Artists share their interpretations of 'Needles and Pins'

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By Jennifer Garcia

When the phrase “Needles and Pins” is muttered, it sometimes brings to mind the old saying about waiting on needles and pins. It also can bring to mind the Ramones punk rock song of the same name. But on Friday, it will also be associated with art.
“Needles and Pins” opens with a reception from 5-7 p.m. Friday. The exhibit is part of the Arts Crawl, which will include events at Mesa Public Library, the Los Alamos Historical Museum and Karen Wray Fine Art.
Artists’ interpretations of a subject are as varied as the pieces they create. This show challenged artists to think outside the box and present their views of needles and pins. The results might be surprising.
In a state well known for fibers arts and artists, it shouldn’t be surprising that there were myriad entries. However, the show is about more than creating clothing and quilts  — though there are some pieces included. Everything from a pin dome by Los Alamos artist Darla Graff, to  K.C. Coe’s “Ashley Pond Basket” will be on display.
Not only did the show drum up the creativity of those who entered pieces, but it also drew a wide variety of  artists not only from around the country, but also the world. Beate Bossert from Auerwald, Germany entered several felted pieces, ranging from a snail to vegetables, a sushi meal to chocolate. London’s Sue Pearl also sent in an entry titled, “Home at the End of the Day.” Susanne Wetzell Mecklenburg of Worpommern, Germany entered a couple of “spirit dolls.” Israel is also represented by Daria Lvosky’s animal creations.
In addition, Casey Lee Parker of Santa Monica, Calif. entered “Safety Pins,” while Marjorie Masel of Seattle entered a series of masks. Patricia Danks shared her panda bear and toucan creations.
There are also several entries closer to home by artists like Monique Durham of Deming; Shari Hirst of Santa Fe; Gaye Garrison of Bosque Farms; and Susan Latham of Santa Fe. Several more artists from across the state and Los Alamos entered pieces, as well.
“There is such a great variety in ‘Needles and Pins,’ with a great showing from locals, artists on a state level, across the United States, with five countries represented,” Fuller Lodge Art Center Director Ken Nebel said. “Each of the artists brings something completely individual and unique to the show using a spectrum of media ranging from metal, wood and paper to more traditional fiber bases.”
Nebel said “Needles and Pins” has “the extra dimension of wearable art on display, which allows for a much more sculptural and lively feel to the show.”
He also said that preparing for such a show can be challenging because artwork that is meant to be worn “needs the figure to make it complete, so it’s especially important to thank Laurie Waters for the mannequin forms she’s so graciously lent to us.”
Photographs area also part of this exhibit. Los Alamos photographer Minesh Bacrania is the featured artist in the portal gallery, with his series titled, “Upon This Ground We Build.” The photos chronicle the construction the new Municipal Building on Central Avenue.
“The grand creations made from the tool of the pin and or needle complement the building blocks depicted as the Municipal Building takes shape. Amazing works from a humble beginning,” Nebel said.
The exhibit will be on display at the Fuller Lodge Art Center through Nov. 10, during regular business hours. For more information, visit fullerlodgeartcenter.com.