SDA-WA Grant Jury Panel: Francesca Penchant

SDA-WA Group Event Grant applications are due at midnight on October 1, 2018. Our jurors (Pat Herkal, Claire B. Jones, Roberta Nelson and Francesca Penchant), fiber artists with varied careers, volunteered to be on the panel to support you, SDA-WA members! To help you get to know them better, here is the last of all four bios.

Francesca Penchant is a multidisciplinary artist known for her dark, self-portrait photographs. She grew up in a bi-ethnic family, with a Nuyorican mother and a white father, which inspired her to make emotional portraits of outsiders using various media (craft, costume, photography, digital media). “Growing up, I hungered to see people who were different. So, presenting people who are different is something I want to do in the portraits I make.” One example is a remake of Diane Arbus’s portrait Puerto Rican Woman with a Beauty Mark, in which the subject’s makeup-strewn face has an alienated expression.

Francesca has exhibited her work throughout the West Coast. She has a Certificate in Fiber Arts from the University of Washington, an MFA in graphic design from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and two BAs, in art history and English, from Pitzer College in Claremont, California. She lives in Seattle.

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SDA-WA Grant Jury Panel: Roberta Nelson

SDA-WA Group Event Grant applications are due at midnight on October 1, 2018. Our jurors (Pat Herkal, Claire B. Jones, Roberta Nelson and Francesca Penchant), fiber artists with varied careers, volunteered to be on the panel to support you, SDA-WA members! To help you get to know them better, here is the third of all four bios.

Roberta Nelson has been fascinated with fabric, pattern and color all her life. Her early years were filled with creative activities, embroidery, rug hooking and later batik and sewing. “Fabric stores called my name,” she says.

A graduate of the University of Oregon, she found her love of people and communication working as a counselor and educator. Moving to Seattle with her husband Craig, they created a life together, remodeling two homes and raising two children, Julia and Eric.

Creativity morphed into sacred making and began to have deeper roots as Roberta studied design at Bellevue College, Fung Shui and immersed herself in understanding the spiritual world within and without. Creating gardens, cooking beautiful and healthy food for her family and friends and making things with and for her children further developed her creativity. During this time, she worked as an event and marketing manager and dabbled in the fiber arts, learning to dye and manipulate fabric.

In 2009, reeling from the loss of her creative muse and best friend, she enrolled in the University of Washington Fiber Arts Certificate program. This began a journey of developing and finding her creative voice. Her commitment to art flourished and grew as she took classes from teachers and mentors Jane Dunnewold, Lisa Call, Dorothy Caldwell and others.

Her intuition is her guide and nature is her inspiration. Metaphors for life in the natural world are used in her artwork to make a statement or express an idea or feeling.

Roberta’s work has been show at the University of Washington, at regional surface design shows as well as art festivals in Western Washington.

SDA-WA Grant Jury Panel: Claire B. Jones

SDA-WA Group Event Grant applications are due at midnight on October 1, 2018. Our jurors (Pat Herkal, Claire B. Jones, Roberta Nelson and Francesca Penchant), fiber artists with varied careers, volunteered to be on the panel to support you, SDA-WA members! To help you get to know them better, here is the second of all four bios.

Claire B. Jones

Claire B. Jones creates colorful, whimsical, free-standing sculptures by painting with thread on cotton canvas. The fabric evolves by layering and blending a myriad of machine stitched thread until the underlying canvas is completely covered.

Claire grew up in Scotland, playing in the streets under the watchful eye of the dormant textile mills which dominate the Paisley landscape to this day. Although later in life she would study Art and Design along with Experimental Stitch at the Gail Harker Creative Studies Center, she initially studied Software Engineering in Edinburgh. This propelled her into a world of technology, pulling her from one technological hub to the next, through to her current home in Seattle.

It is from the convergence of these worlds that her art emerges. Engineering and the time-honored traditions of stitch collide as she transgresses the boundaries of what can be created with a sewing machine. Claire hopes her sculptures – and the innovative processes out of which they emerge – generate a sense of possibility, a belief in our capacity to conceive and realize new forms.

SDA-WA Grant Jury Panel: Pat Herkal

Reminder! SDA-WA Group Event Grant applications are due at midnight on October 1, 2018. Our jurors (Pat Herkal, Claire B. Jones, Roberta Nelson and Francesca Penchant), fiber artists with varied careers, volunteered to be on the panel to support you, SDA-WA members! To help you get to know them better, here is the first of all four biographies.

Pat Herkal

Pat Herkal was raised as an army brat, moving frequently on the east coast and in France. Her passion has been fiber ever since her grandmother taught her to embroider and to crochet rag rugs when she was five.

Pat’s husband and she raised their two daughters in Riverton, Wyoming on the Wind River Reservation. She was active in the art and fiber community creating, volunteering and participating in craft fairs around the Rockies. Her main focus was weaving and quilting.

Port Townsend, Washington has been their forever home since 2004. She discovered beads and bead embroidery there and they have taken over her life!

Pat volunteers at Northwind Art Center as a docent and is on the Installation Committee. Her beaded pieces were juried into the NAC Artist Showcase for 2016. Other pieces have been juried into numerous shows at NAC over the years. Some have received Merit and People’s Choice awards. She has been juried into two shows at Confluence Gallery in Twisp, Washington. Pat is an active member of the Surface Design Association and has shown in SDA shows around the Olympic Peninsula.