Sunday, May 27, 2007

Meeting Sonji Hunt

She talks just like she writes!
You know her from Sonji Says, a blog I've been following with great delight since I joined the textile blogging community two years ago. She is a painter and textile artist who paints all her fabrics and then cuts, sews, and embroiders them into amazing abstract constructions for the wall...

And she is also hysterical.

She flew out to Eugene from her home state of Wisconsin for the installation and opening of her show at the Maud Kerns Art Center. I bussed on down there (two hours), met her, took in the show, and then we drove back up the Willamette Valley to my home in Washougal, where she spent the night. She drove off in her rental van this morning to the Portland airport to fly on home...and I was so sad to say good-bye!
She is honest and sharp and real and kind and wickedly funny. We talked about a whole lot of stuff besides art (although I loved hearing her talk about that; she knows so much more about it than I do.) It was really a treat to have even this little snatch of time with the one and only Sonji.

This picture, part of the exhibit, in no way does justice to the vibrancy and energy of these pieces. We've seen them on her blog, but it is nothing like getting the full impact "in person".

"The Tongues"...(not the official name)...my favorite.

I took loads of detail shots for my own pleasure, and there were so many to choose from. Framing them in the camera was fun.

I love these little loopies...

The famous Sonji bundles (the photo does NOT do the colors justice)....

And what is this?
There were two large blank walls in the space adjacent to where Sonji's work was hung, so she asked the gallery people if she could paint on them...to fill the space and tie it in with her work. Evidently, this is what painters do (!)....She was finishing up some details while I was there when a young family walked in. The little girl was intrigued, so without batting an eye Sonji asked her if she wanted to join her in painting.
What transpired was almost an hour of magic. Sonji is a gifted art teacher as well as a deep lover of children. She guided this child and turned her loose at the same time...and somehow not a drop of paint was spilled or smudged. The girl left just flying, her parents I think were blown away, and young Ezra had fun watching his big sister too.
Sonji dear, I was as impressed by this scene as I was by your wonderful work...but it all is of a piece.
Thanks for sharing your trip, your time, and your incomparable Sonji-ness with me!!!


8 comments :

Rian said...

What fun! Thanks for sharing.

Granny Fran said...

Wow, I'd love to have seen both the show and the wall art happening! Her work is amazing!

kay susan said...

Allie, thank you for that. I love Sonji's work too. I'm speechless!

Possibilities, Etc. said...

What a magical and wonderful and memorable time you have had!! Thanks for sharing her - the work is fabulous.

threadspider said...

Isn't this amazing? Some of her textiles remind me of stained glass, the colours really zing.

Susan said...

What a lovely introduction to Sonji and her art, with which I was unfamiliar.

Kay said...

What a wonderful experience. I too enjoy her blog and would have loved to have seen this show.

Your new camera is doing great, by the way.

Sonji Hunt said...

As you know, I had a wonderful time with you Allie and I'm so happy that we were able to spend time together. I am glad you think I'm hysterical as opposed to hysterical.