawnee artist's portrait of Courbet, wearing a colorful artist's outfit, as well as the tiny circles of color beside him, stand out even more vividly.
Blackstone won $1,000 Best of Show honors in the annual fiber art exhibit, on view at Individual Artists of Oklahoma, which was jurored by New York state artist Jeanne Raffer Beck. Blackstone also won the $250 Rachel Valliere Award for Creative Handweaving for a pink, loosely woven shawl, with its title, “Cancer Is a Word, Not a Sentence,” spelled out on white embellishments of its fringe.
Small, but powerful, is “Gathering,” a round, tightly constructed, vessel-shaped fabric creation, with a tiny aperture, by Edmond artist Stephanie Grubbs.
Grubbs won the $500 Juror's Choice Award for “Gathering,” made from the simplest materials: crimson, brown and silvery-tan cotton thread, with half-hitch knots.
Wonderfully offbeat and eccentrically appealing is a needle-felted, hand-embroidered puppet (on strings) version of “Persephone,” divided into flowery spring and nocturnal underworld sides by Darci Lenker.
Lenker, an Oklahoma City artist, received the $500 Brady Craft Alliance Innovative Award in Contemporary Fiber for “Persephone.” Winning the $250 Handweaver's Guild of America Award was Tulsa artist Sharyl Landis for “Damisi,” an exotic-looking woven, sewn and beaded doll-lamp, with an abstract, multicolored shade.