Arts & Entertainment

Allied exhibit features Tri-City fiber artists

The Desert Fiber Arts Guild will feature the creations of two of its members, Larry Taylor and Niel Kierulff, at its Exulting in Fibers exhibition this month at the Allied Arts Gallery in Richland.

And just like in the fairy tale, Rumplestiltskin, Taylor and Kierulff have a knack for spinning flax and wool into gold.

Taylor, and not the former Benton County Sheriff Taylor, favors designs based on structure rather than color, said Christine Simonen, with the Fiber Arts Guild.

"Larry produces fine linens from his draw loom. He is a member of the national Complex Weavers group and is a retired chemist," she said.

"Niel is a buckskinner, a re-enactor of the fur trading era in the early 1800s. He is a master spinner of flax and wool, besides constructing traditional garments and accessories of that period.

"Desert Fiber Arts Guild is so fortunate to have them and we have benefited from their expertise."

The cool thing to remember about art is that not all mediums are strictly a right brain function.

Some, like in fiber art, are culled from mathematical concepts. Knitting, quilt making, cross-stitching, crocheting, embroidery and weaving all require a bit of figuring using algebra or geometry.

Many fashion designers have also claimed a new line of clothing they created was inspired by the work of various mathematicians.

The Desert Fiber Art Guild has about 90 members, five of whom are men, from all over the Mid-Columbia. Its annual show features a wide range of fiber art creations. The exhibit remains on display through Jan. 28.

There will be live demonstrations of spinning and weaving every Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the exhibit.

"The exhibit provides an interesting juxtapostion of traditional 17th century fine craft and the contemporary figber art pieces with a decidedly 21st century edge," said Rosemarie Quirk, chairwoman for Allied Arts Association.

"The pieces on display this month represent the work of many fiber artists throughout the Tri-Cities. While some of the items on exhibit are traditionally what one might expect in a fiber arts show -- wall hangings, sweaters, scarves, baskets -- many other pieces are extremely good examples of contemporary modern and at times very abstract art work. I find the contrast of these contemporary abstract art pieces and the history of the traditional spinning and weaving methods a testament to the progression of fine craft from the utilitarian to a fine art form."

There is no admission fee to the gallery at 89 Lee Blvd., next to Howard Amon Park in Richland.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;