LEXINGTON, Ky.—It’s not just grandmas wielding knitting needles these days. “Dropping Stitches: Knitting Trends in Contemporary Art” examines the recent knitting resurgence in popular culture and the contemporary art world. The exhibition also examines the impetus behind the knitting trend by addressing the topics of materiality, activism through crafting, knitting as guerilla art and knitting as protest model. The exhibit opens January 19 with an opening reception from 5-7 p.m., and runs through March 4. The Lexington Gallery Hop reception is Friday, February 18, from 5-8 p.m.
The exhibit features the work of Stacey Chinn, Carol Hummel, Barbara Hunt, Ellen Mollé, Mark Newport, Lacey Jane Roberts and the Transylvania knitters collective “In the Loop.”
Roberts’ studio practice primarily consists of large-scale site-specific knitted installations created with children’s toy knitting cranks. Her work has been shown recently in the Bedford Gallery, the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Folk Art, the Headlands Center for the Arts, Southern Exposure and Naomi Arin Contemporary Art. Roberts also maintains a critical writing practice that bridges craft and queer theory. Her writing can be found in the forthcoming anthology “Extra/Ordinary: Craft Culture in Contemporary Art” published by Duke University Press. Roberts has been recognized with more 10 major prizes, awards and fellowships in the last five years.
Newport is an artist and educator living in Michigan and his work has been exhibited throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, including solo exhibitions at the Arizona State University Art Museum, the Cranbrook Art Museum, the Chicago Cultural Center, Laumeier Sculpture Park in St. Louis and Here Gallery in Bristol, United Kingdom. Newport knits full-body superhero suits and his work has been recognized with grants from the Creative Capital Foundation, the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Herberger College of the Arts at Arizona State University. His work is included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Cranbrook Art Museum, the Racine Art Museum, 4Culture in Seattle, City of Phoenix Public Art and the offices of Microsoft and Progressive Insurance.
Lexington artist Chinn is the recipient of several arts grants and has shown extensively in both group and solo exhibitions. She has served as a juror, mentor, guest speaker, educator and an assistant to several internationally known artists. Most recently, Chinn served as the lead artist/instructor for the Master Class series offered by the Lexington Art League in partnership with Raven Run Nature Sanctuary through the EcoART Grant.
Mollé, another Lexington artist, is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and was recently a speaker for the Little/Gaines Artist Series.
Transylvania’s own campus knitting collective, known as “In the Loop” also created a site specific installation for the exhibition. “In the Loop” will give free knitting lessons in the gallery on Wednesdays from noon to 1 p.m. during the run of the exhibition. Needles and yarn will be provided. Knitters are welcome to attend and work on their own projects.