Collection: Follow the String: Cedars of Marin + NIAD // Marin MOCA
Follow the String is an exhibition developed in partnership with Cedars and NIAD Art Center, two Bay Area based progressive studio programs for adults with developmental disabilities.
Curated by NIAD’s Emma Spertus and Julio Rodriguez with NIAD artists Felicia Griffin, Dorian Reid, and Kiesha White, the exhibition features artists from Cedars and NIAD, alongside artists from the broader Bay Area arts community. Follow the String showcases conventionally trained artists alongside artists with disabilities, blurring distinctions between "insider" and "outsider" art. A workshop will bring together participating artists to create a new fiber-based work for the exhibition.
In one of many free-wheeling conversations between exhibition curators Emma Spertus and Kiesha White about fiber art and rug-making, Kiesha (also a NIAD studio artist) described her process: just ‟follow the string.” Emma goes on to say, ‟We're bridging communities—Cedars and NIAD and the greater arts community—and it’s exciting to see where interests and creative voices overlap. Fiber was the starting point, but it has really exploded. Like any medium that has deep roots, there's a wellspring of continual interest in fiber, and Follow the String is a snapshot of what that interest looks like today."
The material of thread is a simple and powerful metaphor for connectivity. As individuals we are strands; as communities we are intertwined. These concepts draw from the rich history of Northern California utopian design and craftwork centered in Marin County and the Bay Area in the 1960’s and 70’s. Follow the String will trace a lineage from these countercultural dreamers to contemporary practitioners who continue to deploy craft and handwork as a means to achieve a more democratic and inclusive world.
Public programs will be designed around the model of inclusive and collaborative craft and handwork forums to create opportunities for dialogue, discussion, and problem-solving through collective action. An artist-led workshop by master weavers from Cedars will demonstrate their working techniques and artistic process. Program dates to be announced.
An accompanying satellite exhibition will run concurrently in NIAD’s Annex Gallery space in Richmond.