Threading Body & Space at the Sabatini Gallery Gives Everyday Objects New Meaning

Threading Body & Space, an exhibit by Carol Ann Carter, offers a mix of painting, drawing, papier mâché, sewing, digital imaging and non-traditional quilting for your exploration and reflection at the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery inside the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library.

Opening reception will be 5:30pm April 6 during Topeka’s First Friday ArtWalk. The exhibit features a mix of new and previously exhibited artwork and a “touch table” so visitors can actually feel what Carter feels as she’s creating. Learn more about the artist and her artwork during Carter’s Artist Talk Sunday, April 29 at 2pm in Marvin Auditorium 101A.

Carter, a mixed media artist and University of Kansas art professor, is nationally known for working within and across disciplines in the arts. One of her themes is the issue of recovery, represented in the torso forms inspired by breast cancer survivors. The majority of the artwork leaves plenty open to interpretation.

The pieces exhibited fall into three main categories: mixed media construction, painting/drawings and digital drawings, the latter of which depict bags, bodies and books. Visitors who look closely will see surprises tucked into the works, like a hand-scribbled to-do list from the artist or an inspirational quotation.

“One of the habits of my art practice is to look around me and notice what things surround me and how they are connected to me and to others,” she said. “I draw from the patterns of what I observe in the environment, one’s behavior, recurring things.”

Carter is adept at re-circulating items that most people would think of as trash and elevating those items’ status to art, said Sherry Best, Sabatini Art Gallery director.

The interdisciplinary artist grew up surrounded by decorative objects, antiques, statuary, cloisonné and Asian art that her father would acquire through his independent delivery service. “Our home was like a mini-gallery,” she said. She was fascinated by her parents’ collection and developed an affinity for her mother’s stitchery, decoration and notes. This set the stage for the craft Carter would hone as an adult.

Enthusiasts of Carter’s technique can hone their own skill at two classes on wearable art, offered on a registration-only basis, May 10 at 7pm and May 14 at 4pm. Attendees will create their own small piece of wearable art. Supplies provided. Call 785-580-4515 to register.

The exhibit ends May 18. For more information about this project, visit the exhibit’s webpage.

The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library is a 21st-century, landmark library, and features the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery, the Millennium Café, Chandler Booktique, meeting rooms, and free computer and Internet access and training.

Gallery hours are the same as library hours: Mon. through Fri. 9 am to 9 pm, Sat. 9 am to 6 pm and Sunday 12 pm to 9 pm.

A public relations professional, editor and writer, Lisa shares the library story in her blog posts, in the bimonthly Library News, and media interviews. A self-described social media and news nut, Lisa harnesses that passion to raise awareness and understanding of the library's vital role in this community.