Threads of Joy

A Celebratory exhibition of work by fiber artist Ivy Jensen presented by The Woodlands Arts Council

Ivy Jensen has been sewing for as long as she can remember, initially inspired by her mother, an expert quilter, whose favorite expression was “interest creates energy” which referenced bringing ideas to reality. Ivy, now aged 87, continues to create and sew daily.

“Threads of Joy” is presented by The Woodlands Arts Council, where we take a retrospective journey through the many facets of Ivy Jensen’s lifetime of work to date.

I was honored to visit Ivy in her home where she is surrounded by countless examples of experimental fabric and fiber art, in a multitude of shapes and forms.  Painted, dyed, torn, frayed, bleached, melted, embellished and cherished, these beautiful works of art are a kaleidoscope of color and are emblazoned with heavy textures and fanciful stitches, made both by hand and machine, there is a world of detail in every piece.

However, Ivy isn’t your regular quilter, her initial skills motivated her to attend workshops in creative sewing, fabric weaving and other fiber art related courses. A longtime member of SAQA - Studio Art Quilt Associates, a wonderful international community of over 4000 artists, curators, collectors and art professionals around the globe, all with a passion for quilting and fiber arts. Through SAFA and other groups in which she was an active member, Ivy would regularly have her designs in exhibitions and fashion shows including exhibiting her work in San Francisco, Louisiana, Istanbul, Turkey and The Houston International Quilt Festival.

A lover of words and literature, Ivy has a B.S. from The University of Houston, and her words find their way into her art. “Salvage the Selvedge”, a coat made from the routinely discarded selvages and edges of fabric, is lined in red with a hand painted poem inside written by Ivy.  Words regularly make an appearance in her art works.

Ivy has taught many classes in creative stitching, needle lace, alcohol ink techniques and marbling, and uses each of these categories in her own work. Experimental use of textiles has been a great passion throughout the years and led to working with unusual materials including rubber bands, hair pins, cassette tapes, acrylic rods and Tyvek which is used in the construction industry. The different weights of Tyvek lend themselves to accepting paint and can be sewn easily, like fabric. Ivy works in this way and then melts and burns the Tyvek with a heat gun for further effects which create sculptural forms and formations, these webs and threads allow the vivid backing fabrics to show through.

Family and community are paramount in her work, and Ivy has created art quilts for members of her family, all designed and sewn with love at the heart of the project. 

“Threads of Joy”, is the inaugural exhibition welcoming The Woodlands Arts Council to their new location at 9540 Grogans Mill Road, suite 160.   Every artwork was carefully hand selected and curated by interior designer Nancy Charbonneau and artist/curator/writer Annette Palmer. A well-attended private viewing took place on September 22 as part of the soft opening at the new location. Please check the Woodlands Arts Council website for details of exhibition opening hours when the show will be open to the public.

“The Woodlands Arts Council (TWAC), Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The mission of The Woodlands Waterway Arts Council, Inc. is to provide regional cultural and educational enrichment opportunities that encourage, support and promote the performing and visual arts. 
Our primary goal is to create a strong and vital arts presence in the area. We believe the arts can open the doors of our minds, strengthen character, heal the body and foster an appreciation of other cultures.”




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