Stitch and Line - A Creative Life
Selby Fleetwood Gallery is hosting a special exhibition to honor the artwork of Joy Busch, a Santa Fe resident for 25 years. The work on display spans several decades of making and will include a variety of drawing, collage, wearable art, sculptural fabric vessels and fabric wall pieces made from manipulated and manufactured textiles. Discharge dyeing, hand appliqué and embellishment, embroidery and machine quilting are a few of the techniques Busch employs in these vivacious, non-objective works.
A free use of line and shape unify Busch’s art, which reflect the independent character of their maker. Busch possesses a pioneering spirit; as a young woman she did not follow the societal expectations for women of her generation of staying at home and starting a family. Instead, she helped organize and attended hiking and skiing trips, worked as a graphic designer, and eventually left Chicago and moved West to follow her passion to live among the mountains in Colorado and ski. In the early 1960’s, she designed and built her home along with the first residents of the town of Breckenridge and ran her own gallery/shop there, The Prize Box, all the while moonlighting as a hotel receptionist.
Evidence of Busch’s engaged fearlessness and boisterous activity is ever present in the studio and in her creative habits even now as she proudly turns 80 this year. She has a library of sketchbooks full of travel sketches, non-objective drawings, and designs for larger pieces. Always making, revising, and gathering materials for future projects, her studio is brimming with patterned fabric, fabric she draws upon, random buttons, beads, thread, and a number of drawings on loose paper, made while ‘waiting’ for something or during sleepless nights. She prefers her studio environment to be as animated, vivid, and active as what she creates.
An extremely intuitive process guides her through the design and execution of most of her work and as she enjoys saying, any part may be sacrificed for the success and harmony of the whole work. The fabric and curious objects categorized and stored in bins, which may find their niche in one her sewn wall pieces, bowl forms, or wearable coats, are the result of decades of gathering and collecting from fabric stores, flea markets, antique stores, and her travels. No matter the structure she’s working in, her artwork tends to demonstrate the flexible and layered quality of a collage—replete with a wide variety of exuberant texture and pattern.
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