Gregg Museum of art & design

Traces: Mapping a Journey in Textiles

exhibition images

January 20 – May 14, 2011


Reception: March 24, 2011 | 6-8pm

Symposium: March 24 - 26, 2011



Fiber art is deeply rooted in the history of North Carolina and Traces presents a more contemporary approach to the craft. The exhibition offers a unique contextual showcase: a synthesis of creative and tangible raw materials, as well as a convergence of revolutionary technology, materials advances and subject matter. Curated by Barbara Lee Smith, 12 artists from across the US, Canada and The Netherlands deliver a fresh vision that unites the conceptual approach of fine art –guided by a geographical narrative – with the technical and material concerns of the craft tradition. These artists look for traces everywhere; observing, reflecting, and, in reacting, leave their own visual traces. Some trace a trail of journeys or maps, describing place, time and feeling. Others trace our impact on the world around us, an interplay of negative and positive effects on the land. The combined works form a tracery – a mesh or grid – of ideas, materials and technical innovation to engage and challenge viewers to a broader definition of art and place.


The work of Gail Rieke, Marian Bijlenga, and Nancy Erickson is currently represented in the slideshow above. For more information about the work seen here and other Traces artists, please see the individual artist pages below (check back for updated information). Symposium registration and information will be posted soon. For more information about Traces please e-mail or call 919-515-3503.

About the Guest Curator:


Barbara Lee Smith was born in New Jersey and did her undergraduate work at Douglass College, Rutgers University. She holds an MFA (Mixed Media) from Northern Illinois University where she was a University Scholar. She has had solo exhibitions and been part of group exhibitions in the United States, Japan, Canada, Great Britain, France and New Zealand. Her work is in public, private and museum collections in North America, South Africa, New Zealand and England.  She has taught and lectured internationally, and was a Visiting Professor at Joshibi College of Art and Design, Tokyo for five years. She is the author of Celebrating the Stitch: Contemporary Embroidery of North America (Taunton Press, 1991). In 2000, in honor of her international work on behalf of embroidery and embroiderers, she was made an Honorary Member of the Embroiderers’ Guild, United Kingdom. In 2009 she was honored with an eight-hour video interview from the Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Artists. In 2002 she received a Distinguished Resident Lifetime Award from the Ragdale Foundation, Lake Forest, Illinois. Her home and studio are on Raft Island in Gig Harbor, Washington. Lynn Ennis has curated an exhibition of Smith’s recent work. The exhibition, The Pull of the Moon: Recent Work of Barbara Lee Smith opens January 20, 2011, and runs through May 14, 2011, in the Cannon Gallery. More about Barbara Lee Smith >