Lillstreet’s Textile Department hosts artists from around the country and invites them to install work onto four, 9-foot flag poles on top of Lillstreet’s rooftop deck. Work can be seen from the CTA Montrose Brown Line elevated tracks and Metra Train tracks, as well as driving or walking down Montrose and Ravenswood Avenues. Installations rotate monthly, May through December, and flags are displayed in the Textile Department’s hallway gallery two weeks prior to install date.
Beginning in 2011, the installation space also serves as competition for artists, with Lillstreet awarding cash prizes for Best in Show and runner-up installations. Vist our “Call for Entries” page for more information or to apply. The Textile Department also photographs and archives the artists work on their department blog.
January: Stephanie Fortin
Artist Statement: Warp and Weft pays tribute to the process of creating a piece of cloth.Process is very important in my practice; the act of dyeing and printing is equal to the design itself. With this installation I allude to the warp and weft of a piece of fabric, continuing my work with shibori and stripes. The stripes on the flags are hand dyed using the Itajime shibori method, a traditional Japanese resist dyeing technique that has to do with folding and clamping. The two vertical hung flags represent the warp of a fabric, while the two horizontal flags represent the weft. The flags are also installed staggering one horizontal and one vertical after another to imitate a plain weave of a textile. www.coeurdeliontextiles.com
December: Melissa Leandro
Artist Statement: In my flag series, I comment on the influx of change through my variation in lines, shapes, and colors. These globular entities include smaller masses that gravitate toward larger ones, and are either consumed or cast out. The larger masses being warm in color while external entities become cooler in their hue. Repetitive stitch’s moving in and around several directions with no set trajectory. Rows of stitches navigate through uncharted territory. They attempt to merge with other groups of lines and simply disappear, or go around repeatedly in circles. The appearance of the flag is contingent on which side you look at- front or back. A two sided ness that reflects the contrast between others and ourselves.
October/November 2012: Wendy Franklin
Artist Statement: I never have a plan, but always have a vision. To me, great art doesn’t need to be universally understood. If you love it, that’s enough. My work isn’t meant to send a grand message, cure the world’s ills, or address problems in society. It is simple to bring color and texture and form together in a way that makes people happy. I want people to look at my pieces, fall in love, and NOT know why.
September 2012: Jamie Bertsch
Artist Statement: I am an unmaker. I unmake the work. I rip and unravel. I take apart the seams, and rework. Casting on each stitch, the fabric passes through my hand, then on and off the needle. I reuse an old memory, and reveal new things about it. Spreading out the blanket, and pulling up the rug. This sequence of flags was made by unraveling previous work, collecting cherished fabrics, and utilizing scrap yarns. Unraveled and found material was obsessively knit and patch-worked into an organically growing form. with strands unfurled is a record of multiple transformations, time, memory, and sincere effort. The work combines elements of layering, history, systems of accrual, and color— equal parts hand, heart, and mind. jamielea.tumblr.com
August 2012: Liz Aston
Artist Statement: As a response to the Lillstreet rooftop flag installation project, I am interested in presenting a flag that pays homage to textiles and the decorative arts, while bringing interior forms and objects into unfamiliar outdoor spaces. By creating a lace-like flag full of holes, I would like to explore the idea of a flag as a dysfunctional object, documenting how it responds to the forces of the environment, whether it will fly or drape delicately full of holes, and looking at the ways in which people respond to subverted textile objects as they are taken out of context and placed in new and interesting spaces. www.lizzaston.com
July 2012: Keeley Marie Stitt
Artist Statement: The flag designs emerged from recent sculptural investigations integrating the hexagon form. As one of only three shapes capable of perfectly tessellating a plane with minimal surface area, the hexagon is the perfect natural container, best observed in the beehive. The flag as an object has its roots as a component of communication. In my works, the hexagon is a symbolic surrogate for words and meaning. Just as bees store their civilization within the hive structure, meaning and memory is stored in written words. Yet, instead of containing meaning, the hexagon in each flag serves to frame perception. Each hexagon functions as a lens or passageway through which the viewer’s gaze passes into the framed sky, land or cityscape. In this way, theperfect natural container no longer contains, but frames and allows an individual to pass through and into a new perception.
June 2012: Ashley Ivey
Artist Statement: My work stems from a deep rooted curiosity about the way people perceive and interact with the world around them. I am fascinated with the tactics people use to cope with fear, insecurity, love, discomfort and joy. As often bitter as sweet, our actions affect those around us. This series of flags depict the moment just before a set of beings embrace. Each flag shows a pair of creatures overflowing with joy and excitement as they reach out for each other. I’d like to suggest great belonging and happiness with these images and I hope those feelings might gently ease into the viewer. www.smallprojectiles.net
May 2012: Maggy Rozycki Hiltner
Artist statement: I love to create images that at first appear whimsical or vibrantly happy but on closer inspection are not quite so. Sometimes it’s a malicious undertone to the relationships, or a lack of self-control on the part of the characters, or maybe an otherworldlyness hidden in the everyday. I like how this subtext works against the comfortable and innocuous medium of fabric and stitching. For these flags, I enlarged the Dick and Jane-style figures found in my (usually small) stitched art. When I’m sewing, I notice the abstracted simplicity that reads as a face: a few small lines for the eyes, a speck or two for a nose. Enlarging these drawings made for a new set of shapes. I imagined the kitschy teakettles tooting out both good and questionable, and inquisitive kids imagining and exploring. www.maggyrhiltner.com
December 2011: Nancy Anne McPhee
Artist statement:The series of flags, entitled Polari Flags, uses stripes and coded language to simultaneously conceal and activate the visual field of the flag. I’m particularly interested in the flag as an icon of identity and communication. This project will continue my current investigation into the stripe as method for troubling visibility, and the means through which queer and Other communities form meaning and communication. www.nancyannemcphee.com
October 2011: Yuko Uemura
Artist statement: I wanted to send something unique from Japan because it is a part of who I am and a big part of my inspiration as an artist. Two years ago I moved into my grandmother’s house – where I discovered many scrap pieces of fabric and textiles that she used to make kimonos. I was inspired by the colorful fabrics that I found – many dating back over 40 years. I used a patch technique to combine the many scraps of textured fabrics. My hopes are that when people see my flags they will see the creativity and many years of traditions found in Japanese culture. www.patapri.com
September 2011: Lillstreet Textile Department
The September installation flag series showcased a collaboration of prints from previous students, monitors, and faculty within the Textile Department at Lillstreet Art Center. The print studio uses drop cloths, usually bed linens, to protect the padded surface of the tabletops. Due to the porous nature of fabric, every time a print is created, the ink or dye “bleeds” onto the cloth underneath. Our drop-cloths end up being beautiful pieces of art, collage imagery from everyone who has come through our program and printed in the studio during the past several years. www.lillstreettextiles.blogspot.com
July 2011: Chris Wildrick *2011 RUNNER-UP /HONORABLE MENTION WINNER*
Artist statement: “Data Field Flags”–digital prints on canvas that derive from a number of charts, graphs, and maps that I have made for previous projects. I make a lot of charts for the various conceptual art projects that I work on. These charts are highly detailed and in order to understand the information on them, they need to be seen at very close range. However, they are also purposefully designed to look interesting from a distance. The flags come from a variety of projects and their content is not necessarily related to one another; the only thing that ties them together is their distance from the ground, which will negate our ability to read them as data, and will only let us see them as abstract visual compositions. www.chriswildrick.com
Membership is a unique opportunity to benefit from being a part of the Lillstreet community. Enjoy discounts on classes and at participating art supply stores, VIP invitations to special events, 10% off Lillstreet Gallery purchases, and more!