Arts Gala Committee Names Signature Artist

The Arts Gala committee has chosen fiber/textile artist Maura Fox to be honored at Arts Gala: Connections on April 21.

We are so delighted to have Maura Fox join us as our Signature Artist. This year her piece, “Felted Flowers,” is a magnificent visual representation of our Arts Gala theme ‘Connections,’” explains Laura Appleby, Gallery Manager, Plainfield Library.  “Her part will be broken up into individual flowers for sale. It’ very unique opportunity to own a piece of this year’s signature piece.”

The Arts Gala is now in its fifth successful year and this sale/fundraiser is one of the largest indoor fine art events in Hendricks County. Visitors are expected from all over the state to view the gallery displays, experience artist demonstrations and purchase fine art.

Maura Fox

To distinguish this event, it was decided early on to select a particular art medium and theme to represent the exhibit each year.  In previous years, Arts Gala has highlighted photography, glass, abstract painting and ceramics.

“This year fiber art was selected because our theme is Connections and our goal is to bring art connections and artistic opportunities to everyone in our community,”explains Appleby.

Signature artist Maura Fox currently lives in Avon, Indiana. Fox uses the centuries-old textile art of wet felting to create wearable one-of-a-kind felted designs.  The process is technical yet she approaches each piece as a unique piece of art.  The vibrant colors of nature inspire her and brilliant color combinations can be seen in her work. She is in awe of the color blends and radiance that result when fine wool and silk are blended in this manner.

Fox comes from a family of artists and  has been creating things with her hands since she was a young child. She has studied wet felting under Thomas Horst, international felt designer of Horst Couture, and Sharon Milliner of Mt. Washington, Kentucky. She exhibits her art locally at the CCA Gallery in Carmel in the Arts and Design District and art festivals and shows throughout the year.

She has exhibited in the Plainfield Arts Gala since it’s inception and is honored to be the Signature Artist for the 2017 Gala. She creates her wearable fiber art in her studio which is in her home in Avon.

Thank you to our Arts Gala sponsor, Hendricks Regional Health, for their support of the 5th Annual Arts Gala: Connections.

Patrons of the Arts are invited to attend the 5th annual Starlight Reception, where “Felted Flowers” will be featured April 21 from 7 – 10 p.m. Fox will be in attendance and loves to discuss her work. There will also be live music, local craft beers, wines, and hors d’oeuvres.

The Arts Gala spans the weekend and will be open to the public Saturday, April 22 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 23 from 1 – 5 p.m. During these times expert docents will guide art lovers through the gallery and all artwork will be for sale.

This event will offer quality fine art such as original paintings in a variety of styles, glass, ceramics, woodworking, jewelry, textiles, and sculpture. This fundraiser benefiting the Friends of the Library is in support of  art projects and artist enrichment for all ages at the Library. In previous years funds went towards updating the Children’s Room and mental health events and awareness. This event has raised more than $24,000 for the Library.

More About Maura Fox’s Felting Process

Maura Fox uses the centuries-old textile art of wet felting to create wearable one of a kind felted designs. The process is technical yet Maura approaches each piece as a unique piece of art. The vibrant colors of nature inspire her and brilliant color combinations can be seen in her work. She is in awe of the color blends and radiance that result when fine wool and silk are blended in this manner.

2017 Signature Artist Maura Fox’s art piece Felted Flowers

Felting is one of the most basic and ancient ways of creating fabric. Nuno-felt is created by applying wool roving and other natural fibers to a finely woven fiber cloth such as silk. The wool roving is then worked into the silk with the help of soap, hot water, rubbing, squeezing, and throwing. The motion of rolling and pressing is strenuous but the rhythm is calming. The entire process extends over the course of a couple days. Only one piece can be made at a time. But before the piece can be laid on the table for felting, the silk and wool must be hand-dyed using the acid dye process and fixed by steam. All components must be completely dry before the designing of the piece begins. Creation of the piece begins with coverage of the base silk with thin wisps of roving and more tussah silk, angelina, and other shiny embellishments. The piece is wet down completely with soap and water so the process can begin, first gently massaging, then gradually increasing to rough squeezing and throwing. As the wool is gently coaxed by hand the fibers slip through the silk and link to each other creating a new garment without sewing, without needles or washing machine immersion. The resulting fabric is unique, flexible, durable and light as air.

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