Telling It Slant: The Crafts of NIAD Art Center

In her statement for the current exhibition "Telling It Slant" at the Richmond Art Center, guest curator and author Courtney Eldridge quotes an Emily Dickinson poem, "Tell all the truth but tell it slant." It's an indirect, perhaps alternate way of looking at reality.

It seems a fitting title and a fitting poem. The artists presented are from NIAD Art Center: Nurturing Independence through Artistic Development, a place that has been "helping artists with disabilities produce craft objects and contemporary art for more than thirty years." Their works are their truths, sometimes arrived at from a roundabout route, but others can connect to them and to the creative spirit of them, too.

As a whole, the show was very strong. A few artists and their works stood out to my art-exploring friend and me.

Heather Copus
This appears to have been sewn onto a wool blanket
with wool roving needlefelted to make the circular patches.

Sylvia Fragoso
We were struck by the design in the upper left.

Kevin Randolph
We were delighted by the fabric samples and playing cards, tags and buttons—
whatever interested him. Sewed on rather than sewn together.

Alice Sampson
We wanted one of her works.
Both were sold, $60 each.

Alice Sampson

Susan Wise

Susan Wise

The Dickinson poem also includes the line, "The truth must dazzle gradually." Presented in the hallway gallery near the classrooms, the collection of artworks did dazzle gradually, and then made us want to run home and grab cloth, embroidery thread, felt, and a needle. The works are beautiful, full of life, spontaneous, yet meticulously done. I've seen so much art that has disappointed me recently, it was a relief and a blessing (not a word I'd normally use) to see such an inspiring show.

"Telling It Slant: The Crafts of NIAD Art Center" may be seen through August 21, 2015 at 2540 Barrett Ave, Richmond, CA (near the Richmond City Hall). Gallery hours are T-Sa, 10am - 5pm; Sun, noon - 5pm. Free admission.


Amanda said…
There is something very affirming about the works pictured here. They really tpich a chord with me. Thank-you for posting them Ailsa!