Put some fiber in your diet with a citywide exhibition of wearable art and textiles.
They’re a political statement, an honoring of tradition, and a way to stitch ‘n’ bitch. Any way you cut it, the fiber arts (knitting, weaving, and sewing among them), once seem as unfashionably domestic, are experiencing a pop-culture renaissance.
This month, you can learn all about it, in an unprecedented conjunction of Honolulu’s museums, galleries and exhibition spaces. From Korean papermaking to contemporary art installations, the fiber arts will be everywhere. Two dozen shows stretching across 20 venues will explore Hawaiian quilts and Mughal carpets, plantation clothing and chiefs’ regalia, the distant past and the cutting-edge present.
At the heart of these exhibitions is the 11th Biennial Symposium of the Textile Society of America, a major international gathering of artists, scholars and educators. There will also be a two-day International Textile Marketplace, featuring fiber arts from four continents.
Have other cities coordinated shows on this grand a scale? “No,” says Tom Klobe, the symposium’s co-chair. “But I figured, if we’re going to do it, we’re going to do it better than anyone else. We’re getting international attention.”
Textile Society of America 11th Biennial Symposium
Sept. 24–27, www.textilesociety.org
International Textile Marketplace
Sept. 25–26, Sheraton Waikiki Hotel
Pride and Practicality: Japanese Immigrant Clothing in Hawaii
Now through Sept. 27, Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii
Tattered Cultures: Mended Histories
Sept. 6 to 28, Academy Art Center, www.honoluluacademy.org
Writing with Thread: Traditional Textiles of Southwest Chinese Minorities
Sept. 21–Nov. 30, U.H. Manoa Art Gallery
Ili Iho: The Surface Within
Sept. 20, 2008–Jan. 11, 2009, Bishop Museum, www.bishopmuseum.org
Intertwine: A Selection of Hawaii Fiber Art
Sept. 5, 2008–Jan. 17, 2009, Hawaii State Art Museum, www.hawaii.gov/sfca