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The Center For The Arts Presents Off The Wall

Exhibit: June 25 – July 31, 2021

Gallery Hours: Tue - Fri, 12pm - 4pm The Granucci Gallery

  • Art Opening: Friday, June 25, 2021 • 5 – 7pm
  • Zoom Q&A: TBD
  • Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Friday, 12 - 4pm. Reserve private gallery time for up to ten people by emailing Gallery@thecenterforthearts.org or calling 530-274-8384. Learn More.
  • Masks are required when visiting The Center

Off the Wall:

A contemporary fiber arts exhibition with multiple artists featuring work that is three-dimensional, free-form, and utilizes fiber-based material: cloth, paper, wood, etc. Curated by Brynn Farwell and Lin Schiffner, the purpose of this exhibition is to break free of the rectangular, two-dimensional confines of wall-based work.


Contributing Artists

Beth Leydon

Since childhood, Beth has been a maker and creator. In 2011 she was exposed to a simple felting technique and dove headlong into this ancient and ever evolving textile art form. She crafts one-of-a-kind pieces utilizing wet and “nuno” felting processes. Wool, yarn, silk and other fibers are transformed into functional and wearable art. Scarves, hats, slippers, vests, purses and decorative vessels are just a handful of items that she produces. She enjoys experimenting with hand dyeing and hunting thrift stores for garments to be repurposed. Locally sourced materials are utilized whenever possible. She offers classes and workshops at her home studio as well as community maker spaces.

Beth Leydon | website

Jennifer Landau

Jennifer Landau’s passion for art, fiber and the mountains has been with her since childhood. Jen is a lifelong resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, with the Sierra Nevada and France as places of family, exploration, retreat, and inspiration. With an academic background in organizational development, Jennifer is a pioneer of the profession, graphic facilitation, where visual thinking is used with teams and organizations. In Jen’s fiber art, handspun wool, “knit felt” and machine felting are signature materials. Increasingly Jennifer is becoming known for her 3D and freestanding art quilt work. Abstract themes draw on her background in graphic design, while landscapes reflect her love of both outdoor and urban life. Her art quilts have been
shown in local art events as well as regional and global SAQA exhibitions. Art Quilting Studio magazine has featured her work since 2013, and she enjoys speaking about the use of wool in her artwork. She sells her fiber work and demonstrates spinning at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair in the San Francisco area. Her work can be seen online at ruedoak.com and hammondhandspun.com

Sandra Poteet

Transitioning between the painted fabric work and other fiber manipulations renews my energy. My art continues to evolve, there are no rules and I exercise the right to try anything new. All doors are open, I can go through.

The choice of cloth as medium sometimes sets me in the midst of the never ending argument about what is art, and what is craft. So many opinions. I am clear that my work is art, but I can resolve to say that if the viewer also decides my work is “Art”, it is well-crafted. If chosen to be seen as “Craft” pieces, they are artful, designed and executed by me to provoke an aesthetic or emotional response. If an original work has integrity and can touch someone’s sensibilities – is the distinction critical?

Sandra Poteet | website

Susan Elsa

I describe my work as "stealth art": the comfortable ambiance of sewn cloth draws viewers in, where they are confronted with the often-uncomfortable paradoxes of
contemporary life. My work has developed in tandem with the art quilt movement, but I am one of the few artists making figurative sculpture—often incorporating sound, light, and movement—from this medium. I use cloth to create an alternate universe, and the resulting work is full of contradictions: it is whimsical, edgy, mundane, surreal, and engaging, all at once. Each piece tells a story, but the narrative is always open to interpretation. The power and beauty of the collaged and quilted cloth surface play off
the form and content of the work, and the result is a dynamic seesaw of meanings and possibilities.

Susan Elsa | website

Valerie Messervy Birkhoff

Valerie Messervy Birkhoff graduated from Portland State University with a B.S. in Arts and Letters. Her work includes clay sculpture, hand-sewn-beaded-wire sculptures, oil/acrylic painting, and mixed media. Her work has been shown from Marin to Joshua Tree and several places in-between. Her awards include the following: Best of Show, for her beaded sculpture, “In Her Hands” at Sacramento Fine Arts Center, and her clay pieces “Sweating Dirt” and “Human Interaction” have also received a Best of Show there as well; First place award for 3D for her clay sculpture “Preasevare” with the Joshua Tree National Park Art Council Show, where she has participated since 2014 and received a Second Place Award in 2015 for her beaded sculpture “Ouch!.” Her clay sculpture “Unveiled Hero” received 3rd Place, a Bold Award for her clay sculpture “Words Hurt,” and her oil painting “Humour” was given an Award of Excellence, in Sacramento. She was included in the 30th Annual Clay Competition in Davis in 2019. She is an instructor of expressive clay sculpture in Auburn at JCLee Studios.

Valerie Messervy Birkhoff | website


Faye Schoolcraft

Faye Schoolcraft was born in Chicago, Illinois, to artist parents, Freeman and Cora Schoolcraft . The family moved to Georgia in 1965. While in the South, she worked for the South Carolina Arts Commission Mobile Arts Program, teaching workshops in rural communities. She migrated to San Francisco, California in 1981 and did post-graduate work at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, and earned a Masters Degree in Fine Arts from Fiberworks of Berkeley, a branch of John F. Kennedy University. She currently resides in Nevada City, California and teaches ceramics and fiber arts at Sierra College. She has exhibited nationally, most notably: Crocker Museum Art Auction, Sacramento, B.N.S.A . Crocker Museum, Sacramento, J.Paul Getty Villa Museum Store, Sculptural Object Fine Art ( S.O.F.A) Chicago, National Fiber Directions in Wichita, Kansas, Small Wonders in New York, New York, Art Santa Fe, Burning Man , Black Rock Desert, Nevada, Feats of Clay in Lincoln, California, The Los Angeles Art Show.

Faye Schoolcraft | website


Lin Schiffner

Lin Schiffner | website


Brynn Farwell

Brynn Farwell was born in Penn Valley, California in 1995. In 2013, she moved from rural California, to Seattle, Washington to attend Cornish College of the Arts where she attained her BFA in 2017. She has exhibited in several solo and group exhibitions including What Informs the Present (2014), The Social Practice: a new artist every day (2015) and ANTI-PRO (2016)​, Brynn Farwell: Introduction (2017). As a Gallery Manager at The Center for the Arts, Brynn has curated several exhibitions including North of Somewhere (2018), Yuba Lands Biennale (2018), Natura Motus (2019), Nancy Mintz: Strata (2020), Denise Wey, A Retrospective: 22 Years of Painting the Yuba (2020). In 2014, she studied abroad in Rome, Italy, in the Rome Studio Art Program through the University of Washington, Bothell. In 2015 she was selected as one in fourteen students across the continent to participate in the New York Studio Residency Program in Brooklyn, NY, for the spring semester of 2016. After graduating with her BFA, Brynn moved back to her home town to work as a Gallery Curator and Programs Manager at the local nonprofit performing and visual arts organization, The Center for the Arts. She also performs in a local funk band, ELEVATION featuring J Silk. Brynn currently lives, creates, performs, and works in Grass Valley, California.

Brynn Farwell | website