Outside The Box Festival coordinator Alicia Ballard's mixed-media piece Stratospheres demonstrates the unconventional ways in which fibres and woven fabrics can be incorporated in art works. The festival returns to venues in White Rock and the Semiahmoo Peninsula

Fibre fever hits White Rock

Latest arts festival of the woven – and the unwoven – is truly 'Outside The Box'

Art is what happens outside the box.

In spite of our best efforts to tame, control or categorize it, the artistic impulse – the urge to create something of esthetic resonance – spills over whatever confines or frames we tend to create for it.

Artists persist in thinking ‘outside the box’ both in creativity and in use of materials – and that’s what internationally celebrated fibre artist and experimentalist Pauline McLean Dutkowski had in mind when she founded White Rock’s Outside The Box Festival in 2011.

The month-long, genre-challenging celebration of art in fibre returns to the city for a fifth year Aug. 29-Sept. 30, and as in previous years, White Rock Library is a key location for the launch, displays and ongoing programs.

The festival has a new co-ordinator, White Rock artist Alicia Ballard, but she is by no means new to the event.

Noted locally and internationally as a painter and multi-media artist, she was also creator and coordinator of the international FiberFusion mural at White Rock Museum and Archives, part of the 2011 Outside The Box Festival.

“I always want to do something that is not the everyday, the ordinary and expected,” she said.

Ballard will have her own feature as part of the festival and White Rock Library’s  ongoing Master Artists in the Library program, Sept. 11 and 12, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

As an illustration of the Outside the Box theme, she will be showcasing and answering questions on a work-in-progress – a piece inspired by the mythological goddess Medusa.

“I’ve been researching her – although, apparently, she was very ugly, she was also the protector of Athens, and originally she used to appear on shields,” she said. “Medusa is a warrior, but she’s also a goddess of wisdom and crafts. I thought this would be a good month for me to be prepared in all three areas!”

The overall festival follows in a tradition established by Dutkowski, she said, embracing all aspects of fibre art – from formal creations such as woven and sewn pieces and tapestries to free interpretations that challenge accepted conventions and norms, even re-imagining our basic definitions of fibre.

And Dutkowski herself, while enjoying the opportunity to step down from organizational responsibilities, is still very much present as a participant in the festival.

Throughout September, gallery owner Mary Mikelson will host a display of Dutkowski’s art and the fibre-related work of another great local “outside the box” thinker – Elizabeth Carefoot – at the Mind and Matter Gallery (13743 16 Ave.)

Also illustrating the theme is the work of Kali Bags and Accoutrements partners Katherine Siemens and Stephanie Lafreniere – also known as the tribal fusion dance duo The Fusionistas.

Their up-cycled art bags and other wearables, designed by Siemens, which utilize vintage and re-purposed fabrics and decorations in one-of-a-kind creations, will be on display at the library and the White Rock Community Centre during the month.

They and their creations will also be featured in a ‘Fibre Flash Walkabout’ (weather permitting) from The Gallery at Central Plaza to the White Rock Library from 1 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 29 – passing festival venue Laura’s Fashion Fabrics.

This will lead into the Outside the Box preview opening from 2 p.m. in the library including a short performance by the Fusionistas, and remarks by Ballard and dignitaries including White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin and Coun. Helen Fathers.

There will be plenty of other chances for the public to catch ‘fibre fever’ during the festival, Ballard promises, highlighting the creativity of many individuals and established community groups.

Displays will be ongoing at the library by the Piece Arch Quilters and the Tuesday Tapestry Group, while the Peace Arch Weavers and Spinners Guild will offer demonstrations Saturday, Sept. 19 and Monday Sept. 28, ( both 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.).

Also at the library, Fibre Gone Wild, Sept. 22, 3:30-4 p.m., is a children’s workshop (pre-registration required) in which youngsters will create animals from recycled materials, while on Sept. 25 members of the Needlenuts will demonstrate their techniques for applique quilting.

The White Rock Community Centre will host a mini photo-exhibit by Ballard and also the festival’s closing event on Sept. 30, 6:45 p.m. – a show-and-tell in which the community is invited to participate by sharing fibre items they cherish and the stories behind them.

The community is also invited to participate ‘hands on’ in the Interknots II Fibre Installation, Sept. 18, 1:30-3:30 p.m. at Bryant Park (beside the Community Centre), by bringing colourful scarves, knitting or crocheting of flowers and insects to decorate trees in the park.

Other festival venues include Tourism White Rock and White Rock Museum and Archives.

“I’m really looking forward to the festival and I’m delighted by all the co-operation we’ve received, including from the city,” Ballard said.

“We owe the success of Outside the Box to Pauline, to the library, and to all the other artists and venues that have participated for five years.

“I’m looking forward to making it bigger and better each year.”

 

Just Posted

New West mayor says Surrey won’t be left out in transit 10-year plan

Jonathan Cote one of two speakers at luncheon focusing on transportation, land use planning

UPDATE: Missing Surrey snowshoer found dead on Mt. Seymour

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside North Delta elementary school

The officer was intervening in an alleged assault outside of Immaculate Conception School when he and the woman were stabbed

Suspect charged after four Surrey banks were robbed in just four hours

Financial institutions in North Surrey targeted on Feb. 12

Surrey says WorkSafeBC should be in charge of asbestos abatement

City staff say WorkSafeBC has ‘greater knowledge, experience and expertise’ concerning asbestos

VIDEO: Nail-biter game against Germany tonight earns Langley’s Team Canada a win

Langley’s Team Tardi is 5-2 at the junior curling worlds in Nova Scotia, hoping to defend their title

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died: B.C. police watchdog

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Experts urge caution after 10 human-triggered avalanches across B.C.

One man is still stuck after avalanche on south coast

Most Read

l -->