Wrapping a 'Dream Rocket'
By Heather A. Perry, News-Leader
Fiber artist Jennifer Marsh says she has been involved in art since before she can remember.
The Amelia Island Quilt Guild invited Marsh to give presentations about the Dream Rocket project at its monthly meeting and at the Fernandina Beach library. As founder of the International Fiber Collaborative, Marsh launched the Dream Rocket project in 2009.
A large-scale collaborative fiber wrap, the project will feature 8,000 fiber panels created by individuals from all around the world.
In May 2014, the panels will be connected side by side to wrap the Saturn V Moon Rocket at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.
"The designated theme of the panels is Dare to Dream," said Marsh.
The project challenges individuals to expand beyond the present state of the world and imagine the future.
"Perhaps more importantly, individuals are challenged to imagine their contribution to that future. These individuals' dreams and aspirations will combine to create a monumental 32,000-square-foot work of art, providing a tangible demonstration of the beauty of individuals collaborating to meet universal challenges."
Schools, libraries, health care facilities and museums are invited to participate. All submitted artworks are displayed in cities across the globe until the time the rocket is wrapped.
"It's so great for schools to be involved because you can cross the different subjects - arts, math and science - and problem solving collaboratively is the whole reason why I love these projects," said Marsh.
Students can follow the progress of their submitted panels on a map, leading to a geography lesson.
Among the backing materials used in the two-foot by two-foot or four-foot by four-foot panels are canvas, cotton, burlap and recycled materials.
"You can invent your own technique. I have seen people who print photographs on fabric or even use laminating to put a collage together to create their panel," said Marsh.
Submissions have taken an amazing variety of forms including quilting, applique, machine sewing and hand sewing, handmade fabric and beading, and have included many materials including lots of recyclables, cut-up clothing and even plastics.
Themes include health, community, conservation, peace, space and many more.
As a fiber artist, Marsh used many of these techniques and materials in her individual work, but felt unfulfilled.
"I realized that the capacity of my own creativity was limited and I thought if I could collaborate, it would be much more exciting."
This isn't the first time Marsh has been involved in wrapping something. In her last year of graduate school in 2008, she collaborated with people from 17 countries and 29 states to wrap an abandoned gas station in Syracuse, N.Y., with 3,000 panels.
Then in 2009, while teaching in Huntsville, Ala., she did a project involving 14,000 individually designed leaves on a tree.
Marsh resides as fellow of the Donald B. and Twila Catron Sr. Professorship of Art at Washburn University in Topeka, Kan.
A card listing the materials used, and detailing the story behind the panel, accompanies each submission in the exhibition.
Following Marsh's presentation to the Quilt Guild, several members made plans to create panels that will be displayed at the Yulee exhibition in September.
For more information about the International Fiber Collaborative and its current project, visit www.thedreamrocket.com.
The Amelia Island Quilt Guild meets the second Tuesday at the Woman's Club, 201 Jean LaFitte Ave. Programs are free and open to the public. For information visit aiquilters.com.
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Story created Jun 07, 2012 - 12:21:30 PDT.