March 21 – May1, 2022 | Geoffrey A. Wolpert Gallery
After being postponed for two years due to the pandemic, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts is proud to feature works by Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage artist of the year, Alex Foster.
Alex Foster (they/she) is an interdisciplinary artist and educator, living and working in Roanoke VA. Foster works with traditional craft, natural dyes, and printing with plants on fabric to explore the human fallacy of separation- from the natural world and one another. They received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fibers and Material studies from James Madison University in 2015. A deep love for fabric has led them to work as a studio assistant for Aya Fiber Studio in Stuart Florida, an internship as a costume stitcher for the American Shakespeare Center, and several work-study fellowships at craft schools along the east coast.
“Fabric is my medium for exploring the wonders of nature. I create prints using collected plants and natural dye techniques on cloth. This practice exists as a craft, a commentary, and a communion with the natural world. I am quite literally infusing fabric with surrounding plant life according to time and place. Through this process I strive to shed light on the symbiosis of humans and nature through the lens of cloth. I am fascinated by the human connection to landscape. People visit nature as an escape but we are intrinsically intertwined from our first breath to our last. Throughout life we fill our lungs with oxygen, produced by the mass collective of plants under the umbrella of the Earth’s atmosphere. We fuel our bodies with plants and our automobiles with their fossilized ancestors. With Earth’s resources we build cities and shape society, organizing thought into patterns that are distinctly human. In a world saturated by technology and the constant need for more, the plants are an eternal reminder that nature provides us with everything we really need.
My goal is to inspire others to slow down and examine their everyday consumption and movements in relation to the natural world. Each piece of fabric is created from a walk in nature, through their pigments the plants communicate a union of breath, sun, and soil in the effortless giving of life.”
Foster maintains an active teaching schedule sharing the fundamentals of natural dyeing and artistic practice with a breadth of audience including appointments at the Appalachian Center for Craft, the Visual Arts Center in Richmond and Floyd Center for the Arts. Foster is a co-director for the VALLT, a community nonprofit aiming to educate the public on diversity and inclusion by increasing the visibility of underrepresented artists whose work captures the dynamic intellectual and physical landscape of Roanoke. Foster teaches elementary art in Roanoke City Public Schools.
Check out www.fosterfiber.com to see more of Foster’s work and follow @fosterfiber on Instagram to learn more about the natural dye and printing process.