"The Art of the Needle," needlepoint tapestries by West Newfield artist Jill Vendituoli. February 1-April 28, 2012. Reception and Gallery Talk: March 4, from 2-5 p.m. (snow date: March 18)
Wow! Come see a body of work developed by a serious artist over twenty-two years. This solo exhibition contains an abundant array of originally-designed and meticulously-executed needlepoint tapestries.
Jill works full time in her studio/gallery—Sunnyfield Studio—on the very western border of Maine where she maintains an 18th century farmhouse, perennial flower gardens, heritage geese, a gallery which often shows work by other artists, and her studio. Her themes have developed from her interest in stained glass, Medieval times, and a reverance for trees, the environment, and nature. Join us for a reception and gallery talk on March 4 at Maine Fiberarts' Gallery, 13 Main Street, Topsham, ME 04086. FMI: 207-721-0678 For a sneak preview, visit the artist's website at www.sunnyfieldstudio.com
—Christine Macchi, Maine Fiberarts
From the Artist's Statement:
For nearly twenty-five years, I’ve been hand stitching needlepoint tapestries that have spanned the ages from Byzantine mosaics to Medieval stained glass and Renaissance paintings to 21st century nature pieces. It feels as though I have traveled through the ages to arrive at Sunnyfield and now have all of the inspiration I need when I look out the windows, sit by the barn, and walk through the fields and woods around our 18th century farm. Having been drawn to nature as a child, I’m producing work now that seems like “coming home.” And it is also very exciting to approach nature using this medium that feels alive with its vibrant color blending potential, its physical flexibility and the endless possibilities of needlepoint interpretation.
Needlepoint became a part of my life the way many take up a hobby to fill the long Maine winter nights, but I am not exaggerating when I say that it was love at first stitch! I completed the “Goddess of Music,” my second tapestry, as I was finishing nine years of giving private piano lessons; and in another life, I also managed my parents’ boarding kennel for twenty years before I started to work on my tapestries full time. In my self-portrait, “A Tapiter’s Life,” I have “collaged” the components of my life. They are stitched in fragments, and only the dragonfly is a completed form. The dragonfly is a symbol of transformation, and my life and its work were forever and beautifully altered when I met my husband and started my new life at Sunnyfield.
During the last decade, I have begun to explore the creative possibilities of re-inventing this traditional woman’s craft. I have ceased to view my art as limited to a two-dimensional plane and now envision it overhead, incorporating found objects from nature and in shapes and forms that re-define needlepoint as we know it. Recognizing that every day is a gift, I want to make every tapestry a stitched adventure.
—Jill A. Vendituoli