Baylor Art Professor To Be Featured In Exhibit At Temple's Cultural Activities Center

Sept. 28, 2004

Mary Ruth Smith, a Baylor Arts Professor, will be featured in an exhibit opening Saturday, Oct. 2 at the Cultural Activities Center in Temple. An opening reception will be held that morning from 10 a.m. to noon and is open to the public.

Smith's exhibit in the Howard Gallery will include a number of beautiful examples of her rich needle arts.

"My personal use of fabrics, threads and the domestic techniques associated with women's work stems from a background where both my mother and grandmother made and decorated clothing, quilts and other household items that related historically to the tradition of many women of their times," Smith said.

Over time, however, Smith began to use these skills and interests to produce art works that function solely as wall pieces for viewing purposes.

Needle art as it is created today grew out of a tradition once considered "women's work," sewing and handiwork that was created in the process of running a household or contributing to one's community. Only in the last 40 years, with the "Art Fabric movement of the 1960s and the reassessment of the role of traditional women's arts by the international women's movement," has needle art become widely recognized as an art form, Smith explained.

Her most recent work has focused on using French knots to construct art fabric, using stitch to trace markings printed on overlaid fabrics, using needle and thread to stitch directly onto fabric and using seaming to create patchwork compositions.

Other galleries at the CAC will feature exhibits by the Central Texas Camera Club, Harriet Hayward and two University of Mary Hardin-Baylor students, Angela Mowery and Paula Smith. All four exhibits will be on display through Nov. 12. The CAC Galleries are open Mon. - Thurs. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Fri. from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sat. from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or by appointment. For more information call the CAC office at (254) 773-9926.

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