Women, Nature, Science - Sheila Held: Rappaccini's Daughter

April 7, 2013 - May 26, 2013

The Shuffle of Things
The Shuffle of Things, 2012

Opening reception: Sunday, April 7, 2013, 3-5 pm
Artist interview with Nicholas Frank: Sunday, April 21, 2013, 2 pm

With Sheila Held: Rappaccini's Daughter, Lynden inaugurates a series of occasional exhibitions that will investigate the work of artists who have taken--in various combinations, either directly or obliquely—women, nature and science as their subject.

Sheila Held works within a traditional form, tapestry weaving, and up-ends it to create images that reflect a visually compelling personal cosmology. She simultaneously exploits the medium's limitations--the inflexible grid that forms the basis of weaving, the particular ways in which color relationships can develop, the textures that make the surface--and moves beyond them by assembling and juxtaposing found images to explore ideas about human existence. Her pieces retain the tactile qualities of weaving but read more like paintings, and that unlikely confluence of idea, image and medium is at once novel and powerful. Whether or not she is addressing the theme explicitly--as in her series Women + Science or in individual works like The Plantmaster, Ecotourism or Rappaccini’s Daughter—Held tries to “access the point where magic, science, religion, art and nature intersect.”

About the Artist
Sheila Held's tapestries have been exhibited in solo and group shows, both locally and around the country. She has won several awards, including a Wisconsin Arts Board Fellowship and multiple prizes in juried exhibitions. She has executed many commissions, both private and public, including pieces for the Medical College of Wisconsin, Marian College in Fond du Lac, and Bethesda Lutheran Homes and Services World Headquarters. She is currently a full-time artist working out of her studio in her home in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.

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