News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: October 15, 2004 (04-93) 

PHOTO EDITORS: High-resolution images to accompany this story are available at /news/highresolutionimages/04/fiberart/

Montgomery College Displays Work of Six Contemporary Fiber Artists
‘Fiberology’ Exhibit Runs November 1–19 at Rockville Campus 

            Montgomery College will highlight the work of six contemporary fiber artists who work in a variety of mediums and employ numerous modes of expression in its “Fiberology” exhibit which opens November 1 and continues through November 19, in the gallery of the Paul Peck Art Building on the College’s Rockville Campus.  An opening reception will be held Monday, Nov. 1, from 6-8 p.m.

            The work of the six artists—Cyndy Barbone, Frank Connet, Jan Hopkins, Fuyuko Matsubara, Charlene Nemic-Kessel, and Polly Stirling—embodies the expressive possibilities inherent in the fiber medium.

            “Their work is distinctive, complex, and deeply personal,” says exhibit organizer Margaret Hluch. “Each artist exploits the essence and character of the natural and synthetic materials they use for unique expressive purposes.”         

            Weavers Cyndy Barbone and Fuyuko Matsubara apply color to threads similar to painters but their outcomes are very different.  Barbone is more figurative, using the weave structure to enhance her personal expression.

            Matsubara creates cloth that is subtly dimensional, like the layering of the atmosphere. She achieves this effect by painstakingly weaving, painting, unweaving, and reweaving to obtain illusionary effects.

            Frank Connet colors wool fabric with unique natural dyes. The dyed, clamped shibori wool is then cut and pieced into cloth. The color, depth, and variation he achieves with traditional natural dyes create a beautifully rich fabric that reflects and honors nature.      

            Jan Hopkins gathers and prepares unusually and unexpected fibrous materials for her baskets/containers. Citrus peels, sturgeon skin, and black bamboo in combination with silver dollar seed pods and lotus pod tops are stitched together into figurative vessels.

            Charlene Nemic-Kessel’s petite woven-embroidered works are small in scale but powerful in impact. She begins by weaving a complex structured cloth and then embroiders peculiar and sometimes jarring images on this surface.

            Polly Stirling starts with a material that historically precedes cloth: felt, the first non-woven cloth. Unlike many fiber artists who use this material, Stirling’s felt is sometimes lace-like, which gives a feeling of airiness. Other times the felt is collaged with layers of silk gauze, which gives it a raised textured surface that floats lightly over the body.

            Montgomery College’s Rockville Campus Art Gallery is located on the second floor of the Paul Peck Art Building.  Gallery hours are Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday, 6–8 p.m.; and Saturday, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.

            For more information, contact the Art Gallery at 240-567-5115 or visit

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park, plus workforce development and continuing education centers in Gaithersburg, Wheaton and  Silver Spring. The College serves nearly 50,000 students a year, through both credit and non-credit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.