Press release from EXPLORATIONS IN FELT, Nov./Dec. 2015 Exhibition:
EXPLORATIONS IN FELT, works by Liz Canali and collaborating artists
Liz Canali, felt artist from Heath Massachusetts, explores the many ways felt is used in contemporary art. Focusing on interior design and using a variety of styles, techniques and materials, this collection includes vessels, lights, wall hangings, sculpture and upholstery. Canali is joined by collaborating artists: a sculptural ottoman with David Blair, a hardwood bench with upholstered cushions with Jeff Peck and Yolanda Goff, seat pads for Bob Compton’s wrought iron and hard wood stools and embellished wall hangings with Eileen Lively. Each piece pushed Liz in new felting directions - exploring different techniques and facing unique challenges.
Smaller pieces allowed her to explore different techniques inspired by other felt artists as well as artists working in clay and watercolor. Resist, cracked mud, nuno, wet felting and needle felting are all represented in vessels and light shades. Felting on an object or over a ball, stiffening and surface design are also evident in many of the pieces. Materials include short fiber, prefelts, various wools and merino tops as well as found and constructed objects. Liz
Canali’s felted hats have been available at Salmon Falls Gallery for the past three years. This exhibit uses many of the same techniques and translates them to a different purpose.She says she’s not finished with this exploration, “I’ve learned a lot from this experience but I didn’t have time to try everything I wanted to. I still want to work with laser cut commercial felt. They’re doing wonderful floor and wall installations with that material. I also want to play with shibori techniques, full wall tiling and more upholstery work. And, lights are just really fun to do so I’ll work on different ways to present my shades.”
Liz Canali has been involved with art and crafts since early in her life. Trained as a commercial graphic artist, she first worked as a paste-up artist at the telephone company but quickly moved into the education field. Liz worked as an elementary art teacher in Hopkinton, MA and then as the jewelry and weaving teacher at Northfield Mt. Hermon School in Northfield, MA. At the same time she owned and created one-of-a-kind and art-to-wear jewelry for her company, Canali Silver. She sold her work to individuals and galleries throughout the US.
Times changed and so did Canali. Her art journey brought her into the world of art administration. She was director of Leverett Crafts and Arts and then returned to her roots as a graphic artist. Combining her design experience and her husband Al’s office and sales experience, the two opened Canali Designs more than 20 years ago. Liz is the graphic designer for the business, focusing on print and web coordinated projects, logo design and marketing for small to medium businesses.