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A Gift to Dye For

By Krishna Adams, Director of Visual Arts, Craft, Media & Design –

Spring (Hope Eternal), 2014

Earlier this summer, the Tennessee Arts Commission was honored to receive two magnificent, handmade, printed textile works by professional fiber artist and professor, Jeanne Brady. For nearly 20 years, she has been the professor of fibers at Appalachian Center for Craft, a satellite campus of Tennessee Technological University in Middle Tennessee and part of their School of Art, Craft and Design. Brady has also conducted workshops from screen printing, bookmaking, hand spinning and wool dying, to fabric patterning and collage at institutions such as the Peters Valley School of Craft in New Jersey and Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, as well as Arrowmont School of Arts & Craft in Gatlinburg and the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville.

Spring (Hope Eternal), 2014 (left) is made with hand screen-printed and resist-dyed linen silk and wool and hangs 52 inches high. Also, part of the Seasons of Change series, reaching 53 inches tall, The Long Winter Melts into Spring, 2014, (below) is made using clamp resist dye on wool and additional silk inlay fabrics that are crackle resist dyed.

The Long Winter Melts into Spring, 2014

“Inspired by my natural surroundings and personal events, each piece [in the series] is a reflection on how people and places, whether subtly or profoundly, are changed over time. I approach my fabric designs much as a painter approaches a canvas, a surface upon which to build the ideas. I am very process-oriented. I take an initial thought and explore it, responding to the medium of dye, pigments, resists, etc. as I work. I have never liked fully completing an idea on paper prior to materializing it in art form; I allow the idea to come into full view as I work. The potential for discovery during the process is what excites me. This path of inquiry/discovery is a way of processing what I observe, think or wonder about while simultaneously discovering visual results that are perfect for the piece but ones I could not have fully realized beforehand.” – Brady

Brady has contributed to numerous book and periodical publications including, Fiberarts Design Book Seven, Lark Books; Southern Living, Surface Design Journal 25th Anniversary issue, The Art and Craft of Handmade Books, Papermaking, Beautiful Papers & Projects to Make in a Weekend, and American Craft. Her work can be found in the collections of the Evangelical Hospital Children’s Clinic in Oberhausen, Germany; Boddie-Noell Enterprises in Rocky Mount, NC; R.J. Reynolds Corporation in Atlanta, GA; East Carolina University in NC; and Miami-Dade College in Miami, Florida.

The Tennessee Arts Commission Permanent Collection encompasses a diverse range of art representative of artists from across the state. From contemporary works and fine craft to traditional folklife artistry, Tennessee is fortunate to have an enduring history of strong artistic expression. Find out more about the Permanent Collection here.

Brady’s works are on view in the offices of the Tennessee Arts Commission.

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