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The Exhibit by Seven American Lithuanian Fiber Artists “DISTANT / CLOSE LAND”

2008 May 9 @ 17:00 - 2008 June 13 @ 12:00

Participating Artists:
Regina Palaityte – Benson
Ada Sutkuviene
Magdalena Birute Stankuniene
Liucija J. Kryzeviciene – Hutcheon
Donna Rhae Prusaite – Marder
Ina Nenortiene
Zita Sodeikiene

In order to overcome the difficulty of establishing oneself as an artist in the USA after World War II, it was important for artists to form groups and organizations.

The Lithuanian American Women’s Artists Association was one of those organizations in Chicago. The Association was very active in presenting shows, publishing catalogues and assisting fellow artists. The Lithuanian American Women’s Artists Association is still in existence and serves to connect all women artists irrespective of their media: ceramics, fiber, print, paint or clay.  In other US cities enterprising Lithuanian women artists participate in local shows and galleries.

This show is to highlight well established and acknowledged international fiber artists and their styles and techniques.

Donna Rhae Prusaite-Marder has been using domestic themes, materials and methods to create artwork for over twenty years. Her poetic, often humorous, and rigorously conceived works are informed by an education in Fine Arts and Art History from the University of Chicago.  All of her work uses a sewing machine as a sculptural tool and the debris of daily life as the material of art. Marder refers to herself jokingly as an indigenous suburbanite trying to make use of native materials. The artist addresses conservation issues that arise from using found materials by testing and de-acidifying all of her papers. Otherwise she believes that the changes, over time, in her works are merely reflective of  “the way life is.”

Magdalena Birute Stankuniene was born in 1925 in the Oželiai farmstead, in the Šunskai, in Lithuania. She attended high school in Marijampolė. From 1944 to 1960 the artist lived in Germany and England, where she studied dress design. She also studied at St. Martin’s Art Academy in London. In 1960 Magdalena moved to Chicago. Here she attended various art schools. Since 1968 she has been participating in individual and group exhibitions.

Abstract details of women’s clothing, kerchiefs and skirts are predominant in her batik works. Varnish, chalk and oil paints are applied on the wax-processed cloth to enrich it with subtle hues in order to Express her preference to the highly decorative styles.

The predominant conceptual reality with which Stankūnienė is preoccupied in her art is the ever-elusive idea of the Beautiful.

Zita Sodeikiene born in Jurbarkas, Lithuania in 1934, she spent several years in southern Germany before coming to the United States in 1949. She is a graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago with a diploma in advertising design and she later expanded her studies to include fine arts. She uses multiple media and techniques including drawing, painting, and fabrics and has illustrated several books. She has participated in group and solo shows throughout the U.S. and Lithuania and in Canada and Taiwan. Her prize-winning works comment on the human race and human nature throughout history – often using symbolism and surrealism including the juxtaposition of historic images in new and unexpected contexts.

Textile artist Liucija J. Kryzeviciene-Hutcheon created  “Chicago Night”  shining city lights rising to the rythm and song of Ravel’s “Bolero”.  Remenicient of Claude Monet’s impressionism at play.  She strives to create those illusions in the textile medium, as only a master painter can.  The structure of contemporary art, textile mastery and technique, harmonize breathlessly in her work.

A frequent exhibitor in European shows, participant in group shows in Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Russia, Yugoslavia, Italy, Malta, Mexico and many other countries.  Textiles, watercolor, monotypes  are just a small part of Liucija J. Kryževičienė – Hutcheon creative biography.  She is currently a member of the Lithuanian American artists association, having moved to Chicago in 2000.

Ina Nenortiene was born on 1929 in Radviliškis, Lithuania. Her education spanned the start of primary school in Kedainai, Lithuania to graduation from a gymnasium in Germany. Ina graduated from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts as a Registered Occupational Therapist and has lived in Boston for over 55 years.

From her youth, Ina was interested in all types of art. She studied ceramics and jewelry design at the Museum of Fine Arts School in Boston and weaving with master ethnographic weavers Anastasia and Antanas Tamošaitis in Canada.Creating jewelry and decorative objects by enameling on copper and silver monopolized Ina’s interest for over 20 years. She exhibited her work in Boston, New York, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Toronto and also tought enameling.

Ina started quilting in 1985. she is a member of the Quilter’s Connection in Boston and is an honorary member of the Ruta and Urte quilting clubs in Lithuania, where she helped to introduce quilting. She has won three quilting awards for Best Design. Ina has shown her work in individual exhibits in Vilnius, Lithuania (2004), Chicago (2006), Boston (2007).

In her quilts Ina uses hand-dyed as well as commercial fabrics. She uses a wide mariety of materials in her designs, including beads, buttons, photo transfers, yarn, lint and paint as well as other new techniques. Her subjects mattes is often Lithuanian folklore, traditions and nature.

Regina Palaityte-Benson is Lithuanian born and primarily self-taught artist working in the textile medium creating wall hangings and dimensional textile sculptures using her own surface designed cloth.  Regina designs and fabricates textile works that seem to float on walls and off ceilings.  She uses her painterly cloth to incorporate allusions to her subjects’ aspects, inviting the viewer to share the visual and physical space.

Regina Benson’s designs on cloth emanate from the manipulation of and intentional mark-making on silk, rayon and industrial polyesters. Her work frequently starts with a solid black cloth, from which she discharges the dye, utilizing soy wax and starch paste resists; then she overdyes and rusts the surface further with natural, disperse and acid dyes to elicit additional images and textures.  These markings are then oversewn, seared and subjected to encaustic processes, to complete her vision.

Ada Sutkuviene was born in Klovainiai, Lithuania,1931. Studied art at Immaculate Heart College, CA, Art Students League and Pratt Institute, NYC. Worked for Mosaic Tile Co., and Valeska Church Art Studio, Chicago. Participated in numerous group exhibits with watercolors, ceramics, prints, mosaics and fiber art; several one person shows as well. In 1986, awarded the Vydunas Youth Fund prize; 1987 was given a prize for art achievement by the Lithuanian American Community Cultural Council. Her work can be found in museums, the Library of Congress and private collections. She is a member of NIAA and Lithuanian-American Women Artists Association.