Hillestad Gallery hosts stitched sculptural designs

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Hillestad Gallery hosts stitched sculptural designs

"Yard Zone 4" by Sarah Wagner (photo courtesy Sarah Wagner)

“Yard/Zone,” an exhibition of stitched sculptural forms by sculptor and installation artists Sarah Wagner of Detroit is showing through Sept. 5 at UNL’s Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery.

Wagner’s work concentrates attention on the dynamic relationships between the built and the increasingly unnatural world. The invisible forces at play in our world, such as radiation and her love of ecology have inspired her to explore exhibition venues as unnatural environments within which to create models for parallel worlds.

She investigates the interplay between urban ecologies and biological phenomena as manifest through endocrine disruption, genetic mutation, disruptions of social strata or re-greening. These concepts are particularly evident in her work, “The Ark of Chernobyl.” In her May 18 talk, she will discuss her most recent work, which explores her neighborhood in Detroit and the evolving and transformative cultural striations as revealed to her over the past several years. Her work incorporates advanced patterning and sewing skills as a way to create complex organic forms within actual or often metaphorical built environments.

Wagner, who earned a bachelor of fine arts at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and a master of fine arts at the California College of the Arts, is represented by the Patricia Sweetow Gallery in San Francisco and is resident at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in New York City.

Wendy Weiss, director of the gallery and professor of textile design in the UNL Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design in the College of Education and Human Sciences, said Wagner is designing her newest work specifically for the Hillestad Gallery, where viewers will see how she transforms paper, fabric and thread to create a populated urban landscape that reflects impermanence, degradability and new possibilities. While the artist is deeply concerned about the precarious state of the global environment, she speaks about hope and discovery.

The Hillestad Gallery is part of the Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design in the UNL College of Education and Human Sciences. The gallery is on the second floor of the Home Economics Building. Hours are 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays and by appointment.

For more information, click here or call 402-472-2911.

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