Monday, January 4, 2016

Textile Town Paintings

written 11\11\2015 My latest series is based on my personal history. For a long time I've thought of textile mills as being beautiful architectural structures. Once many of them closed, I've viewed them in a more poignant view, nostalgic, I guess of a simpler, albeit, hardworking time. I was born in a textile town, Lowell, MA and went to work at a textile mill, Joan Fabrics when I was 14. My mother was the payroll accountant and she brought me in as an apprentice during the summers when I was in high school. Almost everyone in my family worked in textile mills including my ex-husband and son. When I was in my 30's, textiles closed down in New England but was still in operation in the south. My ex-husband was a textile engineer and when he found a textile job in the south, we moved to Greenville, a town about the same size as Lowell, looking a lot like Lowell with a river running right through the middle of town. There has been a renewed infusion of the textile mill legacy into my life. First of all with the opening of The Greenville Center for Creative Arts in the Brandon Mill located in the. Village of West Greenville with its gallery, studios and teaching area. In addition the main mill will be turned into loft condos. After having been involved in the village since 2007, this was great news to see this majestic building come alive again. Then, when doing a little research on the mills of my hometown, I discovered that the mills of Joan Fabrics had been converted into studios and loft apartments housing over 300 artists. When I learned this, I'd already painted 5 or so textile mill pieces in both oil and encaustic. But these new pieces developed into personal journeys going back into memory 50 years and completing cycles that have repeated in my family, living places , passions and history. When I first walked into a textile mill as a 14 year old intern, I never dreamt that I would one day paint in a textile mill general store turned art studios at Studio Unknown or see the revitalization of a place like Brandon village (now called the Village of West Greenville) into an art mecca.

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