Friday, December 5, 2008

Answers to an author writing about knitting and art.

Subject: quick question

Hi Mim- I am finally writing about knitting and art...and I have a
question for you....the chapter is wrapped around the conflict of art
vs craft, and I was wondering how you came down on this? What are
your thoughts about your work as knitted (traditionally a craft) and
yet art. And I was wondering how you feel when people have to put the
word "fiber" before "artist when they speak of your work....ok, more
than one question....thanks-M

Hi M,
Hmmm....Those are interesting questions. Let me see how I can answer them. My background is in printmaking and painting, which has grown to sculpture, and installation. I have used alternative methods and materials in many of these such as sewing, fabric, screen and paper. I have always thought of it as my art work no matter what the medium was. Each idea called for a certain media to be used and I let the inspration lead me. I haven't gotton too involved with definitions of craft and art. In my recent work, I have used knitting and crocheting to express ideas. It has been a wonderful way to create three dimensional objects which are volumetric and translucent.

My early idea about craft was that it was rooted in function, not so much technique and material. Two publications I subscribe to are Surface Design and American Craft. They contain what I see as some of the most intersting work being done today. The world of fine craft has expanded to include a wide range of techniques, and subject matter. I use techniques; knitting, crocheting, and materials; yarn, tulle, fabric, that may have their origins in functional craft and hand work. But, like so many artists today, I am using these methods to create something larger and outside of the restrictins of yesterday's definition of craft. The current definition of fine craft seems to include an astonishing array of high quality work. The lines between fine art and craft seem to have become very blurry.

It seems that artists have become interested in many of the traditional 'craft' techniques. I have seen this as an interesting movement back toward craftsmanship and handwork. Interestingly a recent exhibit I was in, "Unusual Twist, Artists who Knit Crochet and Embroider", received the highest attendance of any recent shows at the venue. It seems that artists and art lovers are both very interested in this 'art-craft' cross pollination.

Fiber art. Hmmm.... I don't really see myself as a fiber artist. I happen to be currently using fiber in my work, but I am not producing the fiber itself i.e. spinning, weaving. I am using fabric that has already been made. I don't have a strong objection to being called a fiber artist in relation to the current work, but see it as a limiting definition that doesn't accurately encompass the many things I do.

I hope this answers your questions. They were interesting questions to ponder and have given me food for thought.

All my best,

Mimi Czajka Graminski

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fall into Winter
Check out the 5 x 7 Exhibit at the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, 34 Tinker St. in Woodstock,NY. I have one piece in what promises to be a fun show. The opening is Friday December 5th 5-7.
I am continuing to work on sewn drawings in my studio and have begun a new installation which will be in a solo show at R&F Encaustics in the Spring. I have been watching flocks of birds, many flying south, others flocking from tree to tree.
Their timing and perfection in synchronizing their movements always fascinates me.

There is an interesting exhbit in Hudson NY at Nicole Fiacco Gallery. The artist is Linda Horn who has created a stunning installation with her mixed media pieces.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

OPEN STUDIO October 18 and 19

This weekend I will opening my studio along with several other artists in the region.
Please join me from 11-5 on Saturday and Sunday 18th and 19th. I will be showing new sewn drawings and an abbreviated version of a new installation. There will also be work available for purchase. The open studio is in association with an exciting new group called Art Sudio Views. The website is

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Knit Cones

Fall 2008

*******FALL ART EVENTS*********

Unusual Twist: Artists Knit, Crochet and Embroider
>*OPENING* October 11, 4-6
Spencertown Academy, 790 Route 203, Spencertown,NY 518-392-3693
October 11-November 16

October 18 & 19 11am-5pm
13 Elm St., Red Hook, NY

ARTSWALK Hudson,New York
Waves on Windows Two blocks of art in the windows curated by Gregory
My work will be at: Mark McDonald Design *555 WARREN STREET* Hudson,NY
October 10-13

MODEST IN SCALE September 10-November 10
Abecedarian Gallery Denver,Colorado

Friday, July 25, 2008

Interweavings Exhibit in Denver, Colorado

I was recently invited to participate in an exhibition at Abecedarian Gallery in Denver, Colorado. The exhibit will take place during the Democratic National Convention.

abecedarian Gallery Denver, Colorado
Interweavings August 1 - September 13
Interweavings - an exhibition featuring work crafted by artists who utilize fiber materials and techniques in their creation of drawings and artists’ books.

I will show 16 sewn drawings titled "Interior Landscapes". One of these is posted below.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Sewn drawing series, 2

To view more images see and type in Mimi Graminski. I am a featrured artist this month on this site, and my work will pop up on the myartspace front page.

Sewn Drawing Series

I have been working on what I call 'sewn drawings'. I use raw linen as the matrix and then 'draw' on it with silk or cotton thread. Many of the images are gleaned from dreams and waking musings. I plan to continue to add to the 11 I have completed, and cover an entire wall with them. They are approximately 10"x10", and some have an acrylic underpainting.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I was among the twelve artists accepted into the NYFA Mark programfrom the Hudson Valley. We worked hard during the 6 month program of professional development. We also found ourselves forming a tight and lively community meeting outside of the scheduled meetings to plan and rehearse our upcoming New York presentation. The weekend in Manhattan was the culmination of the program. We were able to meet the other Mark artists from the state, and all present our work.

On the first night of the conference, wegathered with the other 50 or so artists from around the state at the Smack Mellon Foundation in Brooklyn to watch the first two groups from Buffalo and Ithaca present. The next morning was a series of workshops with arts professionals atthe NYFA offices. We met and spoke with independentcurators, gallerists, and representatives of various artsorganizations. The afternoon gave us the opportunity to visitgalleries, or gather ourselves in preparation for our Hudson Grouppresentations that night.

The presentations took place at Exit Art. Two members of our group,Matthew Slaats, and Laura Canamela produced an excellent introduction and conclusion about us as Hudson Valley artists, and the things that inspire us. Under the direction of two members, Lisa Breznak, and Dawn Breeze, we gathered postcards of each of our works and compiled them into folios which we distributed. We each had the opportunity to present a recent body of work andspeak about our methods, inspiration, and history.

It was a supportive atmosphere in which I felt our efforts were well received.On Sunday, an attorney spoke to us and answered questions, regarding copywright law and related art-law issues. Following the final artist's presentations from Rochester and Troy, the conference concluded.

The weekend was very full and also fun. I was able to meet and speak with artists from around the state and make some interesting connections. I know I was not alone in arranging future studio visits and possible collaborations. We were given a lot of food for thought as well as a long list of places to contact and research. It was a successful weekend and program, and I'm grateful to NYFA and CCCA for sponsoring and supporting it. Christa Blatchford (NYFA) and Jan Hanvik (CCCA) were exceptional in all of their efforts.The Hudson NYFA Mark group is planning to continue to work together, and exhibit at upcoming events such as Hudson's Artswalk, in October, and in Peekskill in September at a similar citywide arts happening.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

New York Foundation for the ArtsMARK Program
Saturday June 7th 6pmExit Art,
475 Tenth Ave, New York,

Selected from a group of 66 artists across the state, I was a part of this program with NYFA. For this evening my group will be giving artist presentations.
This will be a wwekend long event filled with worksops for the artists. The public is invited to the presentations which will be individual artists presenting slides and talking about a selected body of work.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Coming up this weekend May 17 & 18 I will be holding an Open Studio sponsored by the Columbia County Council on the Arts. Artscape will feature studios of 12 artists scattered around Columbia (and Dutchess- me) County. For tickets and a map to the entire event go to Also contact me for more information.

Dress Exhibit at the Hudson Opera House

"Dress" an exhibit I co-curated with Lise Poirier opened Saturday night at the Hudson Opera House in Hudson, NY. I installed a new wall piece which is constructed of beeswax dots affixed to the wall. I'll have photos soon of this, and of the entire exhibit.

It has been an interesting experience to curate the show and I found there are many artists working with this imagery. I could have had a huge roster if I had the space to exhibit it. I was able to choose 8 artists whose work varies by media and style. The similarity lies in the excellence of the execution. The artists are: Karen Bamonte, from Italy, who has large sculptural work in the show, Kathey Feighery, from Beacon, NY who shows exqisite oil paintings on board, some covered with beeswax. Also included are Bibiana an Maya Matheis (mother and daughter) from Pawling,NY, with a large cotton cyanotype, and Regan Stacey , from Connecticut, also cyanotypes. I found out that Tanya Marcuse , Red Hook,NY, who has black and white palladium/platinum photographs was Maya Matheis' teacher. Another artist did photographs with the same process, Carla Shapiro form Phonecia, NY, whose work is on the announcement. Lise Poirier exhibits her handmade paper assemblages. And Sarah Martinez, of Albany,NY, has a fabric sculptural piece.

All in all it was a well attended opening that I felt was a success. I look forward to possibly curating more exhibits. And I am looking forward to expanding my wax piece into a room size installation.
Photos coming soon.