Since 1931, the Palos Verdes Art Center / Beverly G. Alpay Center for Arts Education has been enriching the cultural climate of the community. Building a platform for arts engagement through exhibitions, arts education, and public programs, PVAC provides audiences with sustainable and transformative experiences. Showcasing a wide range of artwork, PVAC presents artists at all stages of their careers. Related educational programming includes guided tours, catalogues, lectures and workshops.
PVAC’s Gallery Hours
10 am – 4 pm Mondays through Saturdays
1 pm – 4 pm Sundays (except major holidays)
A superhero who knits force fields, a designer making on-the-spot couture, a collector, and crafters in a knitting marathon launch 6 Weeks of Fiber Madness at Palos Verdes Art Center/Beverly G. Alpay Center for Arts Education on 10 October, with four performance-based exhibitions devoted to the intertwined, high/low worlds of fiber arts: SWEATERMAN: AKA Mark Newport, Krel2go: Karelle Levy, The Living/Dining Room, and Acquired Objects: textiles, tools & notions from the Judith Solomon Collection.
This celebration of fiber arts also includes a Navajo Weaving Workshop, October 23-26, taught by Two Grey Hills Master Weavers Barbara Teller Ornelas and Lynda Teller Pete.
Project Space @ PVAC, a new gallery located in the Atrium, launches with the inaugural show D'Eriq Sanders, Pandora.
Drawing on memories of sweaters his mother made to protect him from harsh New England winters, Mark Newport is a visual and performance artist who interrogates gender roles and the fate of masculinity through his alter ego: Sweaterman. Newport’s hand-knit objects are modeled on the body costumes of Marvel superheroes and are made of cheap, acrylic yarn in bright cartoon-colors, industrial product that contrasts with the natural materials often associated with fiber arts. As Sweaterman, Newport performs silently in crowds. Clad in a variety of suits constructed in detailed knitting patterns he makes yet another protective covering to replace the confidence lost in an age of shifting identities. Sweaterman does not speak, but remains intent on his knitting.
"The costumes are life-size, my size, wearable objects that hang limply on hangars challenging the standard muscular form of the hero and offering the space for someone to imagine themselves wearing the costume, becoming the hero," says Newport. "They become the uniforms I wear to protect my family from the threats (bullies, murders, terrorists, pedophiles, and fanatical messianic characters) we are told surround us." SWEATERMAN AKA: Mark Newport includes archival inkjet prints by Newport in addition to a selection of his elaborately crafted knit objects.
Mark Newport is an artist and educator living in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Newport’s work has been exhibited throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe, including solo exhibitions at Arizona State University Art Museum; Cranbrook Art Museum; Chicago Cultural Center; and Laumeier Sculpture Park, St. Louis, MO. His work has been recognized with a 2011 Artist Fellowship from The Kresge Foundation, grants from Creative Capital Foundation, Arizona Commission on the Arts, and Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. It is included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art; Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum; Detroit Institute of Arts, Cranbrook Art Museum; Racine Art Museum; Arizona State University Art Museum, 4Culture, Seattle; City of Phoenix Public Art, Microsoft, and Progressive Insurance. The Greg Kucera Gallery represents his work. Newport is the Artist-in-Residence and Head of Fiber at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. He earned his BFA at the Kansas City Art Institute in 1986 and his MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1991.
Curated by Joe Baker
Krel2go: Karelle Levy
Fashion/textile designer and performance artist Karelle Levy has garnered international attention in both the art and fashion worlds with her innovative, bespoke knitwear since she opened her Miami firm KRELwear in 2005. Levy’s signature is "toobular" design: seamless round tubes of knit fabric that fit over the body like a second skin. She has attracted many notable clients, including musical artists Nicki Minaj, Alanis Morissette and Rihanna and noted fashion designer Patricia Field.
In addition to developing fashion lines built on her complex textiles, Karelle travels the world performing Krel2go Quickie Couture, 20-minute fashions she tailors directly on her collaborators body. As Karelle takes her practice to art fairs, capital cities and personal places, she brings fast and sexy fashion into the gallery space, a performance where the designer as artist fits and knits then documents the sitter wearing the piece. An exchange takes place, be it a stranger or a dear friend a certain bond has formed.
Levy was born in Paris and came to Florida at age five; after studying fiber arts at Rhode Island School of Design, she returned to work in theater. The exuberance of the theater is ever present in Levy’s pieces, which have grown from wearable art where the body is used as the canvas to exhibit the fabrics’ complexity in a visual and moving piece. The fabrics have expanded into hung installations on stage, in galleries, and homes creating decorative three-dimensional settings. Making fabric into other forms of art, she has found the utilization in everyday life vital to the use of them. Growing into the world outside of the human form, she has elaborated on various uses for her art. The textured effects of the materials often dictate their use, their versatility in the way that light plays with your eyes, and the eye manipulates the object. Karelle creates contemporary fabrics using technologically advanced yarns with ancient techniques. So many of these skills are lost with our current times of fast pace already manufactured items. Something once passed down from generation to generation is not necessary for our times. By creating unique pieces with old techniques she brings light to something old with a modern twist.
Levy is a two-time Style Wars champion and has received exceptional praise in Art in America, New York Times, Blouin Artinfo, Women’s Wear Daily, Miami Herald, Beautiful/Decay and Metro Pop, amongst other publications. Her Quickie Couture project has been featured at Scope Art Show (Miami, New York and Basel), Performa’s Red Party, various Standard Hotels, and boutiques worldwide.
Krel2go: Karelle Levy features a retrospective of Karelle's most significant fashions spanning two decades and videos by KRELwear chronicling her works.
Organized by Joe Baker and Doug Meyer
The Living / Dining Room is an interactive installation organized by Joe Baker and designed by Doug Meyer that emphasizes yarn bombing’s tendency to pop up in unexpected places. It begins as a room filled with bric-a-brac and old furniture placed in the confines of the gallery. Painted white, this tableau evoking domestic space implies the promise of blank canvas. The performative aspect of yarn bombing comes to the fore throughout the five-week duration of the exhibition, as members and friends of The Artists’ Studio at Palos Verdes Art Center cover the objects with knitting and crotchet during gallery hours. Knitters in the community are invited to participate. Like covertly placed yarn bombs, The Living / Dining Room is ephemera that will only exist after the run of the show through photographs documenting the daily progress of the yarn bomb. The completed work will be viewed live one time only during a closing party celebrating the last day of the exhibition.
Flagpoles wrapped in crocheted stripes; railings and stop signs decked out with worsted; even cars covered tire-to-headlight in hand-knitting: they're all examples of yarn bombing, a 21st Century trend in street art that blends the public invasion spirit of graffiti with the venerable practice of knitting circles. Also a collaborative practice, yarn bomb crewes assemble elements of knitting or crochet ahead of time, and then stitch the pieces together onsite to cover public objects like tea cozies. Smaller, portable, works are made leisurely in the studio by the artist alone or with friends. While graffiti tags contest ownership of urban terrain, yarn bombs—also known as yarn storms or guerrilla knitting—charge sterile, unwelcoming cityscapes with intimacy and home comfort. In contrast to graffiti’s flat graphics, references to commercial media, and predominately masculine tone, yarn bombing emphasizes three-dimensional expression and feminine traditions of craftwork. Originating in Texas in the early 2000s, yarn bombing has since spread throughout the world as socially engaged art, commenting on the exclusion of communities from decision-making in urban design while extending feminist practices of cooperative action to both women and men.
Special thanks to participating fiber artists of El Segundo Slipt Stitchers, Cone Connection of Orange County and The Artists’ Studio at PVAC, and sponsors Newton’s Knits, Concepts in Yarn and L’Atelier who have provided the materials and tools that made this installation possible.
Organized by Joe Baker
Designed by Doug Meyer
Acquired Objects: textiles, tools & notions from the Judith Solomon Collection
There are several types of collectors. Some collect to create a collection of value, some collect as a form of status, some are obsessed with the hunt, some collect simply for the love of collecting—and then you have the artist as collector. Judith Solomon—a fiber artist—falls into this category.
Artists collect work or items that are intrinsic to their the craft. They want to dissect an object: learn how it was made, how it functions or not, what techniques were used, what materials and combinations of colors were used. The more objects they find, the more they realize how vast and innovative the world of artisans is, and even continents away, how similar in thought they are. They use materials and supplies indigenous to their land—and through travel and education an artist that collects sees things in a whole new way.
When picking up any of the hundreds upon hundreds of objects Judith has collected she can recite as a curator would the details of each object: how it was made, by whom, where she bought it, why she likes it. Judith’s thirsts for acquiring these objects (shown here is only a small amount of her treasure trove of inspiration) at first may appear disparate, however on closer observation one discovers they are all connected by the subject matter of fiber—objects that have been created out of fiber, and the tools and equipment used to make them.
The collection ranges from examples of exquisite samplers and lace to an obsessive acquisition of thousands and thousands of buttons of all types. There are fantastic textiles and clothing from Guatemala to India that use glorious color combinations, native weaving techniques and layered embroidery—all creating a textile lovers dream. Her fascination with tools ranges from crochet hooks (also by the hundreds) to weaving tools. Each is a work of art, and each has its own story and history to tell.
A 68-page fully illustrated catalog designed by Doug Meyer accompanies this exhibition - essays by Jovencio de la Paz and Nancy Nehring. $25, $20 members.
Curated by Doug Meyer