Friday, June 10, 2011

Community Arts Center presents tapestries by Sheila O'Hara

HANCOCK -- The Copper Country Community Arts Center is honored to present the June exhibit: "Strands of Time," handwoven jacquard tapestries by Sheila O’Hara, in the Kerredge Gallery through July 2, 2011.

Chief of the Desert - Navaho - jacquard tapestry by Sheila O'Hara, 2010. 35 x 20 inches. (Photos © Sheila O'Hara and courtesy Copper Country Community Arts Center)

O’Hara’s exhibition includes her new series inspired by Edward Curtis's early 1900s photogravure prints of Native American Indians as well as her own designs depicting lush landscapes surrounding her California home. Her exhibit at the Community Arts Center coincides with the Midwest Weavers' Conference, "Northern Wefts," where she will give the keynote address and teach three-day and one-day workshops. The conference, hosted by the Buellwood Weaver and Fiber Guild, will take place at Finlandia University June 20-25.

A Pomo Girl, tapestry by Sheila O'Hara.

The public is invited to come and meet visiting artist Sheila O’Hara at a reception from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, June 23, with a gallery talk at 4:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

When Sheila O'Hara was a child, her mom sent her off with two of her sisters to the Josephine D. Randal Junior Museum in San Francisco to take summer art classes. She remembers they would ride the streetcar to Market and Castro Streets and climb the steep hill to the museum where she took drawing, ceramics, jewelry making, and weaving for several summers. Everything about weaving seemed to suit her well, and she continued with it through high school and into college. She earned her BFA in 1976 at the California College of Arts and Crafts -- where she studied with such textile artists as Inger Jensen, Kay Sekimachi, and Barbara Shawcroft.

The Blanket Weaver - Navaho - by Sheila O'Hara, 2010. 29 by 20 inches.

Sheila O'Hara's tapestries have appeared in both national and international exhibits, including the 13th International Biennial in Lausanne, Switzerland, and a one person exhibition at the Center for Tapestry Arts, New York, NY. Publications featuring her art include The New York Times, American Craft, Metropolis and Fiberarts Magazine. Corporations, museums and private individuals that have her artwork in their collections include A,T and T, San Francisco; Lloyds Bank International, NY; the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design, NY; the American Craft Museum, NY; The Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA. Her informative and entertaining lectures and workshops have been given in Canada, Germany, Australia, and all over the United States. Since 1996, O'Hara has taught classes at several California colleges. Her expertise in jacquard weaving has provided her with many interesting assignments such as helping Sevinch and Company in Cairo get their AVL hand jacquard loom set up and running and participating in a Textile Symposium for Jacquard Weaving Teachers at the Lisio Foundation in Florence, Italy.

Konocti Calligraphy, cotton and lurex handwoven jacquard tapestry by Sheila O'Hara, 2008. 30 x 40 inches.

This exhibit is supported in part by a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. The Copper Country Community Arts Center is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Saturday 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. For more information call (906) 482-2333 or visit the website

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