GAC Solo Summer Exhibition: July

Written by GAC Volunteer writer Marion Reidel

Lauren Wright Vartanian blends art with science in the Guelph Art Council’s July exhibit “Stitching Science.” This is a family focused show with images that appeal to young children as well as adults. 

Image courtesy of Lauren Wright Vartanian

The display includes twenty-seven textile images stretched on 10” X 10” frames. The panels each illustrate a science topic for a letter of the alphabet, from Atom to Zenith, along with a cover image. For example, “L is for Lichen,” shown to the right, has batik fabric and felt cut-outs appliqued to build three-dimensional representations of the complex forms created by this symbiosis of fungus and alga. Vartanian used needle felting to create the delicate tube forms and French-knot hand embroidery to represent the rough texture of an outer skin. The brown lines are free motion machine embroidery, and the colour palette, taken from source images, is authentically harmonious, with complimentary accents.

Image courtesy of Lauren Wright Vartanian

Canadian publisher, Firefly Books, has photographed and 3-D scanned Vartanian’s sophisticated images, while children’s author, Keltie Thomas, has written text to accompany the images. Although the written information is accessible for elementary school aged children, this is a beautiful book which adults will want to buy for themselves. This unique and engaging fine art/science book can be pre-ordered, for September delivery, online through Amazon and Indigo or at The Bookshelf. The publication is beautiful, but this exhibit is an important opportunity to see the original art.

Vartanian’s mission to create an alphabet book of science images began prior to the pandemic as she read fabric books to her infant daughter. She combined her own fascination with science, with an exploration of textile materials and processes, to bring the concepts to life. As the work progressed, she explored new techniques, including heat bonding, intricate beadwork and bedazzled fabric from outgrown costumes.

“Stitching Science” will be on exhibit at the artBar, at 37 Quebec Street, second floor, from July 2 to 30. Please stop by the gallery Tuesday to Friday from 10 to 4 pm, or join the artist for the closing celebration on July 25th from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. 

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