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Blue Line’s latest is ‘edgy’ — for fiber art

Bay Area artists’ work on display for 3rd Saturday Art Walk
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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On one stand in the Blue Line Gallery sits a human bust covered with hundreds of teabags dyed bright green.

On a side wall hangs a framed creation of black straws interwoven into triangular designs. There’s also a white support bra made of papier-mâché. Confused yet?

Tony Natsoulas, a Sacramento-based sculpture artist, brought a new exhibit to Blue Line Gallery in Roseville called fiber/DIMENSIONS, which runs through Aug. 2. The art is a bit experimental, he said, and might lead to visitors questioning how each piece actually relates to fiber.

That’s the point: Give visitors the chance to interpret the art for themselves, with some guidance.

“The (art) suggests a woven quality of fiber,” said Julie Hirota, CEO of Roseville Arts, the nonprofit organization that runs the downtown gallery.

The Fiber/DIMENSIONS exhibit represents the creative vision of 29 mixed-media artists from the Bay Area. In 1990, a group of artists that had participated in a college fiber sculpture program launched a forum to sustain that momentum once the class ended.

“We developed a monthly schedule of discussions, critiques, tours, guest speakers and demonstrations, and have sponsored two art community symposia,” said founding member Beth Hartmann, in a press release.

Since then, their work has appeared in the most prestigious fiber arts magazines in the world, including Artweek, Fiberarts Magazine and Surface Design Journal.

Hirota — herself an accomplished textile artist — wanted to feature a fiber show at the Blue Line Gallery. Natsoulas, who has curated a handful of exhibits for the local gallery, knew of fiber/DIMENSIONS from designing the group’s website. Their work was a natural fit.

Hirota appreciates the risk and edginess of some of the pieces, such as a black and red fuzzy quilt made by a woman in her 80s. The quilt is fun and whimsical.

“You have these stereotypes (about) quilts,” Hirota said. “She turns that idea around. It throws you off.”

She said the various textures of the pieces on display are her favorite part of the exhibit. Natsoulas likes the way the art makes people think outside the box.

“(I like) the color, the cleverness of how they use the materials,” Natsoulas said. “They don’t use fiber in a traditional manner. I really like that.”

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.

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Blue Line Gallery presents fiber/DIMENSIONS
When:
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays until Aug. 2, and 3rd Saturday Art Walk public reception from 7-9 p.m. today
Where: Blue Line Gallery, 405 Vernon St. Suite 100 in Roseville
Cost: Free. Artwork for sale and portion of proceeds benefits Roseville Arts
Info: Call (916) 783-4117 or visit www.rosevillearts.org