Augustana College printing logo

Schussheim-Anderson’s work featured in Michigan

November  13, 2013

Artist and Augustana professor Rowen Schussheim-Anderson with her work on display at West Shore College in Scottville, Minn. (Photos courtesy the Manistee (Mich.) News Advocate)

By Ken Grabowski, Manistee News Advocate

SCOTTVILLE, Mich. — It takes mere seconds while watching artist Rowen Schussheim-Anderson’s face to see the passion for her work emerge as she talks about her upcoming fiber works display at the Manierre Dawson Gallery on the campus of West Shore College.

Schussheim-Anderson’s exhibit opens Monday and will run until Dec. 4. She is a professor of fine art at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., and much of her work is influenced by her interests and travels around the world.

“I have been weaving tapestries for a long time,” she said. “It is a very ancient technique, but I use a lot of contemporary applications and innovations along with it. A lot of time when I finish weaving, I add things like bead work or glass or sometimes embroidery or stitch work.”

The work she creates is not all done on the loom. Basketry techniques to make some sculptural form is also used in the process to create a final product.

“Before I start on any of these, I first make a sketch. Other times I take pictures and make a collage with some of the photos,” she said. “But it does start with a sketch, and the sketch gets made bigger into an enlarged sketch, like a large cartoon. That is attached to the back of the piece of the base, and it is almost a paint by number type of thing.”

One of the added features of the exhibit will be a PowerPoint presentation located between the images from the market for those attending the show. It will help them gain a perspective of what inspired Schussheim-Anderson on these pieces of artwork.

Schussheim-Anderson will be showing another series of her artwork that was inspired by butterflies. She finds the intricate structure of the butterfly wings often makes interesting textile artwork.

“It kind of looks at the richness of patterns of butterflies and the organic structures,” she said. “I have one that was inspired by a Monarch butterfly, and I just zoom in on one part of it. Another one I photographed different sections of the butterfly wings, and that is what led to creating that piece of work.”

Tapestries is something Schussheim-Anderson has done for many years since she first studied it in college.

“I majored in weaving and textile design, so I really started in it and love it,” she said. “Fiber is exciting to me because it is a line, and that can become texture and color. It is like you are doodling, but you are actually creating fiber when you are doing it. How cool is that?”

WSCC professor of art Rebecca Mott who overseas the exhibits at the Manierre Dawson Gallery said they feel it will be another great exhibit.

“I am really excited, as I love the colors and the textures,” she said. “I have a weaving background too, but I haven’t seen weavings this exciting. This is a nice sort of a follow-up to a fiber show we had at the Ludington Art Center.”

The gallery is located in the Arts and Science Center on WSCC campus. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday. The exhibit may also be viewed on weekends and evenings when events are scheduled in the Center Stage Theater.

(This article first appeared in the Manistee (Mich.) News Advocate. Used by permission.)