The Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council is showcasing a different sort of artist for the month of June. Suzann Thompson is a textile artist whose medium of choice includes knitted and crocheted materials coupled with quilting.
Textile art is no new-comer to the art scene, having grown in popularity over the last few decades. However, it has struggled to find an audience among cultural aficionados. Thompson has set her sites on making a change in that status and has had award-winning pieces on display around the world.
"I think traditionally artists are considered as painters or sculptors," she explained. "And in the past, textiles were traditionally a woman's craft, and everyone knew how to do it. No one thought it was really special."
But as the ability in handcrafts has dwindled over the latter half of the 20th century, they have become something of a dying art. Fortunately for Thompson, her mother endeavored to foster her handwork talents.
"My mom, Anna, is from Germany. There people learn to knit and crochet in school.
So she taught me," she explained.
Thompson calls her own spin of those crafts textile fusion, and she has since incorporated quilting into her work, which she said she threw into the mix out of necessity.
"You know you aren't to hang up a sweater because it stretches out," she said. "Well, I wanted to make pictures with knitting. But I knew if I were to hang them on the wall, they would stretch out. So to prevent that from happening, I figured out how I could quilt them."
By stitching a backing to her pieced work, she is able to provide the knitted or crocheted product with the support it needs.
CTFAC Executive Director Julie Crouch expressed her excitement in bringing this unique form of art to the River North Art Gallery.
"We are so excited about the June exhibit," she said. "Suzannís exhibit is truly one of a kind and she is so very accomplished in her medium."
The Thompson exhibit is now open and will continue to be on display through June 29. A reception will be given in Thompson's honor at the gallery on Thursday, June 13, from 5 p.m.-7 p.m.