Constance Terrell’s “Textiles At Its Finest” show at Portfolio Gallery through March 31st exhibits powerful soft sculptural imagination and pure, elegant forms.

Alk Tied Up by Constance Terrell

“ALL TIED UP (100% COTTON/ACRYLIC) is how I felt, when I was creating a new face for textile art, coming from the fashion world,” says Constance. “ALL TIED UP keeps me connected to where I have or have not been. It’s currently exhibited at LAMATH BUILDING, OAKLAND, CA. Portfolio Gallery would like to see ALL TIED UP next.”

Constance Terrell lives and works in Oakland, California, one of my old home towns for many years and where I earned my BFA at the California College of Arts (and Crafts) majoring in clay sculpture, and graduating with high distinction. There, I learned “There is no art without craft,” and in a recent phone conversation with Constance Terrell, she agreed with me completely.

Portfolio Gallery & Educational Center
3514 Delmar Blvd. St. Louis, Missouri, 63103
314-533-3323, Email:
Grand Center, Arts, Entertainment & Education District

Now this fiber artist who has come out of the fashion design world has a solo exhibition at Robert Powell’s Porfolio Gallery in St. Louis (you can read more about both Mr. Powell and Portfolio under the Art Matters category)…titled “Textiles At It’s Finest.” Certainly, it is that. Through March 31, Portfolio Gallery opens its 18th season, with the textile art of Constance Terrell. This exhibit is sponsored by Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc.

Here’s what Constance says herself about the roots of her love affair with fabric. Like so many of us, it came from home, and in her case, from her grandmother:

“I have been working with textiles for the past 14 years. I became attracted to fabric watching my Grandmother Jerry make ruffled crocheted table ornaments from 100% cotton yarn. At the time I was too young to put this art picture together. Now that I am mature in my art stlye, it makes sense.

“Crocheted textiles started around the 1700s in England and since traveled to different parts of the world. My grandmother was the first person that I saw turning beautiful crocheted table art into sculpture. She would create a form and then dip it into hot starch, letting it cool just long enough to handle the material. The starch would dry and the art form would hold its shape.

“This traditional, yet newly-developing art that is pleasing to the eyes will make the mind wonder. Textile Art is a developing art that can be manipulated and twisted into many diffrent shapes. Textile Art is made from all kinds of fabrics used in making 2-sided wall hangings, acrylic columns and soft sculpture with unlimited boundaries.”

Ms. Terrell’s Portfolio Gallery exhibit features paintings, drawings, sculpture, and mixed media textile pieces that explores the boundaries of textile art, with some particularly fine soft sculpture pieces. For many viewers when they think of textile art, they will think of quilting, painting on fabric and woven hangings. Constance Terrell has been manipulating textiles into beautiful fine art since 1996. Her art style is somewhat unexpected and a risky path to take.

Mr. Powell says, “As the twenty-first century unfolds and the art world seems increasingly dominated by artists who have embraced the new technologies, I am impressed by the power of abstract textile, art to hold its ground. Despite the expanding spectrum of media and high-tech tools, painting and especially abstraction, still offers a realm of visual pleasure and intellectual fulfillment that remains compelling.”

Burning Bush wall hanging by Constance Terrell

BURNING BUSH IS 3′ X 5′ 100% cotton, acrylic, poly–black,white, gold $3,500

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