IMG_0500 blue_green detail
IMG_0577 vineyard cropped
IMG_0047 cattails _upright
IMG_0576 blue snake cropped
meander upriver

Mary Flad

Fiber Artist

The fiber arts, and particularly the medium of woven tapestry, has been my primary mode of expression as a visual artist.  My interest began early in life.  About fifty years ago I began studying and exploring weaving, and a few years after that began to concentrate increasingly on tapestry, a rich and complex and demanding discipline.  I studied for a time with Margareta Grandin Nettles, a Swedish designer and weaver, and with her associate Hans Krondahl, also from Sweden. 

 

               Over time, I have completed somewhere in the range of a hundred pieces – some very small, others large enough to dominate the wall of a room.  About a dozen of these have been commissioned for specific places – churches or public buildings or private homes.

 

              

My life was devoted to other priorities than the arts for about twenty years, during the time that my four children were growing up, going to college, spreading their wings, and setting out on their various life paths.  A little more than a decade ago, I was able to return to the sphere of art and design, at just about the time when the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center was  established.  I was involved in its development, helping organize one of its first exhibits (of a number of fiber artists), and teaching a tapestry workshop at its space at 317 Main Street.  Between then and now, I have refined my skills and understanding of woven tapestry, participated in a number of exhibits, and completed several commissioned works.

 

               Perhaps the highlight of this period was the experience of demonstrating tapestry weaving at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City for three months in the spring of 2017, during the exhibit of the Barberini tapestries, Italian masterpieces of the 17th Century.

I am now at something of a turning point, and taking a bit of a sabbatical after completing the “Fallkill Falls” tapestry for Hudson River Housing’s new buildings on Rose Street this past spring.  I am thinking about experimenting with integrating other textile construction elements into the familiar framework of tapestry.  It will be interesting to see where this leads!

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meander upriver