Wool Poppies

Catherine Kelly

Catherine Kelly is a fiber artist living in Tijeras, New Mexico, in the mountains east of Albuquerque. Her primary art medium is traditional hand-hooked rugs executed in a contemporary style.

"If it can be stripped, it can be hooked."

Catherine is a charter member of the Adobe Wool Arts Guild (AWAG) - ATHA Chapter 124. The Guild holds semi-monthly demos at the ABQ BioPark and quarterly drop-in retreats for members and guests. She is a member of the NM Mixed Media Guild, too, and also quilts, sews and knits. It is fair to say that she will put just about anything into an art piece and loves to play with layers and juxtaposition of color, thought and impression.

Catherine is also a McGown certified traditional rug hooking teacher, both teaching and making, as well as dyeing specialty wool fabrics for sale. She continues to participate in the yearly Western McGown Teacher's Workshop in Eugene, Oregon and is the current president.

Catherine has been "making" for as long as she can remember. Her first influence was with her nonna who tackled every kind of fiber; Catherine watched, learned and absorbed from those early days. High school summers were spent as a volunteer teaching assistant in arts classes for the Richmond, California public schools' summer programs. After graduating from University of California, Berkeley in 1976 in painting and lithography, she spent several years teaching art, yearbook and other classes at Presentation High School in Berkeley, CA. During the ensuing years, she ran a home-based daycare and worked in independent community banking (information systems). She spent many years on the board of Petaluma City Ballet (now North Coast Ballet) where her creativity was exercised through costuming, set design and learning to dance.

In 2004, Catherine and her husband moved to New Mexico. She quickly found a new home on the Albuquerque Fiber Arts Council Board of Directors and edits their newsletter. She is also a volunteer Director and docent for the Tijeras Pueblo Archaeological site.

Two of Catherine's recent pieces have been included in the (2018) 50th Annual Textile Exhibition at the Fremont Olive Hyde Art Gallery.

Escapula de la Entrada (pictured left) is a banner created from cotton quilting remnants and recycled strips of wool cloth. It represents the clarity of conviction of the Spanish entrance into the territory of New Mexico and their wish to "conquer and civilize" the native tribes--not realizing the impending clouds on the horizon.

Novena for Rain (pictured right) is a 9-piece "window of calling" or prayer that represents the many layers of influence of and need for water upon our landscape. The bottom layers represent the layers of earth below the surface and the rivers that cross the human landscape. The middle layers are the "weather" that transport the water-wind and rain and clouds that form the delivery of water- to the rivers and earth below. The top layers include the sky and winds of the upper atmosphere with the rainbow of promise and the imagined landscape below. The whole piece represents the earth/water relationship as a landscape sliced both vertically and from above. The vignettes or windows invite multiple interpretations and the interdependent need of water for life existence on earth.

Catherine (aka Cathy Kelly) will be teaching an open class on artistry in rugs and finding yourself -Marks and Memories- at Hooker Hill in 2019.

If a rug has ever found itself on a wall, it becomes "art" to the viewer. Catherine will offer new views to your hooking project and help you push your creative boundaries in getting out of "just hooking a pattern." She promises to encourage your playful inspiration and offer at least a few new expressive elements that you can add to your creative toolkit.Your "palette" can remain traditional or why not push yourself to new limits? Make your artistry sing!

Afraid of creating a rug on your own? Wondering how to make a commercial pattern special? Catherine promises to help you explore fun options.

Catherine will bring a selection of wools and novelty yarns and threads to complement the retreat store. She is happy to prepare materials in preparation for your project.

Catherine Kelly. ABQ Fiber Arts Council

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