‘Art of the Needle’ artist will give talk at Maine Fiberarts


TOPSHAM —  Maine Fiberarts will host a reception and gallery talk Sunday, March 4, for its “The Art of the Needle” exhibition of innovative needlepoint tapestries by artist Jill Vendituoli.

For nearly 25 years, Vendituoli has hand stitched tapestries that span the ages from Byzantine mosaics to Medieval stained glass and Renaissance paintings to 21st-century nature pieces.

The medium of needlepoint, Vendituoli says, “feels alive with its vibrant color blending potential, its physical flexibility and the endless possibilities of needlepoint interpretation.”

Vendituoli works full time in her Sunnyfield Studio in Newfield, where she maintains an 18th-century farmhouse, perennial flower gardens, heritage geese and a gallery which often shows work by other artists.

Vendituoli says she fell in love with needlepoint from her very first stitch and stopped giving piano lessons years ago to work on needlepoint art full time. With the exception of her adaptation of Breton’s “The Gleaners,” she stitches only original designs.

She completed a 15-piece assembled tapestry, “The Thread that Connects,” for this exhibition. With this piece, she pushes needlepoint boundaries by taking her work off the flat plane of a wall and giving it dimension.

In her self-portrait, “A Tapiter’s Life,” Vendituoli collaged components of her life, including images of music, trees, a Celtic cross, a goose, books  and a dragonfly, the symbol of transformation.

“I have ceased to view my art as limited to a two-dimensional plane and now envision it overhead, incorporating found objects from nature and in shapes and forms that redefine needlepoint as we know it,” Vendituoli states.

The free reception will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Vendituoli will speak about her work from 2:30 to 3 p.m. and will be available for questions afterward. Snow date:  March 18.

“The Art of the Needle” exhibition will remain on view at Maine Fiberarts, 13 Main St., through April 28. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 721-0678 or visit www.mainefiberarts.org.