Currently hanging in the Kendal Gallery is the work of textile artist Sonja Henney Tugend, titled, “Sonja Henney Tugend: Surfaces.” These stunning textiles and encaustics are brilliant in color. Her art is contemporary yet primitive, organic, textural, serendipitous and completely intuitive.
Sonja’s work is inspired by Hundertwasser, Paul Klee, Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. However, her surroundings in Holmes County Amish country can just as easily launch a new piece.
Artistry is Woven into the Fabric
Rather than using commercial cottons and silks, in her textile art, Sonja creates them in her home studio. They are immersion dyed, painted, silk screened, discharged, bound and clamped and otherwise manipulated to begin the process, and repeated many times over, as the art develops. Without the use of sketches, free-form pieces of fabric are arranged and rearranged on a design wall until the composition ‘feels right’ and is sewn together. In her encaustic work, pigmented wax and hot surfaces are completely different elements than dyepots and fabric, but the thought process is similar.…melting, instead of cutting, adding another color, and working until the piece comes to life.
Sonja Tugend is Artist and Teacher
Sonja’s art quilts hang in private corporate, residential and liturgical spaces across the country. She teaches in the area of innovative quiltmaking and surface design and was handpicked by the Cleveland Museum of Art to teach workshops in conjunction with their landmark ‘Quilts of Gees Bend’ exhibition in 2004. ‘Two Thousand One, Nine Eleven,’ the art she created to commemorate the tragic events of September 11 was selected for a three-year world tour and was published by C&T Publishing in ‘AMERICA: From the Heart’, the proceeds of which benefited the families of the heroes killed that day.
Sonja has served on the Executive Board of the Textile Art Alliance of the Cleveland Museum of Art. She is the founder of Contemporary Cloth Artists [CoCA] in Northeast Ohio She currently serves as a member of the Liturgical Arts ‘Holy Threads’ team at First Presbyterian Church in Wooster, where she resides.
The exhibit runs through January 31, 2016. The Kendal Gallery is located at Kendal at Oberlin ~ 600 Kendal Drive ` Oberlin Ohio. The gallery is open from 9AM to 7PM Monday through Friday and 9AM to 6PM Saturday and Sunday.
Story by Nancy Freed
Photo: Technicolor Trees, textile art by Sonja Henney Tugend