Detail from "Rain Dance," an original quilt by Sherrie Spangler

Friday, January 15, 2016

Barbara Lee Smith exhibit

Barbara Lee Smith with her "Oyster Light."
There's a phenomenal show of fiber art by internationally known artist Barbara Lee Smith through Feb. 5 in Tacoma, WA. GO. It's at Tacoma Community College's Gallery from noon to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, free.

Tacoma Community College Gallery entrance.

Barbara, who lives and works on Raft Island right here in Gig Harbor, has landscapes that capture the essence of the Pacific Northwest's light, atmosphere and water, as well as abstract pieces that convey much emotion.

"Daybreak" by Barbara Lee Smith.

She works with Lutradur, a nonwoven fibrous synthetic material, rather than with quilters' traditional cotton or silk. She paints, collages, fuses and stitches the layers, producing a stiff piece of work (no batting) with no borders or binding. She mounts these pieces with Velcro to wooden frames; the effect is of the art floating in front of the walls.

Stitching lines resemble topographic maps.

She uses an industrial Bernina for the "quilting," which resembles contour lines on topographic maps.

Below is one of her abstract pieces, "Unsquare Dance," which I found quite quilterly. The colors glow -- it is mesmerizing, as are all of her pieces.

"Unsquare Dance" by Barbara Lee Smith.

You can read more about Barbara and see much more of her work at her website, She also has a book, "Celebrating the Stitch: Contemporary Embroidery in North American (Taunton Press 1991).

Besides being a wonderful artist, she's a calm and gracious person. She and her husband plan to move to North Carolina soon, which will be Gig Harbor's loss. See her work while you can.

Have a colorful day

1 comment:

The Idaho Beauty said...

I have to admit her name doesn't ring a bell with me. Wondering what part of NC she is moving to and if we should hook her up with Mary Stori and one of her fiber groups... ;-) She does beautiful and interesting work with that lutrador.