Colour Unboxed Art Show Review

Colour Unboxed is a local art show put on by the “Out of The Box” fibre artists group based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. You can see the show at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte, Ontario, Canada between Dec 20/16-Feb 25/17. Note they may be closed on certain days due to holidays, so call them ahead of time before your visit.

Approximately 200 pieces from over 60 fibre artists are in the exhibit, displaying interpretations of six colours of a colour wheel (blue, yellow, green, magenta, orange and purple) and black/white. Each piece must contain 20% of the colour chosen by the artist.

Fiber art refers to art made from materials consisting of natural or synthetic fiber and other components, such as fabric or yarn. Techniques includes machine/hand embroidery, quilting, weaving, felting, doll making, silk painting, fabric dying, etc.

The gallery is located inside the annex of the former Rosamond Woolen Company, a building constructed in 1867 which is a National Historic Site of Canada. I wasn’t sure what to expect since I am not a fibre artist, but I was blown away by the creativity and innovation of the artworks on display.

Many of the pieces were mounted on 12″ x 12″ canvases which were grouped according to a color. There were assorted nature themed canvases featuring bark, flowers, bugs, jellyfish, trees to more abstract pieces with hearts, lines and dreamlike shapes.

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Larger pieces in the show were just as impressive – a button filled treasure box, space landscapes, animals and texture oriented pieces. The space earth piece (inspired by Apollo) in the picture below is available for sale for $1500 Cdn which I would have loved, but not sure if Viking husband would have supported this. My pictures do not do these works of art justice as a flat 2D picture can’t capture the different textures and vividness of colors in the pieces.

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Another amazing piece is the first one in the pic below with multiple images of shoes surrounding a house. Each shoe image is printed onto a piece of fabric and made into a quilt pocket. Inside each pocket is a story of where the shoe was purchased along with other details about the artist. The dragon piece is Smaug from Lord of the Rings who is guarding lots of jewels and baubles. Anne, the artist of the paper houses was on hand to describe how she created this work of art and the techniques she used. The museum is run by volunteers, so you will be able to talk to people about their art and learn new techniques to add to your own creative life!

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Lastly, no one can leave a museum without visiting the museum shop! There were lots of beautiful vintage clothing in the front of the store, but alas, I was a bit to big for a gorgeous black ribbon bolero that was for sale. I did pick up a few souvenirs: fabric pins, a needle felt kit and a catalog of the show. The catalog book gives the back stories of all the 12″x 12″ pieces, materials used and how the artist was inspired. In the shop were also gorgeous pieces of art on sale by local artists as well and hand made cards with mini quilts.

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If you get a chance, visit the textile museum in Almonte for an inspirational time!

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