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Thread Count: The Intersection of Mathematics and Fiber Arts postcard

Fiber Arts in the Ohio Arts Council's Riffe Gallery

The Ohio Arts Council’s (OAC) Riffe Gallery will open its newest exhibition, Thread Count: The Intersection of Mathematics and Fiber Arts, on Thursday, May 2. This exhibition features work by 13 contemporary fiber artists from the state of Ohio. These artists have created work featuring a variety of materials, shapes, and sizes.

Featured artists include Deborah Bewley (Bowling Green), Sandra Palmer Ciolino (Cincinnati), Judy Kahle (Wauseon), Aimee Lee (Cleveland), John Lefelhocz (Athens), Janice Lessman-Moss (Kent), Migiwa Orimo (Yellow Springs), Christina Pereyma (Troy), Jessica Pinsky (Cleveland), Ian Ruffino (Columbus), Judy Rush (Bexley), Petra Soesemann (Cleveland Heights), and Mary VanWassenhove (Columbus).

Artwork in Thread Count varies by artist and medium. One artist, VanWassenhove, will be exhibiting an interactive piece which highlights the practice of meditation through the geometric principle of Aristotle’s Golden Mean. This philosophy is known as “the desirable middle between two extremes, mathematically defined as two quantities that have the same ratio to one another as the sum of their parts has to the larger quantity (a+b is to a as a is to b, with a being the larger quantity),” said Jane A. Black in her curatorial comments.  Guests are invited to sit and meditate on a hand-tufted rug below a suspended intersection of fabric rectangles.

Another artist, Pereyma, implements themes of finance and human understanding into her work. “Responding to the 2015 Harvard Business Review study that states insertion of a graph in a presentation increased its believability by 23 percent, Pereyma explores the trust we assign to mathematical data, whether we understand it or not,” Black said of Pereyma’s piece. Pereyma’s piece, Financial Data: winners, losers, stumbling emerging, capital flows, M1 and M2, posting outsize, one day moves, EBITDA, seasonally adjusted, fixed, steadied, moving average, resistance lines, upbeat chatter (2018). The piece features a variety of seemingly mathematical graphs, which Pereyma intentionally leaves ambiguous, providing no numerical statements or explanations. She seems to do this with the purpose of emphasizing man’s trust and interest in graphical data.

Many of the artists featured in Thread Count will also lead fiber arts-themed programming. Registration is suggested for most events and required for some. Continue reading for more information.

The opening reception for Thread Count will be Thursday, May 2, 5 – 7 p.m. Guests can enjoy local art, thoughtful conversations, and delicious refreshments at the event. Live music will be provided by local band The Knot Duo. Registration is not necessary. Feel free to stop by anytime between 5 – 7 p.m. Jane Black

Friday, May 3 from noon – 1 p.m. is Black’s curator’s tour. This event is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the specific artworks in the exhibition and Black’s curatorial process. Registrations are suggested. Visit to reserve your spot.

Two drop-in workshops will be offered throughout the exhibition. These workshops are open to 15 participants and feature 30-45 minutes of instruction, followed by a time of hands-on art creation. The first is Aimee Lee’s Hanji thread workshop on Wednesday, May 8, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. In this workshop, participants will create a thread from a sheet of Korean hanji, then use the thread to knit, crochet, or weave an artwork that fits in the palm of their hands. Registrations are suggested. Visit for more information.

The exhibition’s next drop-in workshop features instructor Jessica Pinsky. She will be leading participants in a drop-spindle workshop where they will create their own yarn. This beginner technique allows one to blend colors and fibers together to create custom, hand-spun yarn. Registrations suggested. Visit

For a kid-friendly hands-on event, look no further than Judy Rush’s friends and family workshop on Saturday, May 18, 1 – 3 p.m. Participants will create a keepsake item in felt while encapsulating a message into a ball of fibers. Participants will attach a felted cord and turn their memento into a piece of jewelry or a keychain. Space is limited, so please register at Participants of all ages are welcome to join this artmaking fun!

Two artist talks will take place during the run of the exhibition as well. The first is an artist talk with Janice Lessman-Moss on Wednesday, June 5, noon – 1 p.m. The second is an artist talk with Petra Soesemann on Wednesday, June 12, noon – 1 p.m. Guests will learn more about each artist’s background and art creation process and will have an opportunity to participate in a Q&A session at the end. Registration is not required for these events, but guests are encouraged to arrive early to secure a parking spot and seat in the gallery.

The final event of the exhibition is a creative writing workshop with Rikki Santer on Thursday, June 27, 5:30 – 8 p.m. Participants will expand their creative writing skills through exercises and discussion with Santer, an award-winning poet. Registrations are required. Visit

Thread Count: The Intersection of Mathematics and Fiber Arts will be on display at the OAC Riffe Gallery May 2 – July 6, 2019. Admission to the gallery and all events is free and open to the public. For more information, visit or call 614-644-9624. The gallery is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m.  to 4 p.m.

The Ohio Arts Council’s Riffe Gallery showcases the work of Ohio's artists and the collections of the state's museums and galleries. The Riffe Gallery is located in the Vern Riffe Center for Government and the Arts, across from the Statehouse on High Street in Downtown Columbus. Like the Riffe Gallery on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. Connect with the OAC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or visit our website at


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