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'Queer Threads': New Book Highlights LGBT Fiber Artists

Friday May 19, 2017

This isn't your grandmother's crochet. AMMO Books, with Todd Oldham Studio, present a new coffee table book featuring 30 artists working in fiber and crafts and insightful interviews from some of today's most influential members of the LGBTQ cultural community.

The first-ever of its kind, the 192-page volume spotlights an international, intergenerational, intersectional mix of 30 artists who are reconsidering the binaries of art and craft, masculine and feminine, gay and straight by remixing fiber craft traditions such as crochet, embroidery, macramé, quilting, and sewing.

Designed by Todd Oldham Studio and edited by independent curator John Chaich, the hard cover, 8 x10 book features full-color spreads of each artist's work, along with intimate details of selections and artist studios, paired with a range of interviews by makers and thinkers from the worlds of dance, design, fashion, media, music, museums, scholarship, and more-many of whom are members of the LGBTQ community if not passionate allies themselves.

Featured interviews include: Jonathan Adler, Justin Vivian Bond, Costello Tagliapietra, Michael Cunningham, Tim Gunn, Kathleen Hanna, Bill T. Jones, Glenn Ligon, JD Samson, Mickalene Thomas and more. The featured interviews explore how queerness informs their work in fiber and textiles, or vice versa.

The book expands on exhibition of the same name that Chaich curated for the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in Manhattan. The exhibition has since traveled to the Maryland Institute College of Art and Boston Center for the Arts.

"When I saw the Queer Threads exhibition, I was so enamored with the technical skill and diverse ideas that these artists bring to hand-made traditions," says Oldham. "This book celebrates not just fiber art, but queer creativity, which feels all the more necessary and vital in today's political climate."

Formally, the featured works range from intimate to immersive, scrappy to abstract, multi-colored to muted. Conceptually, the artists address contemporary issues in making identity and making art such as gender nonconformity and sloppy craft.

"It's so rare-and so cool-to find such a diverse collection of contemporary LGBTQ talent spanning ages, races, geographies, and identities in one place as you can in Queer Threads," says Chaich. "The voices and visions of the artists and interviewers are as colorful and textured as the artworks themselves."

In a carefully curated, dynamically designed piece, Queer Threads contributes to the growing body of research on contemporary fiber art. "We hope that students, scholars, collectors, and crafters alike will find inspiration in how these artists are pushing the boundaries of art, craft, and identity," Chaich notes.

"Queer Threads" is available on Amazon.


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