Eleanor D. Wilson Museum to Host Gibby Waitzkin: The Truth Continuum

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Gibby Waitzkin, Man and His Earth, 2019. Handmade paper, photograph, mixed media. Courtesy of the artist.

Exhibition dates: Thursday, September 19 – Sunday, December 8, 2019
Lecture and reception: Thursday, September 26, 6-8 pm

Gibby Waitzkin is a fiber artist, papermaker, and photographer. For over thirty-five years, she has used her arts and design background to support arts advocacy issues and environmental and women’s rights. In this exhibition, Waitzkin transforms one of the museum galleries into an environmental installation of large-scale handmade paper artworks. Many of the works involve a weaving process – a latticework of strips of multihued fibers of banana, flax, cattail, iris, cotton and hemp. Waitzkin describes the meaning within her technique: “In a period of great divisiveness, these woven elements symbolize the strength we derive from interconnection and the brilliance of our multicolored community.”

Waitzkin has been politically active for decades, living and working in Washington, D.C. where she founded Gibson Creative, an award-winning design and communications studio. In more recent years, she and her husband have built a home and studio in Floyd, Virginia. Waitzkin is committed to living a life built around an environment that is conducive to both physical and spiritual health. The natural world is her driving force; she grows and harvests plants, cooking, beating and dyeing them, and using the fibers to make handmade paper—reinvigorating a 2000-year old process. With this paper, she creates contemporary sculptural works sometimes combined with photographs printed on handmade paper. An Inspiration Room set up by Waitzkin in the museum reviews the papermaking process and includes plant samples and materials showing the artist’s methodology.

In addition to her artwork, Waitzkin is nationally known for her papermaking workshops. In conjunction with her exhibition at the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, she will lead a two-day papermaking overview workshop in the Visual Arts Center on Friday, September 27 from 1-6pm and continuing on Saturday, September 28 from 9am-6pm.

The workshop is free but registration is required; email [email protected] or call 540/362-6081. A more intensive workshop will be held October 11-13 at Sarvisberry Studio in Floyd; information can be found at http://sarvisberry.com/workshops.shtml.