Thatch and Weiss made their first trip to Montana to share their inspiration and artistic procedure with UMW students and the community of Dillon. Thatch is a textile, book and paper artist and is currently an MFA candidate in Design Studies at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Weiss is an artist and printmaker from Milwaukee, Wis. She received her BFA from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 2004 and after graduation helped found the community printshop at RedLine Milwaukee, “an urban laboratory that seeks to nourish the individual practice of contemporary art.”
During the artist talk, Thatch and Weiss explained that they have been friends for almost their entire lives and have always wanted to work on a project together. After years of pursuing individual interests, the opportunity for collaboration finally presented itself when Thatch moved back to Wisconsin to pursue her master’s degree in fine arts. The artists were excited to combine their unique skills of printmaking and weaving into one exhibition, and as a result, “Recurrence” was born.
“Recurrence” uses themes from nature to explore experimental processes in Thatch’s and Weiss’s studio practice. Thatch’s weavings use cotton and silk fibers with plant and insect-derived dyes to think about language, time, and seasonal change. Weiss’s mixed media wall installation of cecropia giant silk moths combines the traditional relief printmaking process with 3D wood forms to explore the effect of color, transformation and multiplicity in nature as well as print media. Both artists collaborate on woven panels that combine printmaking and fiber processes in ways that look for metaphoric resonance between the natural world and the generative possibilities of art-making.
After the artist talk, visitors gathered in the UMW Fine Arts Gallery to get a first-hand look at the intricate printmaking and weaving. Visitors were also able to talk with Thatch and Weiss about the art and pose any questions they had. While talking to Thatch she explained her favorite thing about being an artist.
“Art has taken me to so many places I normally wouldn’t go and I get to interact with a lot of people I normally wouldn’t. It’s brought me all around the country and coming here to Montana for the first time is just another example of that,” Thatch said.
“Recurrence” will be open for public viewing until Feb. 12 in the Fine Arts Gallery at the University of Montana Western. For more information, please contact Aja Mujinga Sherrard by calling 406-683-7313, or email [email protected]