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Photo: Craft Yarn Council

Artists Create A Fiber Fairytale At Sweet Tooth Hotel


by Therese Powell 23 Jun 2020

Every day on Art&Seek, we’re talking to people who have tips on art in the time of social distancing.  Share yours with us on Facebook, Instagram, or @artandseek on Twitter. Click above to listen to Jencey Keeton, founder of the Sweet Tooth Hotel share her tip with KERA’s Nilufer Arsala. 

Jencey Keeton, Founder, Sweet Tooth Hotel. Photo: TA Visuals

Intangible: The Fiber Fairy Tale is finally open at the Sweet Tooth Hotel. And by finally, we mean the exhibit featuring the fiber and textile art of female artists was a long time coming.

The exhibit was supposed to open April 18, but COVID-19 delayed that date until June 6. Then the show was held off another five days because of the curfew in Victory Park. But, as it turned out, the postponement wasn’t all bad.

‘Intangible: A Fiber Fairytale’ is on view at the Sweet Tooth Hotel through June 2021.

“Everyone created their concepts a year ago and they have been working on them ever since. I think the show is is actually even bigger than it would have been because everybody just continued to work over the extra 3 months,” said Sweet Tooth Hotel Founder Jencey Keeton.

And big it is. More than 2 million feet of yard donated by the Craft Yarn Council was used to create the exhibit. Guests can explore 11 installations of colorful and immersive art made exclusively from fiber and textiles.

“There’s a giant 7-foot, hand-tufted pink cat, a bakery made entirely of hand-crocheted treats, a yard-bombed room inspired by New York City,” said Keeton. “My favorite is an enchanted garden full of crocheted flowers, bugs and butterflies. It’s really magical.”

Here’s more about the all-female cast.

Rigged – Niki Dionne

Photo: TA Visuals

Dallas-based fiber artist and illustrator Niki Dionne has created an install that is a claw machine inside a claw machine. She’s made  different pompoms inside the machine as well as massive pompoms outside of the machine. Her statement on the install is how the system is rigged against women of color similar to the claw machine. You can rig them so people can never win.

Sucre Fleuf! – Twinkie Chan

Photo; TA Visuals

Twinkie Chan, from San Francisco, is known as a crochet chef. She has created an imaginary bakery known as Sucre Fleuf!– a take on “Sacré Bleu!” an exclamation of surprise or delight. “Sucre” means “sugar.” “Fleuf” is made-up and a reference to the fluff on a cake. Visitors to her space will find a variety of whimsical crocheted treats–everything from banquettes to donuts.

Alli K

Photo: Craft Yarn Council

Dallas-base monochromatic muralist Alli K is the  only non-fiber artist in the exhibit.  She’s created a traditional hotel room, but one that you’d find only at the Sweet Tooth Hotel. “Alli K stayed true to our original vision by taking over one of the featured gallery spaces to create her version of an Alli K Hotel Room featuring her well known floral murals which incorporate cross stitch yarn and real life florals which fill the space.” said Keeton

Enchanted Passage – Sally Ackerman and Dallas Yarn Bombers  

Photo: TA Visuals

Ackerman’s work goes back to 2011 and the International Yarn Bomb Movement, when she began placing her first ‘street bombs’ of skirts on street signs and sweaters on fire hydrants. Enchanted Passage is filled with life-sized knit and crochet flowers ranging from hydrangeas to poppies, daffodils to wisteria. There are also a few extra large friends to greet you along your journey through the passage. along your metamorphosis journey between caterpillar and butterfly.

New York City/Mermaid Lagoon – London Kaye

Photo: TA Visuals

London Kaye is a Los Angeles-based street artist. She’s created crocheted works in cities and recently installed a piece honoring George Floyd outside the White House. She has an eclectic room inspired by the spirit of New York City with soft graffiti, puddling yarn pipes and a real mailbox perfect for love letters. She also has an underwater space illustrated with yarn sea creatures and sea weed line the walls.

An Impossible Reality – Jackie Lawrence

Photo: TA Visuals

Lawrence is a fiber artist and recent graduate of the University of North Texas’ Fibers program. Her large scale installations are meant to feel overpowering yet intimate. Under the name “Forest Fibers,” Lawrence works with multiple fiber processes including weaving, latch hook, embroidery, crochet, and knitting. Her work focuses on themes of space and personal environments, shifting from representative to abstract.

Temporal Jungle – Molly Margaret Sydnor

Photo: TA Visuals

Dallas-based multidisciplinary fine artist Sydnor has the largest install in the exhibit. Her work, “Temporal Jungle,” is  tongue-in-cheek  as it plays with recognizable and nostalgic objects like a baseball hoop juxtaposed with sexual innuendos and adult content like a stripper pole. It’s the duality of childhood verses adulthood.

So Cozy –  Hannah Busekrus

Photo: TA Visuals

Busekrus has a background in graphic arts and has been working in fibers, but this is her first large scale fiber installation. Her room features a giant 7-foot hand-tufted cat and other three dimensional characters that share his space. The install is called So Cozy because it’s supposed to be what a cat would dream about when it’s asleep–including a larger-than-life mouse.

You (are) Tube – Joanna Lin

Photo: TA Visuals

Lin is a multidisciplinary artist from Colorado who is currently based in Dallas. Her art practice, Soft Surprise, plays with irony and humor to create a wide range of functional and non-functional objects. All of her knitted pieces were made with a domestic knitting machine from the 80s and a hand-crank tubular knitting machine adapted with a hand drill. Visitors to her space will find knitted tubes served 3 ways: very long tubes, very short tubes, and also stuffed tubes.

Got a tip? Email Therese Powell at [email protected] You can follow her on Twitter @TheresePowell13

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