Julie Sirek Exhibition: Behind Closed Doors

Friday, April 14, 2017.

The Anderson Center continues its exhibition series on Friday, April 14, with Behind Closed Doors, an exhibition of textile art by artist Julie Sirek. Free and open to the public, the evening will begin with a reception at 7PM in the Anderson Center barn, followed by an artist talk and tour at 8PM.

Julie Sirek is best identified as an artist with a social conscience. The issue of domestic violence is a constant theme in her work. She believes art is a vehicle capable of creating social awareness and change. She believes that art breaks barriers, connects across cultural differences, and engages our shared values. She works primarily with paper in conjunction with the ancient process of joomchi. Through her adaptation of this ancient Korean felting technique, she transforms paper into a unique teMarley Kaul artxtile-like material.

For Sirek, Hanji or Korean mulberry paper is the principal component of her work. She uses it in conjunction with a process known as joomchi, a paper felting technique that dates back to the Korean Chosun Dynasty (1397-1897). Because no written records of joomchi exist, the art was nearly extinct. Because of the diligence of a few practitioners of this technique, the popularity of joomchi is seeing a revival in contemporary art. By combining hanji with water and friction—a very time-consuming process—the fibers fuse together. This complex structure enables Sirek to create two and three-dimensional sculptural pieces without the use of glue or armatures. This process allows her to produce cloth-like paper/textiles that range from delicate in nature to strong and leather-like textures.

Sirek has exhibited throughout the United States and in Canada, England and South Korea. Her awards include a Jerome Fiber Artist Project Grant in 2014 and a Minnesota State Arts Board Artists Initiative Grant in 2015. Born in Minnesota, Sirek attended Minneapolis College of Art and Design and received a BFA in Print Paper Book. She was an Anderson Center artist resident in August 2015.

The Behind Closed Doors exhibition will run through June 23.

This activity was made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

This activity is also supported by a grant from the McKnight Foundation. The McKnight Foundation, a Minnesota-based family foundation, seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations. Program interests include regional economic and community development, Minnesota’s arts and artists, early literacy, youth development, Midwest climate and energy, Mississippi River water quality, neuroscience research, international crop research, and rural livelihoods. Founded in 1953 and independently endowed by William and Maude McKnight, the Foundation had assets of approximately $2.2 billion and granted about $87 million in 2016. www.mcknight.org