“Elemental Applique” features art quilts by Anne Smyers of Reston, Virginia, and opens Friday, June 20 in the Himmelfarb Gallery at Maryland University of Integrative Health. An artist reception, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for Thursday, June 26 from 5 – 7:30 p.m.
Fiber artist Anne Smyers works in a contemporary version of the classical floral appliqué method ‘broderie perse,’ creating what she calls floral landscapes. Floral fabrics are cut, layered, fused and stitched to a base to create the impression of landscapes. “Layers are interesting to me,” Smyers says. “What shows, what is hidden. There is complexity in layers that is not visible immediately; as you look longer, more is revealed. And the layers in my works are made of flowers—which suggests that the world is far more marvelous than it first appears, if we would but look deeply enough.“
Five Element theory, as taught in MUIH’s acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program, is another strong inspiration for Smyers. The theory describes the movements and relationships in nature of the five elements water, wood, fire, earth and metal. She says, “through my long-time pursuit of tai chi chuan I’ve become conversant with five element theory, as many of my colleagues in the Tai Chi Foundation practice five element acupuncture. I find it an elegant and inspiring framework, and I’ve begun interpreting it in some of the fiber work I’m currently making.” Many of her newest pieces reflect this interest and form the core of the current exhibit.
Smyers enjoys working in fabric for its tactile quality and richness of color and pattern. She works intuitively, beginning with an idea or concept and then choosing fabrics to work with and letting the design evolve, without using a pattern or drawing at the outset of the piece.
Artwork from the exhibit will be on sale through the Meeting Point bookstore, which is adjacent to the gallery. Visit the Himmelfarb Gallery online.
What: Elemental Appliqué, Art Quilts by Anne Smyers
When: June 20 – September 13, 2014
Where: Himmelfarb Gallery, Maryland University of Integrative Health
7750 Montpelier Rd., Laurel, Md 20723
Artist Reception: Thursday, June 26, 5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday: 8 a.m.– 4 p.m.
About Anne Smyers Anne Smyers is a fiber artist, tai chi teacher, and one-day decorator. She has been sewing since she was ten years old and her mother and grandmother taught her to make simple pieces of clothing. Eight years ago she discovered quilting and hasn’t looked back since. She calls herself an intuitive designer when quilting, proceeding without a pattern and letting the initial vision for the piece unfold organically. Smyers has been studying and teaching tai chi chuan, a Chinese exercise practiced for health and relaxation, for almost 40 years. She currently works primarily with seniors on improving their balance and strength. Her study of tai chi imparts a love of simplicity and a drive to discover the essential nature of things that informs her fiber art as well. Smyers is also the principal designer and owner of House to Home One-Day Redecorating, which she founded in 2010. She studied with Lauri Ward, the pioneer in one-day decorating, and is a certified Redesigner with the Interior Redecorator’s Network. She lives with her family in Reston, VA. You can also see her work here.