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Linda Horsley

Japanese Meisen Kimono & Needle Festival Tributes at HorsleyArts Gallery

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Wendy Wees Surface Design Association Milo Duke Meisen Kimono Linda Horsley Innovations in Textiles 2019 Horsley Arts

Every 4 years Innovations in Textiles, a celebration of contemporary fiber art and its makers, takes place in the St. Louis area. Starting in August, over 45 regional non-profit and private art galleries, art organizations, museums, curators and educators have collaborated on exhibitions and programs to showcase contemporary fiber art, textiles and fashion.

This Friday, September 27, CWE-based artists Wendy Wees, above, her husband Milo Duke (see earlier post here), and Linda Horsley (see post here) are presenting Japanese Meisen Kimono & Needle Festival Tributes at HorsleyArts Gallery, 4374 Olive St. from 5 to 8 p.m

Additional textile exhibitions can be found at Duane Reed Gallery, Barrett Barrera Projects,  St. Louis Art Museum, Contemporary Art Museum, and 25 other venues (information here).

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Wendy Wees Surface Design Association Milo Duke Meisen Kimono Linda Horsley Innovations in Textiles 2019 Horsley Arts

Wendy Wees began collecting kimono in 1980. From 1986 to 2006 she was gallery assistant for Kagedo Japanese Art in Seattle. Kagedo specializes in fine Japanese art, with a focus on the transition to modernism from the end of the 19th through the 20th century.  During her years with Kagedo, Wees had the opportunity to acquire an inspiring and eclectic group of textiles including hand-woven Tamba-fu, Oshima silk, and Asa, cloth woven from bast fiber.

For this exhibition, Wees chose 20 meisen kimono from her collection of 50 Japanese kimono and textiles.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Wendy Wees Surface Design Association Milo Duke Meisen Kimono Linda Horsley Innovations in Textiles 2019 Horsley Arts

When they were first created in the early to mid-20th century, meisen kimono, examples above and below, represented a huge textile innovation. Following WW I mechanization brought new spinning, chemical dyeing, and weaving technologies to the fashion industry in Japan. During that period textile designers were inspired by bright colors and bold geometric designs found in Western art movements including Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Abstract Art. They enjoyed a huge following among young urban working women who loved their bright colors and lower cost.

I learned so many more fascinating things about meisen kimono on my visit to Wees’ and Duke’s CWE studio. Meisen patterns are stenciled onto warp threads prior to weaving. Unmarried women wore big, bright patterns. And, I learned, there is a difference in how the sleeves on men’s and women’s kimono were constructed. Women’s kimono have open sleeves that serve as pockets, while men’s sleeves are sewn closed.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Wendy Wees Surface Design Association Milo Duke Meisen Kimono Linda Horsley Innovations in Textiles 2019 Horsley Arts

After World War II meisen fell out of fashion, and currently only a few artisans produce this fabric. By the end of the 1950s there was a decline in kimono wearing altogether.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Wendy Wees Surface Design Association Milo Duke Meisen Kimono Linda Horsley Innovations in Textiles 2019 Horsley Arts

Nevertheless, over the past decade meisen kimono have seen a resurgence in popularity. Some museums have assembled meisen collections, and art collectors use them as wall art.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Wendy Wees Surface Design Association Milo Duke Meisen Kimono Linda Horsley Innovations in Textiles 2019 Horsley Arts

A related exhibition will also be on view at HorsleyArts Gallery this Friday. Linda Horsley has created an homage, above left, to Hari-Kuyo, the Festival of Broken Needles, a 400-year-old Japanese memorial service held to comfort the spirits of old or broken needles. People bring needles that were used during the previous year to designated Shinto Shrines and Buddhist Temples to celebrate the service of these small inanimate objects.

Visitors to the gallery are welcome to bring their bent and broken needles and place them on the shrine to honor this tradition.

There is also Of Pins and Needles, an homage to Sewists (sew+artists). The artists have topped knitting needles with unusual clay sculptures (see middle photo above).

Japanese Meisen Kimono & Needle Festival Tributes opens at HorsleyArts Gallery, 4374 Olive St., Friday, September 27 from 5 to 8 p.m. Until the exhibition closes on November 2, viewing is by appointment, (314) 243-3879. The gallery will also be open during the international Surface Design Association’s biennial event October 3 to 6. SDA is partnering with St. Louis-based Innovations in Textiles 2019.

Finally, Wendy Wees is interested in selling her collection of 50 Japanese kimono and textiles. For information, contact her at weeswendy@hotmail.com.

Artists Wendy Wees & Milo Duke at Horsley Arts Thursday

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Wendy Wees Seattle Milo Duke Linda Horsley Kogedo Gallery Horsley Arts Central West End 54th St. Atelier

Wendy Wees and Milo Duke, artists who moved to the CWE from Seattle last April, are exhibiting their work at Horsley Arts, 4374 Olive Street, this Thursday, March 1 from 4 to 8 p.m. Linda Horsley, proprietor of the newest gallery in the neighborhood, met the artists when she too was living in Seattle.

When the couple, who have been married for 25 years, were thinking about retirement, they chose St. Louis.  Seattle has gotten very expensive, and zoning requirements discourage living and working in the same space, which would have meant additional rent for an art studio. Wendy grew up in St. Louis, went to Ladue High School and earned her BA in Art and Art Education from Webster University. She still has family here, another reason to want to return.

They moved to a loft building in the CWE that was designed by Wendy’s great-grandfather, J. L. Wees. “We snapped this place up as soon as we saw it,” Wendy said. “We already knew the building from previous visits, and fell in love with this unit. I can’t imagine what this would have cost in Seattle.” The pair have designated a light-filled north-facing room as their art studio. I asked how they’ve adapted to working side-by-side. Milo replied, “Our art feeds off each other.”

Wendy and Milo mentioned several times how much they love the architecture in St. Louis—”they don’t have many brick buildings like this in Seattle.” They are also blown away by the art scene, and mentioned the surprising mix of generations involved. Last summer, Milo had a showing at the Soulard Art Gallery and met two younger artists who were exhibiting at the same time. They’ve kept in touch and are now collaborating on a project that Wendy’s become involved in too.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Wendy Wees Seattle Milo Duke Linda Horsley Kogedo Gallery Horsley Arts Central West End 54th St. Atelier

Shown above are two paintings from Wendy’s Bird Series, which will be on view at Horsley Arts. The aforementioned love of brick buildings are prominent in each.

Wendy, who lived in Seattle for 38 years, met her husband-to-be at a science fiction convention. Sci fi had been an interest of hers since high school, and years later she illustrated pages in Fantasy, Horror, Supernatural for Arbor House.  She also took classes at the Gage Academy in Seattle and taught at the 54th Street Atelier, which Milo had founded. Wendy’s art has been exhibited at the Seattle Art Museum, Frye Art Museum, Gunnar Nordstrom Gallery, and other galleries in Washington & Oregon.

In addition to working as an artist, Wendy became a gallery assistant for a wholesale Japanese kimono business, which later became the Kagedo Gallery, an internationally-known authority on Japanese art. For the past 10 years she worked for the Seattle Art Museum.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Wendy Wees Seattle Milo Duke Linda Horsley Kogedo Gallery Horsley Arts Central West End 54th St. Atelier

Milo, whose art is shown above, got into the field in a really remarkable way. He became a public defender right out of law school, and then went to work for the #1 criminal defense attorney in Seattle. In the midst of a trial, he had what he described as an “epiphany moment,” wondering what he was doing defending people he didn’t care for. He gave up the practice of law in 1980, did an about face and became a street artist, much to the chagrin of his parents and the firm he left.

Milo set his art up at Pike Place Market, which was undergoing a renaissance at the time. On his second day on the streets he met a few artists from Holland and the East Coast. They banded together and decided to set up alongside each other to form an art gallery of sorts at the market.  They sold more art that way and the competition between them made them better artists, Milo said.

The artists became known as the Dharmic Engineers. Over the years they were involved in group shows and collaborations with other artists, dancers, and poets on performances, music albums and movies. Milo went on to teach at the Gage Academy in Seattle and as mentioned above, founded the 54th St. Atelier, where he taught art.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Wendy Wees Seattle Milo Duke Linda Horsley Kogedo Gallery Horsley Arts Central West End 54th St. Atelier

Milo has worked in watercolor, oil & acrylic painting, woodcut relief printmaking, photography, model making, book design and publication. Wendy is currently working on what she calls “Vertical Verses,” which contain asemic writing. Milo realized he was also incorporating asemic writing into some maps he is making, an example of how they draw inspiration from one another. Learn more about asemic writing here.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Wendy Wees Seattle Milo Duke Linda Horsley Kogedo Gallery Horsley Arts Central West End 54th St. Atelier

More photographs of the studio, above.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Wendy Wees Seattle Milo Duke Linda Horsley Kogedo Gallery Horsley Arts Central West End 54th St. Atelier

Wendy uses Melitta coffee filters for her morning coffee and then turns the filters—coffee stains and all—into art, above.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Wendy Wees Seattle Milo Duke Linda Horsley Kogedo Gallery Horsley Arts Central West End 54th St. Atelier

Milo is shown in front of his portrait of St. Luke, the patron saint of painters. Milo has painted a whole series of saints, which has been shown extensively. One of his spiritual paintings was featured in Redeeming Beauty, a 2007 national touring exhibition that began at the National Shrine in D. C.  “It’s interesting,” he said, “since I’m not a Catholic.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Wendy Wees Seattle Milo Duke Linda Horsley Kogedo Gallery Horsley Arts Central West End 54th St. Atelier

A second floor space is devoted to Milo’s maquettes (small modelswhich he started working on when his 2 sons were young. He also used maquettes as teaching tools in his art classes.  Top 2 photos: He’s holding a figure he made of Leonardo DaVinci. The maquette is called The Drawing Lesson, and features miniature machines Milo built based on Leonardo DaVinci’s designs. Bottom Left, a model of Africa. Below Right: Traffic on Mars. The turtle, lower right, is sporting a camera, a “slow motion camera,” Milo said.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Wendy Wees Seattle Milo Duke Linda Horsley Kogedo Gallery Horsley Arts Central West End 54th St. Atelier

More vignettes from the artists’ loft including bottom right, the paint rags which Wendy uses to clean her brushes, works of art themselves.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Wendy Wees Seattle Milo Duke Linda Horsley Kogedo Gallery Horsley Arts Central West End 54th St. Atelier

And finally, a “Kura” (a collection of boxes), tucked under the stairs with a painting by St. Louisan William Burton placed on top. Wendy began collecting the Japanese boxes when she worked at the Kagedo Gallery. Wealthy Japanese would keep their valuable possessions in individual boxes called “tomobako.” The contents might be labeled with a poem or a drawing, and the treasures within would be brought out seasonally. Wendy and Milo continue to use the Kura for storage.

For more information, contact Wendy Wees: weeswendy@hotmail.com, or Milo Duke at milotwduke@gmail.com. Better yet, stop by and welcome them to the neighborhood this Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. at Horsley Arts, 4378 Olive Street (east of Taylor, near Jackson Piano).

Welcome Horsley Gallery to the CWE art scene

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  projects+gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Rice Linda Horsley Left Bank Books Houska Gallery Horsley Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Central West End Association Central West End Candle Fusion Studio Bill Christman
Artist Linda Horsley

Plan to head out early this Friday evening, April 7, as there’s lots going on in the neighborhood and you won’t want to miss the action.  All the galleries in the Euclid-McPherson arts district are hosting openings. The list includes CWEnder Nancy Rice’s intricate paintings which will be featured at Duane Reed Gallery, Philip Slein exhibits artists Valerie Jauden and Chuck Webster, projects+gallery is launching Transparency Shade: Seeing Thru The Shadow, and Houska Gallery has someone on the books (the “who” has not yet been announced).

Look for a long line at Left Bank Books Friday where Chelsea Clinton will be signing copies of her book, It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired, Get Going, about how anyone can make a difference. The ticketed event starts at 5:30 ($11 admits family of 4 & includes paperback copy, $21 for hard cover).  In addition, The Candle Fusion Studio, 4742 McPherson Ave., is hosting the Central West End Association’s 1st Friday Happy Hour from 5 to 7 p.m.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  projects+gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Rice Linda Horsley Left Bank Books Houska Gallery Horsley Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Central West End Association Central West End Candle Fusion Studio Bill Christman

April 7 also brings the opening of a brand-new gallery, Horsley Arts, located at 4374 Olive (between Taylor & Newstead Aves.), above, to the neighborhood art scene. Stop by between 5 and 8 p.m. to meet proprietor/exhibiting artist Linda Horsley, shown in photograph at top, whose beautiful paintings of arresting, dream-like subjects will be on view along with Bill Christman’s fabulous robot sculptures and art signage.

Horsley lived in Seattle for 12 years where she taught at the Art Institute of Seattle and Cornish College. Before moving to the northwest she worked at the City Museum and taught art in various locations around St. Louis. She returned to St. Louis last August and was thrilled to find a location to open her own gallery in the CWE.

When asked why she decided to move back to St. Louis, she explained:

“There wasn’t the connection of a community in Seattle.  Oh yes, it has a beautiful environment, but it is becoming over-populated. St. Louis has both passionate people and artists, and the physical landscape and buildings are part of the everyday charm that I absolutely love.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  projects+gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Rice Linda Horsley Left Bank Books Houska Gallery Horsley Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Central West End Association Central West End Candle Fusion Studio Bill Christman

Horsley’s corner painting, above, “There aren’t many artists who create art for this application,” she said.

I attended an informal gathering at Horsley Arts several weeks ago where an established CWE artist said that she admires Horsley’s way with color. Though she works in oils, her soft colors look like watercolors.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  projects+gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Rice Linda Horsley Left Bank Books Houska Gallery Horsley Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Central West End Association Central West End Candle Fusion Studio Bill Christman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horsley has quite an impressive list of accomplishments including 6 public art works commissioned by the Downtown Seattle Association and Pike Place Market Foundation. She also created “Wild Rose Run,” a sculpture that is part of Bi-State’s Arts in Transit, St. Louis.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  projects+gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Rice Linda Horsley Left Bank Books Houska Gallery Horsley Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Central West End Association Central West End Candle Fusion Studio Bill Christman

Also exhibiting at Horsley Arts is St. Louis artist Bill Christman, who is both a fine artist specializing in sculpture, and a commercial artist specializing in design and sign making (he created the sign that hangs over Left Bank Books, for instance). Christman has his own gallery, Joe’s Cafe Gallery or “ars populi” in Skinker/DeBaliviere, which I wrote about several years ago (read it here).

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