During the isolation of the past few years, Maryhill Museum of Art has been working diligently to knit together 13 fiber artists and 15 communities along the Columbia River into a beautiful fabric of community!  At the same time, knit and crochet artists from over 41 states and two countries have been adding rich embellishments through a planned yarn-bomb of the Museum entrance and around Stonehenge Memorial.

To see the results of this rich visual phenomenon, plan on visiting Maryhill and Stonehenge from the beginning of July. On August 6 to September 12 plan on being wowed by the collaborative sculpture produced as part of The Exquisite Gorge Project II: Fiber Art , which will be exhibited on Maryhill Museum’s lawn!

You can be part of it too

On Saturday, August 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., on the grounds of Maryhill, all the hard work, creativity, and collaborations will come together in a fantastic frolic from farm animal to fine art fiber festival and you and your family are invited to participate! This day will feature Merrit and Pierre Monnat Sheep Farms, as they will bring live sheep and demonstrate the art of sheep-shearing. Afterwards, it’s your job to ‘card’ the fleece and weave it into a beautiful fiber, ready for you to knit, weave, felt, or transform into your personal fiber artwork. Don’t forget to take a minute or two to visit the sheep and sketch them at our drawing station, before and after their haircut! 

In addition to the activities for families, throughout the event, the single sections of sculpture will be brought together by a team of volunteers to create The Exquisite Gorge Project II: Fiber Art SCULPTURE. Bringing these large sections together will create a single, connected sculpture of over 70-feet long that will be an experience to view!

The artists participating in this year’s Project were invited because of their willingness to push their artwork to new levels, to work with their Community Partners, and to inspire everyone in those communities to learn the joy and art of fibers! These artists will be on hand to discuss their processes and the influence this Project had on them. The Community Partners will be on hand too, helping to lead fiber arts activities with many volunteers! 

Exquisite Community - Maryhill Museum - Columbia Gorge

Throughout the year, Community Partners — from the Portland-based Oregon Society of Artists to the ArtWalla Organization in Walla Walla — created opportunities for artist residencies, workshops, demonstrations, classes, lectures and presentations with their guest artist. These events have been happening both virtually and in person, assuring inspirational activities to fit everyone’s needs. Thousands of people along the river have participated and learned something new about fiber arts…and maybe also to appreciate those lovely gifts from the fiber artists in their own lives, like Grandma or Aunt Sally!

We invite you to view, participate, and revel in the creativity of the humble fiber and examine its role in beauty and art-making. Maryhill Museum of Art celebrates artists. We also celebrate the community that we become when we come together in a singular purpose. The Exquisite Gorge Project II: Fiber Arts is our second journey into exploring the Columbia River with new eyes. We look forward to hosting you and hearing your response. 

Pick up a needle. Knit. Crochet. Weave. Learn with us on Saturday, August 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at our FREE Fiber Art Festival and join our community of artists!! 

Maryhill Museum extends profound gratitude to the many volunteers, arts communities, and supporters for giving this experience to the people of the Columbia River area and beyond.