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Fiber Artist, Leora Klaymer Stewart Offers Art Work and Workshops

 When writing about a fiber artist, the images usually conjured up include “wearable art” pieces, but Leora Stewart jumps beyond that seemingly ‘ordinary genre’ and brings a new way of thinking to fiber art.  The Rickie Report is eager to share her artwork because she has so much to offer in terms of teaching workshops, leading classes and providing amazing artwork for your home, office or yacht.

 

Leora Klaymer Stewart

Fiber Artist

Tapestry

Tapestry

Will Offer a Four Week (one day a week)

Tapestry Weaving Workshop

Armory Art Center

Begins Tuesday, April  30th   10 am – 5 pm

Students will Learn basic Tapestry Weaving techniques and design and weave a finished piece. To register call 561-832-1776 and speak with the registrar.

 

 

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“Netscape”: Collaged Box with Wrapped Elements

It is the threads of our lives that bring together friendships, circumstances and family into a meaningful pattern.  Leora Klaymen Stewart  is not only adept with these skills, but she literally uses fiber to create her art pieces.

In an interview by John Nelander, a Special to the Palm Beach Daily News on November 9, 2009, it becomes clear that Leora “wove a highly successful career using threads of rich experiences from her childhood, adolescence and early adulthood.”Her family’s life in the days of pre-Israel Palestine lent a certain understanding to how the underpinnings of any tapestry must begin with closely woven and strong threads. Emigrating to South Africa in 1947, her parents were in charge of an orphanage which housed 80 children.   While Leora’s family had their own apartment,  she tells Nelander ,

“In a way, I was part of the orphanage, although I attended a different school. I made friends and celebrated holidays with the kids. I ate meals with them. “My best friend was from the orphanage — her name was Storm.

“These were children between 8 and 18, kids who came from broken homes, divorces or other situations. On weekends their parents might pick them up, or an aunt. It wasn’t that they were children who were totally destitute, they were getting a good education.”

It had an emotional affect on both Leora and her parents — she being an only child, her parents as well after each suffered deep losses in the Holocaust. “Both of their families were wiped out — my father lost his entire family and my mother lost her family.

“They lived all this. Here they were, directors of this orphanage and then they find out that their families were all murdered. So the orphanage became kind of an extended family. It was a wonderful experience for me.”

http://web.archive.org/web/20100125033245/http://www.palmbeachdailynews.com/news/content/news/2009/11/09/Profile_Stewart_1110.html

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“Intertwined Metafossil”: Woven linen with hand made paper and wrappings

 

In the 1050’s, Leora’s family moved to Detroit. Both parents loved teaching and nurturing young people, in a time when Detroit was ripe with change and promise.  Leora reminisces about being in class with Diana Ross at the arts school, Cass Commerce.  

According to www.historicdetroit.org,  “More than 50,000 students graduated from it, and hundreds of thousands of others walked its halls. Among the distinguished students who wandered the old Cass Tech’s halls: singer Diana Ross, comedians Lily Tomlin and David Alan Greer, auto executive John DeLorean, former Miss USAs Carol Gist and Kenya Moore, violinist Regina Carter, jazz musicians Donald Byrd and Earl Kluge, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and Compuware CEO Peter Karmanos. Aviator Charles Lindbergh’s mother, Evangeline Lindbergh, taught chemistry at Cass from 1922 until 1942.”

 

  She shares, “On receiving my MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1968, I was awarded a travel grant which I used to travel to East Africa and Israel which had an important influence on further developing my artwork in Fiber as I designed rugs that were woven in Ethiopia and I designed a rug that was woven in Israel.”  She tells us it was the perfect time to travel to these exotic places, many of which were populated with idealistic Peace Corps volunteers.”   After living in an artists’ village in Israel, she returned to the U.S. to teach. 

Leora tells The Rickie Report, “Upon returning to the USA I was awarded the first of two National Endowment for the Arts Grants which gave me the time to create work and set up a studio.  I began my teaching career at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA, where I established an undergraduate and a graduate program in the Fiber Arts in 1970.”

“I moved to New York City in 1974 and set up a studio where I created large scale architectural commissioned works that were installed in a number of major institutions around the country. I also had a number of one and two person exhibitions in Art Galleries and had my work placed in numerous Corporate Collections,” she explains.

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“Netscape Sea and Sky”: Woven linen with hand made paper and wrappings

She taught a course in the Fiber Arts for 20 years at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.  In 2001, Leora had a 10 year retrospective exhibit at the 2/20 Gallery in New York and in 2006 she relocated to Florida.

Stewart is very quick to point out that she is not retired. And The Rickie Report can understand why.  To work on this article took a number of emails back and forth to find a good time for us to speak.  She is very busy!

One of Leora’s  strengths is networking (another component of fiber design: a fiber creation does not stand by one thread alone).  A colleague, photographer Ray Neubert, shares that ,”Leora is always interested in what other people are doing. So many artists view other people’s art through the lens of their own work. She very open-minded.” Leora’s fiber pieces have been displayed at the Palm Beach International Airport.

 

Since settling in Palm Beach, FL, Leora has been teaching a class in Fiber Arts at the Armory Art Center  located in West Palm Beach.  True to her nurturing and networking inner being, the students who have taken her course have now developed into a group which meets once a month.  They discuss and exchange ideas on different areas of the Fiber Arts and related Arts as well.  They view exhibitions, are involved in workshops, invite guest artists to present work, and further develop as individual artists.  If other fiber artists are interested, please contact  Leora at:  www.leorakstewart.com

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“Entanglements” – Natural hemp fiber, knotted and wrapped with crystal beads.  This piece was created as a site specific installation  at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens in West Palm Beach, FL and was inspired by the intertwining of the banyan/ficus trees in the Gardens where it hung between these two majestic trees as part of EARTHDAY Celebrations, 2010.

In a recent Artist Statement, Leora tells us , “Since living in Florida my work has evolved and grown in a new direction being influenced by my surroundings, the sea and the sky and the lush vegetation. These works are based on my observations of nature and the pieces are horizontal emphasizing their relation to landscape.  I refer to them as “landscape structures”.  The pieces are created by using natural fiber threads with handmade papers and copper wire and are constructed using several textile techniques and I consider these pieces to be similar to forms and structures found in nature as one of constant growth and change.

“These abstract constructions are based on my observations of forms and structures found in nature.  Layers are the focus of my work in several ways: as components of physical structure, as elements of process, and as metaphor for constant change and growth.  The materials are natural fibers, hand-made papers, bamboo reeds, metal wires, glass beads and other found objects. I manipulate these materials using a variety of techniques to construct the pieces, which I refer to as ‘Landscape Structures.'”, she explains.

 

For more information please visit Leora’s website www.leorakstewart.com or send her an email leora@leorakstewart.com

For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact The Rickie Report at:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420

Rickie@therickiereport.com

561-537-0291

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