By Emily Randolph

The work of artists Kate Barber and Wendy Mueller tell a love story with materiality, texture, shape, and color in a new exhibition opening September 8th at the Jamestown Arts Center. An Opening Reception will be held on Thursday, September 8 from 6-8 pm at the Jamestown Arts Center, 18 Valley St, Jamestown RI. On September 29, join the artists in conversation for an Artists Talk from 6-7:30 pm. Both events are free and open to the public. 

Resurfacing, curated by Brooke Erin Goldstein, explores how the two artists use fiber art in unexpected ways; working intuitively and allowing the medium to act as their muse. 

“On the surface, Kate Barber and Wendy Mueller’s work seems opposed to each other; only connected through the medium of fiber,” explains the curator Brooke Erin Goldstein. “But, when you dig deeper, they both use layering to bring the viewer deeper, and into the artist’s thoughts and process.” 

Wendy Mueller (Providence, RI) works in a direct and intuitive manner, forging a connection between ideas, emotions, sensation, and form. Mueller works primarily in wool, which allows her to create constructions that integrate color, form, and surface. Drawing from an empathetic and sensory perception of nature, Mueller is inspired by animal pelts, hides, skins, fish and marine life, and rocks and insects. Her work strives to elicit this same visceral response to nature for the viewer.

Kate Barber (Exeter, RI) uses the phrase “practiced play” to describe the way she works. “Practiced” references hard-won and well-developed skill, while “play” references a looser way of working where freedom to experiment with materials and techniques brings creative breakthroughs. 

Resurfacing invites the viewer to visually wander through each of the pieces of fiber art in the exhibition, to discover a deeper understanding and appreciation of textiles and create joy. 

Goldstein states: “As a curator, I’m aware of how few people can afford to collect art. If you can make a show dynamic and showcase the work in a way that the audience can discover something new or have an emotional connection to what they are seeing, then they can collect the experience – which is totally free and theirs forever.” 

Resurfacing will be on view September 8 – October 15, 2022. Gallery Hours: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, 11 am – 3pm and Thursday, 11 am – 7 pm. Free admission. 

About the Jamestown Arts Center: 

The Jamestown Arts Center is a multi-disciplinary visual and performing arts space that hosts art exhibits, theatre, dance and musical performances, film screenings, and educational programming including artist talks and hands-on art classes for all ages. The JAC opened in 2010 in a former boat repair shop redesigned by award winning architects Estes/Twombly. Since 2014, it’s won five of Rhode Island Monthly’s ‘Best of Rhode Island’ awards, including the Editor’s Pick for Outdoor Art in 2021.



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