creative:impact - A Tapestry Of Artists Make A Gallery

Jun 8, 2021

Dualist III
Credit Cathryn Amidei

Like the distinct threads of a tapestry, 20-some individual artists have entwined for more than two decades to fashion the WSG Gallery. This artist-owned and operated gallery has withstood the winds of change and now a pandemic. Textile artist and member Cathryn Amidei takes us through WSG’s journey to the future when she joins Creative Washtenaw’s Deb Polich and WEMU’s David Fair on this week’s edition of "creative:impact."


Deb Polich, President and CEO of Creative Washtenaw

Creative industries in Washtenaw County add hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy.  In the weeks and months to come, 89.1 WEMU's David Fair and co-host Deb Polich, the President and CEO of Creative Washtenaw, explore the myriad of contributors that make up the creative sector in Washtenaw County.

ABOUT CATHRYN AMIDEI:

Since 2003, I have dedicated myself to Jacquard weaving. 

The matrix formed by weaving is the most real way I have to express what I observe and understand. The matrix is the place where things develop and emerge. The type of weaving I do - jacquard - offers me direct access to it. Direct Access is a very powerful concept that has changed the way I think about connections, and systems and interactions generally. Cloth, like us, may seem to be solid, but is in fact, composed of many discrete elements and is derived thru numerous processes and is also in a constant state of change. 

Cathryn Amidei
Credit Cathryn Amidei

My work is derived from photographs I have taken or drawings and “color smashings” I have made. I use these sources to weave pieces that have emotional and physical vitality. I develop texture, and color by dyeing the yarns myself, or making structures that generate color optically and finding materials that have energy. My ultimate goal is to create art that feels warm and connects at multiple levels.

It turns out that everything I have made is a study of movement, trajectories and change. Everything is in motion all the time. We are in motion - physically, emotionally and spiritually. I think about the trajectories of my threads and how they compare to the paths we take throughout our lives or in the course of a single day. I think about the tracks and trails of human migration, and that of creatures great and small, crossing the earth now and in the past. When I weave, I am in motion, throwing shuttles that carry lines on trajectories thru space, building a matrix that is both complex and simple, has a history and micro and macro realities. I think it is beautiful and also overwhelming to realize that we are on multiple trajectories all the time, shared, and colliding paths, moving at different speeds all at once. As an artist, I try to create work that illuminates the intersections, and collisions that occur as a result.

Open Field
Credit Cathryn Amidei

  

Cathryn holds an MFA in Textiles from Eastern Michigan University. She was Associate Professor there until 2018. She lived in Norway for a year working with the company that manufactures the loom (the TC2) that she uses to make her art and currently represents them for users in the U.S. She has traveled extensively installing, training, teaching and supporting TC2 users. She is the Director of the Digital Weaving Lab at Praxis Fiber Workshop in Cleveland Ohio. She is self-represented and has exhibited in the Unites States and abroad and will undertake commissions. Cathryn shows her work at WSG gallery in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Dualist III (cropped)
Credit Cathryn Amidei

  

ABOUT WASHINGTON STREET (WSG) GALLERY:

Still together! The artists and co-owners

  • Valerie Mann

  • Sara Adlerstein - Gonzalez

  • Barbara Brown

  • Elizabeth Schwartz

  • Francesc Burgos

  • Lynda Cole

  • Cathryn Amidei

  • Connie Cronenwett

  • Karin Wagner Coron

  • Adrienne Kaplan

  • Ted Ramsay

  • Takeshi Takahara

  • Nora Venturelli

  • Michelle A. Hegyi

March 2020 - we closed our doors on Main Street, Ann Arbor.

WSG Gallery on Main Street
Credit Cathryn Amidei

  

In October 2020, we moved into the UPSTAIRS Gallery at the Ann Arbor Art Center. We have been swapping shows monthly while also maintaining a strong online presence. You can enjoy our monthly online shows or buy art on our website. We are also on Instagram, and Facebook. We have also partnered with Artsy!

We plan to open our own doors again when we find that perfect place, when it is safe to do so.

Until then, we remain active and connected and most importantly together!

A bit of history…

WSGgallery is artist owned and operated. We are local artists living in or near Ann Arbor, Michigan. 

We are celebrating 20 years of Art in Ann Arbor. 

Voted Best Fine Arts Gallery, Ann Arbor, and Washtenaw County 2016, 2015, 2011, and 2009.

We show: paintings: abstract, figurative, landscape, watercolor, sculpture: ceramic, assemblage, cast bronze, installations; paper arts, book arts, fiber, jewelry, art glass, drawing, photography, printmaking

Named after the original location on Washington Street, WSG Gallery has maintained a presence in downtown Ann Arbor since 1999. First conceived by 12 local artists, the gallery evolves with the community. 

As 2020 launches, WSGgallery has 15 owner/members producing 9 shows annually. Our shows rotate every 6 weeks. Our annual calendar includes a featured artist show by one of our members along with work in the main gallery that includes work by Visiting Artists. We also produce 2 shows that feature the work of invited artists: our annual Holiday Show and this year 15 + 15 : a show featuring the work of artists we admire. This is a tradition of 16 years of amazing local art.

Original Home of Washington Street Gallery
Credit Cathryn Amidei

  

The Original Home of Washington Street Gallery

In 2003, the gallery moved to Liberty Street. The first opening was Valentine’s Day.

In 2008, The gallery moved again to 306 S. Main street. 

First opening in the new location - March 7, 2008. 

Member Roster: Norma Penchansky-Glasser, Barbara Brown, Marilyn Prucka, Martha Rock Keller, Nora Venturelli, Adrienne Kaplan, Marlee Hoffman, Elizabeth Schwartz, Valerie Mann, Nina Hauser, Middy Potter, Dee Ann Segula, Alvey Jones, Jean Lau, Michelle A. Hegyi, Lynda Cole

 

RESOURCES:

WSG Gallery

WSG Gallery on Facebook

WSG Gallery on Twitter

WSG Gallery on Instagram

Cathryn Amidei

Cathryn Amidei: The Process

Cathryn Amidei on Facebook

Cathryn Amidei on Instagram

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu