Once you stepped into Pepe Hall, you couldn’t help but smile. Every wall and table was filled with electrically stimulating work ranging from texture and pattern swatches and textiles to illustrations and process books created by the overwhelming talent of the Fibers students.
When browsing the wall spaces allotted to each student in the graduate room, no two walls were alike, making strong statements in each student’s use of hues, patterns, textures and construction. Each collection of work invited passersby to stop and embark on a journey through their artistry, see the world through their eyes. Seeing the proud, bright smiles of the students presenting their work encouraged others, filled them to overflow with the joy of bringing life to one’s ideas.
Even the behind-the-scenes display of senior process books (my favorite room) reassured that the sometimes frustrating, most times messy, non-linear development of an idea is not only worth going through but absolutely essential. Creativity is messy and the honest presentation of this productive confusion emphasizes the “open” in Open Studio Night.
It showed the dedication to one’s craft and to being genuine and forthright. After talking to textile designer Chhavi Kashyap about her lively textile, full of navy blues, mustard yellows, light olive greens in organic brushstrokes and patterns, she explained that it came about through her daily creative exercises. Spread across the table were small square swatches of similar colors with various twigs, acorns and other fauna sewed on top. It was a happy friendship between color and nature, nature and textile. I couldn’t quite explain it but I suddenly wanted it everywhere in my home I didn’t have.
This feeling of evocative connection between artist and viewer, between viewer and the work, between artist and their work is what made Fibers Open Studio Night such an enriching and impactful experience. I strolled back to my dorm with my best friend, amid the cool, lavender atmosphere of a post-storm Savannah, inspired and content and ready to throw some colors on some fabric and quickly realize why I’m not a Fibers major. No, I’m not a Fibers major, but those that are weave nothing short of magic.
Written by Ka’Dia Dhatnubia
Photo by CoCo Hubbeling