Fold Unfold

 LECTURE - Coverlet Weaving Meets Op Art
 January 10, 6pm.  Lyndon House Arts Center, Fiber Studio

 Jessica Smith, Professor of Fibers, Savannah College of Art and Design
 Susan Falls, PhD, Professor of Anthropology, Savannah College of Art and Design

Jessica Smith and Susan Falls will be speaking about their upcoming call for artists and exhibition.  
 "Coverlet weaving has a deep history in American folk practices, contains signifiers of political identity, and has carried both economic and cultural value. Geometric woven coverlets have been used as aesthetically pleasing family heirlooms. In this talk, we will discuss how the patterns created by an overshot woven structure prefigure Op Art, a movement that was derived from the constructivist period of the Bauhaus."

More information - FoldUnfold

The coverlet, a wonderfully elaborate example of woven bedding, is lesser-known than the quilt when it comes to Southern material culture. These bed coverings are often devalued (viewed as castoffs) or romanticized (connected to mythical narratives about community and gift giving) rather than recognized as having provided real value to households. To address this oversight anthropologist Susan Falls and artist Jessica Smith are holding a call for weavers to participate in Fold Unfold. This contemporary art installation will explore coverlets from both an art-historical and museum perspectives, while challenging current aesthetic judgments that relegate coverlets to the realm of “craft” instead of “art.” 

 Fold Unfold invites skilled makers
to weave functional bedding on manually operated looms as part of this installation. Each coverlet should be informed by overshot geometric patterning popular in the South. To undermine traditional signifiers of class and race, makers will use a modernist color scheme of black, white, and gray. This neutrality will draw attention to the hands of individual makers. 

The coverlets will be folded and stacked to form two pillars in the Lyndon House Cultural Art Center in Athens, Ga. (which contains both historic and contemporary exhibition spaces). One pillar will stand in the entrance hall of the historic Ware-Lyndon House to connote the role southern women played in the aesthetic narrative of their landscape.  The second pillar in the contemporary Lukasiewicz Gallery unites the historic with the contemporary. 

To reveal individual creative work, the pillars will be taken down and the coverlets will be unfolded in a public performance. The coverlets will then be restacked at full size to form a minimalist contemporary sculpture. Each coverlet will be professionally photographed and published in a downloadable catalog.


For more information please call or email Beth Sale, 706 613 3623 x.226,