In celebration of the First Friday Art Tour sponsored by the Indianapolis Downtown Artists and Dealers Association (IDADA), I visited The Language and Culture International Gallery (158 E. 14th Street) on April 2 for INfiber’s opening reception. INfiber is “an association of working fiber artists in central Indiana who regularly meet to promote professional development through networking, educational programs, critiquing sessions, and exhibit opportunities.” Techniques include, but aren’t limited to, hand dyeing, hand painting, machine and hand embroidery, beading, stamping, and batik.

Holy color, Batman! The gallery was full of reds, pinks, and a bustier-esque piece that floated off the wall in seafoam-green arcs. Works were shot through with thread that was an exhibit in itself (It's multicolored! It turns, it twists! It’s shiny!), and oftentimes several materials were combined in one, small work. One piece in particular married canvas duck (a type of durable fabric), string, paper, silk gauze, photocopies, acrylic paint, crayon, ink, gesso, AND polymer medium. That's my kind of art — throw a bunch of material at something and see what happens.

The most striking piece I saw was “Shame” by Mezzie Ash, whose quilt-like fabric featured a Bible and a pair of eyes staring from beneath a white KKK hood. Above the fabric, a thick tree branch and a noose. My breath stopped in my throat and I instinctively reached for the goddess necklace that I always wear. I winced when I inadvertently tightened the cord around my neck.

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