Friends share love of fiber art
Over 3,000 miles away from home and 15 years later, two professional artists have decided to settle in the Grand Valley.
Friends Mary Hertert and Nancy Dobson met in 1997 in Anchorage and have been great friends ever since. The pair had a public reception on Friday for their fiber art exhibit “Between Here and There,” located in Colorado Mesa University’s Art Gallery. The exhibit will be open Monday through Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. through Feb. 15. The show features artwork inspired by the Grand Valley and Alaskan landscapes.
“Most of the pieces we created specifically for this show, but some of my old work fit into the same category,” said Dobson, “The work shows how Alaska and the Grand Valley are similar and different.”
Dobson and Hertert’s show is especially unique in that each piece is created with fabric, as opposed to the more common paintings, drawings and ceramics. Fiber art is truly a calling for the two artists.
“I personally couldn’t draw myself out of a box,” joked Hertert, “One day I started playing with fabric and six months later I had my own business. I immediately knew this is what I wanted to do.”
Hertert owns Color Creek Fabric Art at 2297 Tall Grass Road.
Hertert and Dobson have submerged themselves into the artistic world. Both are active in the Art Quilters Association and Surface Design Association. Hertert is currently serving as the Assistant State Representative for SDA in Colorado. She teaches fiber art at CMU and has won awards from the Alaska Fiber Festival and the Anchorage Museum’s Earth Fire and Fiber.
Dobson has also won various awards, including Best in Show for the Fiber Arts Exhibit at Infinity Gallery, an international online gallery. She was a featured artist in Alaska Home Magazine and has several pieces displayed in the Elmendorf Air Force Base Hospital in Anchorage.
“I think we just love the tactile quality of working with fiber. We can manipulate different shapes, and perhaps the biggest thing is that we can experiment with different colors,” said Hertert.
Although art fills much of their time, Dobson and Hertert both enjoy spending time with grandchildren. They also relish the opportunity to go hiking and being outdoors, which played a role in their decisions to move to the Grand Valley.
Hertert is an experienced beekeeper. Hertert and her husband, Doug Van Etten, kept bees in Anchorage. “I would love to establish some hives here behind our house,” said Hertert.
Despite having accomplished much in their artistic lives, Dobson and Hertert still have future goals. Both are applying to the BLM Artist in Residence Program at Canyons of the Ancients, which promotes awareness through art of the exceptional natural and cultural treasures protected by the National Landscape Conservation System, according to the Bureau of Land Management website.
The pair would also like to build a fiber art community in the Grand Valley. “It is a passion for us. We live with it and this type of art is ingrained in us,” said Dobson.
Dobson and Hertert would love to see people at the exhibit. Each displayed piece is for sale, with prices ranging from $100 to $875. “This could be the first of a series of events that brings fiber art to Grand Junction,” said Hertert.
“Between Here and There” is the first in a series of spring semester shows that will be hosted by the Art Gallery at CMU, including the “Postcard Charity Exhibit” beginning Feb. 18.
To find out more about Hertert and Dobson or about how to get involved with fiber art, visit www.colorcreekfiberart.com and www.nancydobson.com. Information about CMU’s Postcard Charity Exhibit can be found at http://www.coloradomesa.edu/art/legacy_exhibit.html.