Fail-Safe: Discomforts Close to Home
Marci Rae McDade, curator
August 7-30, 2014

Hap Gallery is pleased to present Fail-Safe: Discomforts Close to Home, a group exhibition of contemporary textile and fiber-based artists curated by Marci Rae McDade. The show features a range of art forms made with seemingly safe and comforting materials from everyday life that are loaded with incendiary content. Each object reflects an aspect of anxiety, discontent, and longing in the 21st century, from poverty and racism to mortality and digital disconnect. These potent works compel viewers to take stock of the world today as we collectively contemplate our futures.

The selection of objects focuses on work made from December 2007, when the U.S. housing bubble first burst, to the present. The sense of uncertainty and loss associated with this period of economic crisis and recovery is a pivotal starting point for the conversations many of these pieces seek to ignite.

Fail-Safe includes work by Andi Arnovitz, Kathryn Clark, Jon Coffelt, Vic De La Rosa, Marc Dombrosky, Robert Fontenot, Carol Jackson, Kristin La Flamme, Jiseon Lee Isbara, Wayne “Skid” Lo, Amanda McCavour, Rachel Meginnes, Mark Newport, Loren Schwerd, Mary Smull, Anna Von Mertens, Jane Waggoner Deschner, and Stacia Yeapanis.

Curator Marci Rae McDade is the editor of Surface Design Journal, a leading textile-arts magazine published quarterly by the Surface Design Association McDade is also a mentor and instructor with the MFA in Applied Craft + Design Program in Portland, Oregon, a joint program offered through the Oregon College of Art and Craft and the Pacific Northwest College of Art She received an MFA in Fiber & Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a BA in Film and Video Production from Columbia College Chicago.

Loren Schwerd
1812 Tuepelo Street, 2007
Human hair, fiberglass screen, wire, braiding
23 x 24 x 8 in.

Loren Schwerd
1317 Charbonnet St., 2007
Human hair, fiberglass screen,
wire, beads
19 x 23 x 3 1/2 in.

Loren Schwerd
Corner of Maurice St. and
Chartres St., 2007
Human hair, fiberglass screen,
18 x 16 x 5 in.

Jane Waggoner Deschner
from the maxim series (Lamb, motto), 2014
Found photograph, hand embroidery
10 x 8 in.

Jane Waggoner Deschner
from the maxim series (Sendak, nice home), 2012
Found snapshots, hand embroidery
6 ¾ x 11 ¾ in.

Jane Waggoner Deschner
from the garment series (school kids), 2012
Found photographs, hand embroidery
22 ½ x 18 ¾ x 2 in.

Jiseon Lee Isbara
Habitual – Saved for Later (detail),
Fabric, wood, hand stitching, dyeing, drawing
3 x 48 x 4 in.

Jon Coffelt
Miniature Clothes series
Varies by piece
Donated fabrics, thread
Approx 3 x 5 in.

Kathryn Clark
Chicago Foreclosure Quilt, 2013
Linen, cotton, repurposed denim, embroidery thread
42 x 31 in.

Kristin LaFlamme
Arny Wife – Unraveling, 2012
Fabrics, knitting, stitching, quilting
22 x 39 in.

Mark Dombrosky
Estate Sale, 2012
Hand embroidery on found papers
Dimensions variable by sign

Mark Newport
The Lone Ranger and Tonto, 2010
Hand embroidery on comic book cover
10 ¼ x 6 ¾ in.

Mark Newport
Valueman, 2008
Hand knit acrylic, buttons

Andi Arnovitz
My Worry Beads, 2013
3 ½ x 3 x 2 ½ in.

Anna Von Mertens
A sunrise you might see, not unlike the one I saw today, 2008
Hand-dye, hand-stitched cotton, quilted
54 x 100 in.

Rachel Meginnes
Forum Quilt (Ticking II), 2012
Gesso, acrylic, setacolor, India ink, and magazine ink on vintage cloth with drawn thread embroidery
72 x 63 ½ in.

Carol Jackson
Tally, 2009
Embossed lather, enamel, wood
24 x 158 x 4 in.

Stacia Yeapanis
Tami anad Eric Taylor (we really need a win), 2012
Handmade cross-stitch embroidery
18 x 31 in.

Vic De La Rosa
Farm Worker’s Jacket: Subsiguiente, 2012
Digital print on cloth, hand embroidery
74 x 58 in.

Wayne “Skid” Lo
Bluff the Magic Dragon, 2009
Hand embroidery on found photo
4 x 6 in.

Robert Fontenot
Recycle LACMA (Boxing Gloves), 2009
Vintage corduroy pants, cotton stuffing, buckles

Robert Fontenot
Doorstop, 2009
Embroidered cotton, brick

Robert Fontenot
Snakes in a Can, 2009
Vintage cotton fabric, tin, stitching