Friday, October 10, 2014

Field trip to Oscar de la Renta exhibit

THE OSCAR DE LA RENTA “Five Decades of Style” exhibit at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas became the destination for a group of DAFA fashion enthusiasts in September 2014. The special exhibit featured a retrospective of the American fashion designer’s work from his early years through his recent fashions.

The gowns on exhibit included daywear and evening dresses worn by many U.S. First Ladies, including Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton and Nancy Reagan. Glittering evening wear on exhibit included gowns designed for American celebrities.

De la Renta is among the most famous recipients of the Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion. The couture clothing was displayed in a special gallery that is part of the new presidential center on the SMU campus.

Left to right: DAFA president JoAnn Musso photographs colorful gowns showing cultural influences from places like Russia and India.  Elaborate embroidery on a white wool coat. The highly recognizable Oscar de la Renta signature and sketches.
Left to right: Among the fashions designed for members of First Families was Jenna Bush’s wedding dress (center). Detail of the wedding gown skirt and train. Visitors survey the central gallery, showing fashions designed for U.S. First Ladies. Suits created for Nancy Reagan are front and center in this frame.

Left to right: DAFA member Carol Regan photographs early fashions inspired by Oscar de la Renta’s time in Spain. A deep red gown worn by Hillary Clinton as First Lady. Detail picture of elaborate embellishments on an evening gown. One of many sparkling gowns designed to be worn on the "Red Carpet."
Posted by Carolyn Skei

Suzanne McNeill presents September '14 program

MIXED-MEDIA ARTIST AND DAFA MEMBER SUZANNE McNEILL was the guild’s guest presenter in September 2014. She shared, in depth, two of her favorite art techniques – Zentangles and Gelli Printing. Members learned some of the basics of “tangling” during the mini-workshop, when Suzanne led them in making unique peek-a-boo cards, using simple materials and intricate-looking Zentangle patterns.

The author of numerous books on all kinds of art techniques, Suzanne then presented a program focused on the recent use she has made of Zentangle techniques and Gelli plate prints in her colorful art. Sometimes the two techniques are combined in unique ways in her painted canvases and quilted pieces. She demonstrated for the crowd how she makes basic monoprints using the synthetic gelatin plate manufactured by Gelli Arts.

Left to right: Inspired by Suzanne’s samples, members try their skills at “tangling.” Suzanne displays a card with a peek-a-boo opening. Finished cards by several members.

Assisted by Tammi Daubenspeck, Suzanne displays a silk scarf with colorful Zentangle designs, an animal quilt with Gelli-printed fabrics, and a quilt featuring black and quite Zentangle threadplay.

Left and center: One of Suzanne’s painted canvases featuring Zentangle designs and a Zentangle-inspired portrait. Right: During Show & Tell, Leo Ransom displays two of his quilts, including a Jimi Hendrix portrait. Assisting are new members Charlene Lee and Vanessa Smith.
Posted by Carolyn Skei

Viewing "The Texas Experience" Quilts from SAQA

FOR DAFA'S AUGUST 2014 PROGRAM, Heather Pregger, coordinator of the North Texas unit of Studio Art Quilt Associates, brought DAFA members a touring collection of 12- x 12-inch quilts made by Texas SAQA members. The theme of the touring exhibit is “The Texas Experience.” The dozens of quilts will make the rounds to several venues around Texas and beyond. As the quilts were passed through the audience, members were able to examine the workmanship and design – admiring beautiful piecing, painting, applique, threadplay, image transfer and more.

During the mini-workshop timeslot, DAFA member Valery Guignon challenged participants to create “Spirit Dolls” from lovely scraps – many from her studio full of hand-dyed and hand-painted fabrics.

A bevy of beautiful Spirit Dolls made by members during the August mini-workshop led by Valery Guignon. Photos by Patricia Dillingham.

Left: Deborah Boschert holds up one of the small quilts as she assists Heather Pregger in displaying the collection. Photo by Patricia Dillingham. Right: Heather discusses specific techniques with DAFA members at the end of the program.

Three quilts that drew many admiring glances were (left to right): “Fixin’ Fence” by Suzan Engler, “Hereford Calf” by Sara Sharp, and “It’s Not 1836 Anymore,” a Houston skyline by Hope Wilmarth. (Protected by plastic sleeves, the quilts could be passed from one audience member to another.)
Posted by Carolyn Skei

Learning from the Judges

Left to right: Teri Muse, Julio Suarez and Cynthia Padilla.

LISTENING TO THE CRITICS was the theme of DAFA’s June 2014 program. DFW-area artists Teri Muse, Cynthia Padilla, and Julio Suarez were the panelists assembled by DAFA program chair, Vet. They discussed the elements they consider when jurying and judging an art show. (Two of the three – Teri and Cynthia -- have recently juried DAFA member shows.) 

The discussion gave members the opportunity to learn what excites and interests trained artists as they examine the digital photographs presented to them in show entries – and then what moves them as they select winners once a show has been hung.