Call and Response

Exhibition of works by Judy Bales and Rene Shoemaker

This exhibition featured mixed media sculpture and fashion by Judy Bales and painted silk banners and fashion by Rene Shoemaker. It was installed at Lyndon House Arts Center, Athens, Georgia, 2018. Bales and Shoemaker have a decades long friendship and a shared history with Athens, Georgia and with fiber arts education at the University of Georgia.

Artworks in the exhibition included intentional responses by each artist to the other’s work as well as juxtaposed works that reveal the many subtle connections between their very different approaches to textile arts.

Works by Bales were constructed from industrial and/or recycled materials and were in largely inspired by rural Iowa, where the artist has made her home for many years. Materials for artwear include cable ties and reclaimed plastic mesh from the roofing industry. Materials for suspended sculptures include recycled plastic mesh from the roofing industry, cable ties, and recycled nylon and metal from the zipper industry.

Painted works on silk by Shoemaker echo geographical locations meaningful to the artist, especially locations in Georgia and in France, where she divides her time. She has devoted her career to perfecting the art of painting on silk, combining minimal and spontaneous lines with the precision needed for large scale silk paintings.