Sofia Arnold, who was in Milwaukee this week, and Faythe Levine at her SKY HIGH GALLERY in the Sky High Skate Board Shop. We were there to see the current show, "Jailbait" new tapestries by Erin M Riley, on exhibit now through November 27.
(partially shown, Pink Nail Polish, tapestry, by Erin M Riley).
Gallery curator Faythe Levine and skate shop owner Aaron Polansky share a common vision for making their city a better place by building community through art, creativity and events centered around their neighborhood in the Bay View neighborhood of Milwaukee. Faythe is also the director and co-author of Handmade Nation, The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design, documentary film, and book.
I was excited to see Sky High Gallery, at last. Faythe is a dynamic force seeking, finding and promoting contemporary art and creative young artists. She was one of the first to notice Erin's work, and wrote about it in Fiberarts Magazine, Spring 2011 (well worth finding and reading).
Seeing these tapestries up close, they are even more mysterious to me now. They are densely woven, with hand dyed yarns. Much of the subject of her work is self portraits that young women post to Facebook, and Erin's interest in showing these ephemeral images in the form of woven tapestry. She says she admires Swedish artist, Helena Hernmarck's tapestries. Erin M Riley's weaving, to me, is like plates shifting under the landscape of what weaving can be. Erin is a self declared and devoted tapestry weaver, whose weaving is clearly art.