FRIDAY: Firkins, Feminist Fibers, Fun, Friends

feminist fiber art

This weekend, a new art exhibit at Aeronaut is turning their standing Firkin Friday into Feminist Fiber Friday.

For more than two years, local artist Iris Nectar has been running a blog highlighting woman-identified makers in the textile arts, and in January she began planning an exhibition that would bring their work out of from behind the computer screen and into a physical space. She put out a call to some of the stitchers, sewers and weavers she’d admired from afar for years—and many of them answered.

“I was kind of surprised,” says Nectar of the enthusiastic response. “I didn’t really expect a reply, let alone acceptance.”

As a one-woman outfit looking to organize an event that could require a dedicated team, Nectar was nervous. She knew for years that she wanted to curate a DIY exhibit—so much so that the initial funds came out of her own pockets—and was thrilled when renowned artists from as far away as England (Jess De Wahls, who has most recently been using recycled textiles to create sculptures of powerful women), Iceland (Ýrúrarí, whose playful designs celebrate women’s bodies) and right here in New England (Connecticut-based embroidery artist Alaina Varrone, who stitches stories with her thread) applied to be in the show. Moving forward, she hopes that the costs of the roving exhibit will be funded with donations and grants—interested patrons can help fun the project through PayPal.

Friday’s event will take the form of an art crawl throughout Somerville, with pieces on display at Aeronaut, Washington St. Gallery and the Armory, where there will also be musical performances from Feral Jenny, Ellen Siberian Tiger and Dent. And if you can’t make it to the opening, you’ll still have plenty of time to get your will be on display at Aeronaut through August 30 and at Washington St. through August 29 before moving on to a TBD Cambridge location and then on to other temporary homes in the Greater Boston area.

For the full list of artists who will be showing their work at the exhibit, check out the event on Facebook. You can also find some samples of their work below.

jess de wahls

“Big Swinging Ovaries” by Jess de Wahls

Kjersti Faret

A pentagram cat by Kjersti Faret

mia cross

“Sewn In” by Mia Cross