The University of St. Thomas Department of Art History will open the exhibition “Skimming the Surface: Pattern and Narrative” on June 9 in the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center lobby gallery on the St. Paul campus, 2115 Summit Ave. An artist reception will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, June 12.

The exhibition will explore two methods of creating surface design: Through the manipulation of the structure and the embellishment applied to the outer face of a textile. “Skimming the Surface” features the work of seven regional textile artists who excel in the ability to create surface pattern through a range of techniques.

Charlene Burningham

Charlene Burningham

Participating artists:

Beth Barron explores memory and the present in her altered and then further embellished pieces.

Charlene Burningham, one of the mainstays of quilting in the area, not only shows how piecing and quilting can be used to obtain surface pattern, but that weaving – often in unusual materials – can provide the same visual interest.

Nancy Eha, with her complex and time-consuming beadwork, focuses gently on social issues that the viewer will immediately recognize.

Bernadette Mahfood is an expressive artist in several mediums, and is able to be decorative at the same time she is making serious social points.

Barbara Otto combines ancient sewing stitches with the latest in digital imagery to produce intriguing collages in textile.

Christine Pradel-Lien creates tapestries that tell stories, both familiar and enigmatic, and is a master in her craft.

Karen Searle works in three-dimensional textile creation, and is unafraid to tackle difficult materials, and also questions about society and gender roles.

“Skimming the Surface: Pattern and Narrative” is offered in conjunction with the Surface Design Association Conference, Confluence, held in the Twin Cities June 4-17. St. Thomas will be one of the stops on SDA Gallery Day, Thursday, June 9, from noon to 5 p.m. For a schedule of conference workshops, participants and gallery tour stops visit  the SDA website.

All events are free, open to the public and handicap accessible. For more information contact Sue Focke, (651) 962-5560, or visit the Art History website.