2012—Threading Body & Space

Artist Carol Ann Carter fuses history and memory as seen through the accumulated material of everyday life.

April 6 — May 18, 2012

First Friday Artwalk
Friday | April 6 | 5:30 – 8:30 PM | Sabatini Gallery (Opening Reception)
Friday | May 4 | 5:30 – 8:30 PM | Sabatini Gallery

Artist Talk with Carol Ann Carter
Sunday | April 29 | 2 – 3:30 PM | Marvin 101A
Carol Ann Carter, Kansas University art professor and nationally know artist, will speak about her mixed media and fiber works, textiles, painting, drawing, digital media, and performance art currently on display at the Sabatini Gallery.

Wearable Art—Good Luck Amulet Workshop
Monday | May 14 | 4 – 5 PM | Sabatini Gallery | Ages 12-18
We’ll be using felt, yarn, threads, stitching, wrapping, layering and/or beading to create a small, wearable amulet with a secret pocket. Registration required. Call 785-580-4515 or stop by the Gallery to sign up. Come as you are. Supplies provided.

Wearable Art—Amulets and Talismen
Thursday | May 10 | 7 – 8 PM | Sabatini Gallery | Ages 18+
We’ll be making an amulet/talisman which is an object intended to bring good luck or protection to its owner. We’ll be using felt, yarn, threads, stitching, wrapping, layering and/or beading to create a small, wearable amulet with a secret pocket. Registration required. Call 785-580-4515 or stop by the Gallery to sign up. Come as you are. Supplies provided.

Curator’s Statement

“Bundle Painting I” (top) and “Journal Dress” (bottom)

You know that old sweatshirt, the one that’s torn, stained, raveled, but so comfortable you’ll never get rid of it? That sweatshirt has a history. You might remember the events where it got torn and stained. It bears the marks of your body, where the cloth is thinner at the elbows. It’s not something you wear to school or work—it doesn’t represent your professional self. It’s your relaxed self.

Carol Ann Carter takes this kind of cloth, and uses it to make art that resembles clothing, purses, bags, books and bodies. She recycles cloth, and often recycles her art, using parts of pieces she’s created.

I have admired her work since I met her. I was a graduate student at the University of Michigan, when Carter joined the faculty. She taught “mixed media”, a word artists use when they combine different types of art like painting, collage and sculpture. Carter now teaches “intermedia” at the University of Kansas. Intermedia can include anything: performance, video, traditional art forms.

When I studied with Carter, she instructed us to think about the materials we were using. Those materials have meaning, and artists can use and change that meaning through our creation.

When Carter takes an everyday object and puts it into her art, she makes that object into something new. A list becomes symbolic of communication. The old shirt becomes skin-like. The tears and stains become scars or tattoos. The associations that we have with the shirt are now part of the piece – its hidden memory. Not everyone will know its history, but some of the details might provide clues to a story.

Carol Ann Carter at her home studio in Lawrence, KS

As Carter adds more layers, objects and stitches, she tells, re-tells and re-combines the stories.

Are the stories true? How true is history? How true are distant memories? How true are stories that get re-told many times? How does history change over time, what gets lost or left out? What gets covered up? –Sherry Best