The Thousand Island Art Center warmly invited the Fiber Artists Miami Association to participate in the “Color Culture: Our History and Heritage through Fiber” exhibition. While we embraced this opportunity to showcase our artwork, we were equally happy to meet Marina Loew, the curator behind this event. In this exclusive interview, we delve into the artistic journey and vision of Marina Loew, a curator who seamlessly blends culture and color to create a truly enchanting experience at the Thousand Island Art Center, TIAC (Clayton, NY). Aug. 23 - Nov. 17, 2023.
Marina joined TIAC in 2017. A native of the 1000 Islands, she earned her MA in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University and her BA in Visual Art from Wells College. She also studied Georgian architecture and printmaking in Bath, England, and later studied toy making, oil painting, fashion design, and weaving at Syracuse University in Florence, Italy.
Marina Loew (right) with Mila and her artwork.
How did you start your art journey?
I come from a long line of artists and have always loved to create. I went to an art-based school when I was young and every class was taught with an art component (i.e. we learned about the Native Americans while building a wigwam). It really instilled in me a passion to continue creating and using my hands. I've been making art in all mediums (although I mainly do paper cutting) ever since!
What do you like the most in art? I love how art can convey emotions and feelings; how it acts as an outlet for expression; how it can be therapeutic; and how accessible it is. I believe that everyone is an artist and that maybe they just haven't found their medium yet!
Did you have an inspirational artist along you way? Color Culture: History, Heritage and Fiber Art, TIAC
While I don't have a specific artist in mind, I can tell you that I'm really influenced by the Renaissance and Art Nouveau periods. I also love woodblock/ lino prints.
How did you come up with the idea of the Color Culture exhibition?
We wanted to see something new in our galleries, artwork that made people say "Wow!" when they entered the museum. We have a beautiful textile collection however, its majority is in brown, beige, and orange.
I thought it would be fun to bring textiles and fiber art into the galleries that focused on color, and since that is such a broad subject, I came up with the idea for artists to connect to their heritage and history as it pertains to color.
Was it difficult to select artworks?
YES, it was hard since all of the pieces are amazing. Our team had to devise specific criteria when choosing components to make things more accessible with the selection. Since the challenge was fiber and color, we looked at how the artist met the requirements.
How or why did you think about FAMA for the exhibition?
Members of our museum go to Florida every winter and they saw the exhibition Talking Threads at the Society of Four Arts Museum, West Palm Beach, and told me to look into hosting a similar fiber exhibition here. We reached out to FAMA, and the rest is history!
Which is TIAC's next challenging project?
Next year we will be displaying an exhibition featuring the paintings of a local artist (deceased) next to a currently working painter from Australia. It will be an exhibition of 'here and there,' 'then and now', connecting two times in two places. The logistics are challenging, but it's going to be a lot of fun!