WSCC gallery features colorful tapestries

November 25, 2013

Thursday MarketVICTORY TWP. — West Shore Community College’s Manierre Dawson Gallery is hosting an exhibit featuring the fiber works of Rowen Schussheim-Anderson until Dec. 20.

Schussheim-Anderson is a professor of fine art at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL, and has also taught at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. and Arizona State University where she also received her Master of Fine Arts Degree.

Her research into indigenous textiles has taken her to South American countries such as Brazil, Peru and Ecuador as well as Ghana, Senegal, and Burkina Faso in Africa.

BrasilianConnectionWhile using the centuries’ old technique of tapestry weaving, she makes her work contemporary by introducing non-traditional materials and techniques. Several of these push the boundaries of traditional tapestry with the inclusion of feathers, glass, beads, and other reflective materials in order to heighten contrast and increase the range of surface textures. 

Beyond weaving, additional techniques include wrapping, bead embroidery, bead weaving, and coiling. Materials, ranging from linen, wool, rayon, and silk, are woven on a 56” wide four-harness floor loom.  Schussheim-Anderson states that “as artists we pick and choose, layer, collage, synthesize and weave it into a tapestry revealing an interplay of pattern, surface and color.”

Her interest in color, from the markets of West Africa to the rich colors and intricate patterns of butterflies in the Amazonian rainforest, are expressed in her weavings. In fact, one of the works featured in the exhibit is “Thursday Market,” a work inspired by a trip to Burkina Faso in 2010.  She says, “The market was the craziest, most colorful place I have ever been, evoking an image of a three-dimensional kaleidoscope on steroids!” Her interpretation attempts to capture the market’s energy, color and pattern.

Her work has been shown nationally where it has won numerous awards. As well Schussheim-Anderson has pieces included in many private and public collections including Arrowmont School of Crafts and Rochester Institute of Technology.

The gallery is located in the Arts and Science Center on the WSCC campus. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday. The exhibit may also be viewed on weekends and evenings when events are scheduled in the Center Stage Theater.

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