NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Regier Art Gallery at Bethel College is filled with the glowing colors of Denise Renee’s fiber art.
“Mundane and Magic” is her first-ever solo show as a professional artist – a collection of quilted, woven, hand-dyed and/or felted wall art, along with several examples of her handbags.
Denise Renee is a Newton native who graduated from Hesston High School and Bethel College as Denise Kliewer.
On her website filamentfiberart.com, Denise Renee writes: “Working with natural material and color is my first love, but I also enjoy finding things that would normally be discarded and turning them into new usable favorites. My studio is filled with quality tools: looms, spinning wheels, sewing machines, knitting machines, knitting needles, crochet hooks, felting tools and the list goes on.
“Passion plus natural and reclaimed material plus beloved tools equals creative and unique products.”
In her artist statement for “Mundane and Magic,” Denise Renee reflects on the title of the show.
“After Bethel accepted [my] proposal…, they requested the title. ‘Mundane and Magic’ popped into my head. I have learned to trust my instincts, so I typed it up and sent it on its way. I made a mental note to write down realizations [about] and connections to that title during the year I would be creating.
“As I finished up my last project, I still had nothing…. no realizations, no notes, nothing that I could express in words. I just had a knowing and a feeling of what ‘Mundane and Magic’ meant to me. I trusted that at the right time, it would become clear.
“A week before the installation…, I finished the last stitch on my last project. Less than 24 hours later, clarity came in an unexpected way.
“I was watching The Kindness Diaries. Near the end of the last episode – much like the completion of my own journey – Leon Logothetis said something profound. I couldn’t believe my ears! This was the explanation I had been searching for this whole year.
“[Logothetis said], ‘We can never predict when mundane moments will transpire into magic ones, and that’s okay. The only thing we have to do is to be open to the possibilities.’
“So this is a show about being open to possibilities. It is about trusting that the mundane moments will transpire into magic ones.”
The artist reception for “Denise Renee: Mundane and Magic” is March 16 from 6-8 p.m. outside the Regier Art Gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center on the Bethel campus.
The show will be in the Regier Gallery through March 30 (a week longer than indicated on posters). Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 2-4 p.m. Sunday. The gallery will be closed March 18-25 for Bethel’s spring break. Admission is free.