ThreadBenders showcases fiber art

Danielle Klais, Arts & Rec Editor

The ThreadBenders came to the Whitewater Arts Alliance on Jan. 30 to display their unique artistic expression.

In 2016, ThreadBenders came together to form a group of women who specialize in fiber art. The exhibit features 14 participating fiber artists and 45 quilts. On Jan. 30, the Whitewater Arts Alliance welcomed the group with open arms, hosting an opening reception on Feb. 2 from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m in the Cultural Arts Center.

“Quilting is also my therapy. The therapy I receive from the first notion of color and design of a quilt through the end of its life is an unfolding story of joy, pain, pleasures, guilt, laughter and tears. All my quilts are the windows to my soul,” said one of the artists, Vicki Spiering.

In the past, the ThreadBenders have had a wide array of projects, including a “boxes” challenge that pushed members to use their imaginations to create boxes out of any material, and an “octabulous” project where members had to make an octagon quilt. Their members receive monthly prompts, some of which are currently on display in downtown Whitewater at the Cultural Arts Center.

The ThreadBenders also provide multiple opportunities for group members to travel, taking them to both national and international shows, including Tokyo, Japan.

“Many of us know anecdotally that arts and creativity can improve both our physical and emotional health, and some of us have lived it. Research proves that including the arts in healthcare can enhance coping, reduce patients’ need for hospital care and pain medication, reduce depression and anxiety, and contribute to patient satisfaction,” says Megan Matthews, the president of the Whitewater Arts Alliance Board of Directors.

Their mission or the Whitewater Arts Alliance is to foster diversity and creativity and to educate the Whitewater community by promoting both visual and performing arts. They also provide free exhibits to the public.

“There is no replacement or supplement to artwork experienced in person…To physically stand in front of a piece not only creates a memory so much more lively than digital interface, but there are subtle nuances to the work that really can’t be captured in the same way as the human eye,” said Taylor McDarison, the Whitewater Arts Alliance’s part-time gallery manager.

The ThreadBenders’ exhibit will remain in the Whitewater Arts Alliance until Feb. 23. The next featured exhibit will be the Clay Collective group, and it will be coming to Whitewater on Feb. 27.