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Justine Dennis & Kim Huber

Downstairs Gallery - January 9 - February 23, 2002 - Curator: Mary Ellen Furlong

Sponsored by Investmart

“The need to express myself artistically developed at an early age.  When I was five years old, my new box of 64 Crayola colors spoke to me.  They said, ‘We are magic.’  Unfortunately, my parents said, ‘You’re grounded!’ when they saw the mess I had made of the basement walls.  Undaunted, I spent the rest of my formative years improving my techniques and experimenting with different mediums.  Still, after forty years, a wave of creative energy hits whenever I open a new box of crayons.”

 “I have worked in several mediums over the last 15 years, but at this point, I am stuck on fiber because the possibilities seem limitless.  I enjoy experimenting with different materials, finding ways to add texture and depth to my work.  The main attraction for me is the endless choice of color that fiber affords.  Over the years, my fiber work has changed, and several techniques have come and gone.  Currently I am concentrating on machine-sewn fiber bowls and wall-hangings.  The fact that each piece is unique makes beginning a new project challenging and exciting.  Once I start, I never know exactly what I will end up with.”

 “Through experimentation with different materials and construction methods, these unique bowls were created using a technique that I developed through trial and error.  By the very nature of their construction, they are one-of-a-kind works of art.  No two are exactly the same.  I use cotton or wool fibers and sewing thread to create a piece that is stitched entirely on a sewing machine.  Embellishments range from hand-sewn beads to specialty yarns to appliquéd fabric.  Some recycled materials are used.  Variations in materials and construction determine the shape, size and weight of each piece.”

 “I do not feel that I lack discipline or the ability to take art seriously.  I am just curious and enjoy using different materials to satisfy that curiosity.  My main goals are to lift the spirit and keep a sense of wonder and mystery alive.”


Self-taught artist Justine Dennis creates these whimsical works of art in her Lexington, Kentucky home studio, which she refers to as “a small messy room…piled from floor to ceiling with materials accumulated over the past 15 years.”  She keeps her work fresh and fun by experimenting with many different materials.  She is able to switch from fiber to clay, paper or paint when she hits a creative snag.  Justine’s work has been shown in numerous exhibitions and galleries in Kentucky and across the U.S.

 “I paint contemporary landscapes on silk.  My inspiration comes from my deep respect for and fascination with the natural world.  The multi-layered patterns of nature are so complex that they often appear random.  The natural color, light and variety of large and small trees in the area where I live captivate me and provide inspiration for my work.”

 “I combine textile techniques with painting and drawing to create my paintings.  Guided by my artistic vision and emotion, I paint a scene with generous color on wet silk, which has been pre-dyed using various techniques and stretched on a formica board.  When the painted silk is dry, I then embellish with wax oil crayon and more paint.  I finalize my piece by isolating a specific area of the painting, cutting it out and stretching it over acid-free foam board, much like you would stretch a canvas, then assembling it with a mat.  The mat is covered with another section of the painting and stretched in the same manner.  The collaged pieces are fused to either silk or rice paper.  I use dry-mounting tissue as an adhesive.”

 “I work alone, with no assistants.  I complete each painting personally from inspiration to framing.  I use only professional grade art supplies and conservation approved framing techniques.”


Louisville native Kim Huber earned her B.A. from the Louisville School of Art in 1981.  She also participated in a Parsons School of Design summer program in Tokyo in 1982, and attended the Ann Hyde Institute of Design in Denver, Colorado in 1990.


Kim’s award-winning work has been included in numerous exhibitions across the U.S., from Tampa, Florida to Rochester, New York to Santa Fe, New Mexico and beyond. 






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