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"International Fiber Arts VII"

Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, CA

October, 2015

Photo Credit: John Martin

Foster City, CA – Barbara M. Berk’s sculptures “Michael’s Waves” and “Vertigo” will be exhibited in International Fiber Arts VII at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, CA from October 23 – November 28, 2015.  This international exhibition, comprised of 62 pieces selected from 630 entries, presents a distinct approach to innovative and traditional fiber techniques and contemporary concepts for the use of traditional and unusual materials. 


A collaboration between the Sebastopol Center for the Arts and Fiber Art Now, the exhibition was juried by:  Lia Cook (US), whose work combines weaving with painting, photography, video and digital technology, and is collected by national and international museums;  John Hopper (UK), who has a degree in textile design and produces The Textile Blog, an inspirational site for artists and makers, covering many aspects of the world of creation within art and craft; and Kyoko Kumai (Japan), a fiber artist who exhibits internationally, is an Honorary Professor of Nagaoka Institute of Design in Japan.


“Michael’s Waves” and “Vertigo” were both woven by hand with phosphor bronze wire, using Soumak, an ancient rug-weaving technique, named for the city in Azerbaijan in which the technique originated.


Barbara M. Berk explores strength and beauty, transparency and movement through the interplay of metal with traditional fiber techniques. She weaves with round wire by hand, working flat and straight. She then manipulates her flat “fabric” into a 3-dimensional form.  Within this tapestry of process, material and form, Berk plays with line and pattern, volume and scale, density and texture. 


She embraces the dualities and seeming contradictions inherent in such a tapestry:  Soft and Hard.  Domestic processes and Industrial materials.  Positive and Negative space.   Object and Shadow.  Thereby animated, her calligraphic abstractions become intriguing, mesmerizing sculptures.                                                                                             


Barbara M. Berk’s free-standing sculpture has been exhibited in Sculpture:  On and Off the Wall, Peninsula Sculptors’ Guild at the Coastal Arts League, Half Moon Bay, CA (2015).                                                                              


Her wearable sculpture is represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston, MA) and the Museum of the Gemological Institute of America (Carlsbad, CA).  It has been exhibited in museums and shows across the US and featured in many publications including Textile Techniques  in Metal for Jewelers, Textile Artists and Sculptors by Arline Fisch (1996, 2016).   She presented “Textile Techniques in Metal:  (Un)Familiar Materials, (Un)Expected Methods” at the 8th Annual Portland Jewelry Symposium, Portland, OR (2015); and “Contemporary Applications of Textile Techniques in Metal:  A Jewelry Artist’s Perspective on Sheet and Wire” at the 4th Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts, New York, NY (2009).


She is the author of  “Textile Techniques in Metal:  A Designer’s Perspective on Sheet and Wire” Parts I and II, presented at the Santa Fe Symposium on Jewelry Manufacturing (2004 and 2006, respectively) and published in the Symposiums’ Proceedings


For more information, contact Barbara M. Berk, Barbara Berk Designs, LLC, P. O. Box  4430, Foster City, CA 94404; 650-281-6534;;;

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