Skip to main content

Museum of Contemporary Art: Crochet!

Monday, November 25, 2013
First off, Happy Anniversary to the love of my life, Alan Kinsler!

A pictorial essay on our trip to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, recently. The photos pretty much tell it all!

After a pleasant but chilly trip on the El to downtown, we stopped for hot chocolate first!
Hershey's, Ghiradelli's??
Ghiradelli's, Hershey's???
We opted for Hershey's because we'd been to Ghiradelli's before. Delish!

Dutes Miller crocheting with Coats pink "Pound of Love"
He throws the yarn and does a "made up" single crochet
Dutes told me that he and his partner Stan Shellabarger learned to crochet just for this project, but that they only know the one stitch they are using. Note: Red Heart "Pound of Love" under the chair.

Close up of Dutes crocheting
A very congenial couple, Dutes also told me that they started this project ten years ago as a symbol of their connection, their relationship. When they started with the foundation chain, they literally sat knee to knee and we both crocheting on opposite sides of the chain. As it grew, they were able to crochet simultaneously. The choice of the color pink symbolizes "skin" and the intestine-like tube symbolizes their corporal connection also. They have been together for 17 years.

Stan Shellabarger on the other end of the 80-foot crocheted tube
I walked to the other end to speak to Stan. he's got the hang of single crochet; unlike Dutes who adds an extra chain in-between finishing his sc! No worries; it's art....? He works consistently and he's creating a tube.
Stan Shellabarger crocheting single crochet
Stan told me that they have many satisfying conversations with viewers. "Crocheting is so familiar and it evokes memories that people want to share." The couple crochets about two feet of tube during each performance. I asked Stan if he ever had wrist problems and he told me had once been a carpenter. "This work is a piece of cake compared to some of the rough and heavy work I've done with my hands in the past," he explained.

Viewers amazed by this "performance"


Untitled (Pink Tube): view from one story up
Sometimes the couple sits close together and other times they sit far apart, as shown here. Stan told me that they have even sat in separate rooms with the tube streaming between them. In many places along the tube, it looks faded due to the use of different dye lots in the yarn.

Obviously, these two have minimal interest in learning more of the finer details of crochet or they would have done so by now. They have been crocheting the same stitch (single crochet) for ten years,  periodically exhibiting their "performance" and growing this pink tube! Does an artist have to have a passion or the skills for the technique they are using in order for it to be art?

Does the fact that the tube is now huge and that they have lugged it to various public venues make this art?



We encountered a bonus that day at the museum: Andy Warhol and Alexander Calder both has exhibits on view!!

Alexander Calder
Calder Mobiles


We encountered this sculpture upon leaving the museum:





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

CGOA Celebrates 20 Years ~ Part 3: Juried Crochet Art Exhibits

Saturday, March 29, 2014



In August 1994, I hosted 90 avid crocheters for a weekend conference at De Paul University in Chicago that included classes taught by Bill Elmore, Joan Davis, Arlene Mintzer and more;  a Keynote Address by Sylvia Landman (Crafting for Dollars); a lecture by Annie Potter; marketplace, meals together, door prizes a plenty. An optional tour of Lake Michigan on the Spirit of Chicago was offered along with an optional post conference workshop with Pauline Turner. The most ambitious of all during the weekend was the Juried Exhibit of Crochet Art.
At the time, I firmly believed that crochet art was an amazing way to educate people about the vast possibilities of crochet. It is amazing to see what can be achieved with just a hook and flexible lines from many, many materials. Today I still hold the same belief: crochet is as varied as the crocheter who does it. Crochet art, however, moves and amazes even the most seasoned professionals when they see how artists apply t…

Blogging is My Comfort Zone

June 18, 2012 I have not blogged in over a month...this is very unusual for me. May was an incredibly busy family month with my birthday, Mother's Day, my dad's birthday and my grandson's baptism, plus some weekend travels. I started writing for Examiner.com on the Crocheting Chicago channel and I think I put all my energy into writing there instead of here. Today, I came to my blog not knowing what I wanted to write about, but I found it to be a place of comfort, of familiarity. Once I was here, I found it easy to start writing. Today I wrote about the Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair for Examiner.com and it's where I'll be this weekend. I am excited to say that I had two art-wear pieces juried into the Garment Extravaganza: Floral Profusion shawl and Orange Sensation: Also my Coral Reef Sculpture was accepted into the Fine Art Exhibit!Coral reef Sculpture detailDetail two Of late, I've put myself on a strict diet of FOs (Finished Ob…

Wartime Crochet With Attitude, Part I

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Karen Ballard and I have a mutual love of free form crochet. We met for the first time in a class taught by Prudence Mapstone of Australia at the Chain Link Crochet Conference 2011. I admire Karen's vast knowledge of needle work history and am grateful for her willingness to share with us as my guest blogger this week.
World War 1 Attitudes About Crochet by Karen Ballard
In 2008, I coined that term, "Workbasket Campaigns" to describe the organized efforts during World War I (WWI) and World War II (WWII) coordinated through the American Red Cross {ARC} and the Navy League to create needle crafted items.  These items were mostly knitted but also sewn, quilted, and crocheted for, or in support of, the military, wounded, allies, refugees, and the patriotic home-front. This effort was a significant: contribution of enormous numbers of needed items to those in war-torn areas and of improved morale for those on the home-front.  
As a crocheter, I real…