I just got back from a trip up to Eureka to check out Rita's Excellent Adventure which is on exhibit at the Morris Graves Museum of Art.
As you may recall, Rita's Excellent Adventure is a story which I wrote about a sand crab named Rita who lives in the Santa Monica Bay. It is written in verse and tells of the great adventures Rita has as she searches for the best purple plankton in the Bay. The story is illustrated by six tapestry weavers, including me, from the Seaside Tapestry Group.
We were limited in our palette of yarns to use and of course the size. At least 50% of the yarn had to be from our common stash which was a cotton silk blend. We also had to include a bit of red and a bit of blue to each tapestry. The frames were restricted in size to at least .5 but no more that 1.5 inches and limited to two specific yarns. Even with all these limitations the pieces are distinguishable by artist due to the differing styles of each artist. If you go to see the exhibit, try to match up the tapestries with the artists and also make sure to look how each frame is different!
Here I am posing next to Margie's tapestry (on top) illustrating Rita's harrowing ride on a bicycle along the bike path towards her home in the swash by Will Roger's State Beach in Pacific Palisades. Her home is illustrated by Merna Strauch in the tapestry below.
These tapestries to the left are both by Carollee Howes. The top one depicts two menacing dogs along the canals of Venice. The one on the bottom is what Rita sees from inside the dark smelly trash bag from which she must find a way to escape.
I wove the tapestry on top. This depicts the race between Rita and a kid on the beach. I am sure you know that Rita won the race....running backwards of course. My great nephew Jake was the model for the foot and the shoe.
Since this exhibit is comprised of twenty panels and really must be viewed sequentially Margie Fine wove the last tapestry titled The End. This way, you know if you have started in the wrong place. The fun thing about Margie's tapestries is that each has Rita hidden somewhere in the tapestry...look for those yellow antennae and black eyes peering about!
Here is Page One with Rita in her full splendor. The fun thing about sand crabs is that they do everything backwards with their tails going first and their heads going last. The top tapestry is by me and the lower one by Merna Strauch depicting a warm and sunny day in Santa Monica Bay.
The two tapestries in the photo to the left depict the beginning of Rita's trip home. In the top one, woven by me, there is a menacing perch, a predator of the sand crab. In the lower tapestry, by Judi Freed,is the kelp forest in which Rita hides until she can steal a ride home on a yacht sailing by; illustrated by Karen Leckart on the right.
The museum did a beautiful job of hanging the exhibit. I love how the panels vary in number and alternate with the windows in the room.
Many many thanks to the Morris Graves Museum of Art in Eureka for allowing Rita to visit in April and May.