The cross stitch work of artist Niskayuna on display at the Latham exhibition


Some works of art are done quickly, with the click of a button or with a few brushstrokes. Others take time.

At least, that’s what Jennifer Paperman discovered through decades of embroidery.

The Niskayuna resident has created countless pieces, in which she devoted hours and one that she worked on for almost seven years.

“At one point I had gone so far and so many people [were] wondering about that, I had to keep going, ”Paperman said.

There are 18 women in the room, which is 2.5 feet by 6.5 feet of stitching and contains 102 colors. Each character works with their hands in one way or another, playing an instrument, writing calligraphy, playing Go or painting.

The work, titled “Qin Qi Shu Hua” or The Four Arts of the Chinese Scholar, is just one of hundreds of “Artistry in Stitches,” an exhibition organized by the New York Capital District Chapter. York of the Embroiderers Guild of America.

“We have about 45 artists,” said Kathy Kuhrt, the exhibition chair.

She has been with the group for about seven years. The local chapter of EGA has been in existence for 52 years and has approximately 75 members. With several meetings in the Capital Region each month, including Clifton Park, Slingerlands and Defreestville, this is an active chapter. In addition to their usual meetings and workshops, they also run mentoring programs for children who want to learn to embroider. The exhibitions, however, only come every two years.

“It’s a lot of work to finish these parts,” Kuhrt said.

This year, she expects around 350 pieces in the exhibition, which will take place from May 16 to 19 at the Carondelet Hospitality Center in Latham.

From classic embroidered cushions to large stages to embroidered jewelry, there will be a wide variety at “Artistry in Stitches”.

While many of them are intricately crafted and took hours, none came close to Paperman’s room.

“The biggest problem I had was with the show, for insurance purposes you have to calculate the coin’s value. Part of this is the cost of labor. So it took me 88 months of sewing and I estimate about 40 hours a month and minimum wage which is around $ 40,000, “Paperman said,” But the point is, I never got there. thought of it that way. I like to do it.

She started embroidering in college while studying political science at the University of Albany.

“Sitting in a conference center of 200 or 400 people, I just started doing cross stitch pieces,” Paperman said. She found that it kept her mind from wandering during lectures and that it was a cheap way to give people gifts. He grew up from there. She mainly worked on different pieces during lunch at work and it was her colleagues who really encouraged her to stick with the “four arts of the Chinese scholar” that she started in 2011.

“My colleagues were actually very supportive and questioning my sanity for doing this. So what I did was take a picture of it every month and put it in my cube so they could know where things were because I couldn’t bring it easily, ”said Paperman.

The work itself required mostly counting care.

“This particular style of sewing is known as counted cross stitch,” Paperman said. The fabric itself does not have a pattern, instead the pattern is drawn on a grid that the embroiderers follow.

“This particular model is. . . complicated is not the right word. I mean, it’s just big, ”Paperman said.

Besides the large-scale work, Paperman has two other entries in the exhibition. One is a small piece of Wiley Coyote and the other is a shirt whose back she has embroidered with galactic designs.

“Artistry in Stitches” also features work by 45 other embroiderers, including pillows, jewelry, blankets, knits and more. There will also be new and lightly used sewing supplies for sale.

“Art in the dots”
WHEN: 10 am-6pm May 16, 10 am-4pm May 17-19
O: Carondelet Reception Center, 385, chemin Watervliet-Shaker, Latham
ADMISSION: Suggested donation of $ 5

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Categories: Art, Entertainment, Saratoga County


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