Bridging the Fiber Art Community from Coast to Coast


What is fiber? What are the qualities of this material that artists are drawn to? Each person, regardless of age or background, has an association with fiber in some way, from the clothes we wear, to the blankets that cover us at night. Artists find conceptual meaning in fibers, and are also drawn to fiber’s surface, texture and flexibility.

This spring in the Gallery at Praxis Fiber Workshop, we wanted to choose a selection of artists from across the country who use process-based explorations about the body and/or identity in their work. Our gallery exists to support and enhance the mission of our organization. One important aspect of this mission is to be a landing point for artists nationwide who are using fiber and making fiber-based art. Cleveland creates a perfect Midwestern meeting point for voices from both the East and West coasts.For example, Landline: Fiber Works from Coast to Coast’ will explore the multi-linear connection of five artists nationwide. Erin M Riley (Brooklyn), Christi Birchfield (Cleveland), Trey Gehring (Kent), Mike Andrews (Chicago) and Jovencio de la Paz (Eugene, OR) will come together in this exciting exhibition.

Erin M Riley works on a floor loom, creating tapestries with hand-dyed wool. Her images are collected from the internet, from naked women posing for selfies, to party scenes, to her own self portraits. She is interested in the reoccurring patterns that happen in popular culture today and how pornography influences sexuality.

Christi Birchfield works with a printing press as a means to make an image. Christi creates large-scale sculptures with black canvas on which she applies gestural lines of bleach paste.The final forms resemble hanging skin and skeletal systems, evoking the body and its transience.

Trey Gehring’s work includes Jacquard-woven, tapestry portaits of men that challenge ideas of identity, image and language.

Mike Andrews creates weavings, tapestries, drawings and animations. He explores material and space in reference to the relationship of body, object and image using acrylic yarns.

Jovencio de la Paz creates through performance, materiality, and collaboration with other artists and socially engaged practices. From batik and indigo dyeing, to large scale screen prints, he develops a visual language drawing imagery from traditional Indonesian and ethnographic textiles, comics, graffiti, quilting, and personal symbology.

One can draw connecting lines between each of these artists and their work. Vibrant colors, social provocation, age and education create bridges from work to work. Please join us and experience a connection of your own at our opening reception, Friday, April 1 at 6pm.

Landline: Works in Fiber from Coast to Coast: works of Erin M Riley, Christi Birchfield, Trey Gehring, Mike Andrews, and Jovencio de la Paz:  April 1 – May 19

Opening Reception: April 1, 6-9pm


Praxis Fiber Workshop

15301 Waterloo Road

Cleveland, Ohio 44110