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Catherine Reinhart

Author: Heather Sauer | Image: Heather Sauer

polYESter, an exhibition by Catherine Reinhart, gallery manager and artist-in-residence at the Iowa State University Design on Main Gallery, is on display Sept. 14 through Nov. 12 in the Pioneer Room at the Iowa State Memorial Union. A public reception will be held in conjunction with the Studies in Creativity Exhibit from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18.

Reinhart makes fiber art with discarded textiles to create works dealing with themes of redemption, connection and care. In this body of work, she has disassembled a discarded polyester quilt into squares or blocks that are reinterpreted through string “sketches.” She explains, “Through the use of found textiles, I communicate the power of the economies of care I have labored in, child rearing and home care for the elderly and disabled. These economies of care run on simple and repetitive acts which provide comfort, ease suffering and connect us with each other. Similarly, my work is created using the ritual, repetitive actions inherent in many textile — stacking, sorting, washing and pilling.”

Reinhart believes that textiles make an effective bridge to the audience because of the prevalence of cloth in our lives. “They reference the domestic sphere, which is inherently social and familiar. My work joins conversation in the contemporary art world about the role and value of the domestic sphere. Using discarded textiles and the ritual actions, I honor the homeward-oriented life.”