Textile Artists Get Personal

Eight designers use fabric to explore their own issues for San Jose exhibit
Buskirk tapestry
‘Untitled Tapestry’ by Mary Balzer Buskirk, 1956.

During the mid-20th century, “the Bay Area was the Mecca for fiber art,” says Deborah Corsini, the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textile’s curator, discussing its latest exhibit, ‘Invisible Lineage.’

The exhibit, which is now open and runs through February 5 at 520 South First Street, San Jose, includes more than 60 works by eight Northern California artists.

Four of them—Mary Buskirk, Lydia Van Gelder, Mary Walker Phillips and Katherine Westphal—are pioneering members of the Fiber Art Movement, which married traditional craft with innovative techniques to create deeply felt, challenging art.

Their work has involved weaving, macramé, painting and printing on fabric, assemblage, and more—often combining several processes in a single piece.

“These four remarkable women were really ahead of their time,” Corsini says. “They really have pushed fiber in new directions.”

Also on display will be work by four artists from the next generation who were influenced by their elders and carry on the tradition of creating personal art through innovative means

For more info on ‘Invisible Lineage,’ visit SJQuiltMuseum.org.