UNT fibers professor Amie Adelman travels the world thanks to her art

Amie Adelman (Photo by Ahna Hubnik)Amie Adelman, found inspiration for her fibers work on the walls of UNT's old Scoular Hall.

The associate professor of fibers loved seeing the yarn on the warping boards, a wooden frame that yarn is wrapped around before dressing a loom. She would imagine the stripes of color coming off of the frames and jumping into space.

Eventually, Adelman began emulating those patterns with thread -- but on a much larger scale, using canvases and sometimes walls. Those works have led to big projects in her career and especially this past summer.

One piece is appearing at the Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for the next year. She traveled to Iceland this August on a grant. And she had a solo exhibition this summer  at Mountain View College in Dallas.

"Life is really busy, but it's really good," she says.

Converge by Amie AdelmanThe Hartfield-Jackson piece is part of the exhibition "Flight Patterns." Adelman had known the curator, Dot Moye ― who, coincidentally, is the mother of UNT history associate professor J. Todd Moye -- and liked Adelman's artwork.

The 72- by-42-inch piece, "Converge," features a variety of colored thread stretched on canvas. The thread converges at the top like a runway, and subtle shifts in color create patterns within the piece.

"It is a simple piece, but as the threads overlap one another the work becomes visually complex," she says.

She says she's honored to have her work included in with top notch artists at the airport -- one of the largest in the world -- and has even received pictures from friends posing in front of her work.

Adelman knows about traveling. She's had grants that have taken her to Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, Guatemala, Norway, Scotland and England. This summer, she headed for a residency in Iceland through the organization Gullkistan.

"During the residency, I investigated new techniques by researching historical textiles and contemporary fibers," she says. "I photographed, sketched, kept a notebook, began samples to complete at home."

Several books and journals, including American Craft, have featured Adelman's work.

A retrospective of her work, "Defining Line," was on display at Mountain View. Included with the 15 pieces were two installations -- one of which included thread stretched from hooks on the wall and the other with nails.

Adelman also installed a permanent installation at the college titled "Grounded." It took three intense weeks to install more than 4,000 yards of 40-pound fishing line on 289 hooks with 386 knots.

For this piece, she had to figure out how much weight was needed to support the pedestal, and she ended up using more than 800 pounds of sandbags. She spoke about the installation at a TEDx Talk at Mountain View College.

"I always learn something from installations," she says. "There's one problem you need to figure out. I like the challenge."

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