The beginnings.

Story Project

The Story of Fiber Art in Maine

You may have heard of the huge project that’s underway here at MAINE FIBERARTS. It has a very long title, "The Story of Fiber Art in Maine During the Past Half Century as Told by the Artists through Interviews, Retrospective Photo Galleries, and Historical Archives.”  We are calling it "The Story Project" for short. 

Read some of the stories we have posted now:

Here are a few quoted paragraphs showing how we described the project in our proposal:

"Our project examines the evolutionary changes in contemporary fiber art in Maine during the past half century. Having witnessed these changes in our own lives and work, while noting interest in this field from young and emerging artists who weren't part of this period, we feel a creative, informative, visual retrospective compendium of ideas, artwork, studios and philosophies is warranted."

"Our project activities will include in-person interviews of artists in their studios or by phone or Zoom. We will be photographing their studios and artwork, and will be researching and collecting existing photographs from prior decades. We will encourage artists to tell their own stories—detailing their backgrounds and their entry into the art world, and how they see the origin and continuation of their ideas. We plan to contract key artists, art critics, historians and journalists who may have writings pertinent to the period."

The past half century was not so long ago for some of us. Remember 1972 for example. I had only been knitting for five years, making top down raglan sweaters for my five year old daughter. What were you doing in 1972? If you are an artist, what was your early work like compared to the work you do now? How did you enter the fiber art world? Do you have stories to tell about your perspective on the evolution of fiber art during the past 50 years?

1972 is just a starting place, we are interested in the whole period, from 1972, through the 80s, into the 90’s, the turn of the century and on through the next 22 years until today.

Although Maine Fiberarts was only funded for half the amount we requested in our budget for this project, with the help of many generous donors, we are going to try to fulfill most of the plans we made:

“The Story of Fiber” will include the following:

  • stories and photographs posted on our Fiber Folio website;
  • retrospective digital galleries for important artists;
  • commemorative galleries of posthumous work;
  • slide presentations that travel to museums, libraries, or historical societies;
  • a major exhibition and Artists’ Talk held at Maine Fiberarts; and
  • an illustrated record in a portfolio book.

"These materials will create a lasting record available to thousands of people both within Maine and beyond and will engender awareness and recognition for the artists and the field of fiber art."

Please let us know of your interest in participating in this project either as an artist, an historian, an art critic, a journalist, or just want to recommend someone for us to contact, or something we should research.