Sarah Wagner: YARD/ZONE

Sarah Wagner: YARD/ZONE

Monday, May 19, 2014 to Friday, September 5, 2014

The opening reception for Yard/Zone, an exhibition of stitched sculptural forms by Sarah Wagner of Detroit, will be Sunday, May 18. The exhibit will run from May 19-September 5, 2014 at the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery. The artist will speak about her work at 2:30 pm in room 11 of the Home Economics Building and will be present at a reception in her honor following her talk. The Friends of the Textiles Gallery will host the reception at the east campus venue. Sarah Wagner is a sculptor and installation artist whose work concentrates attention on the dynamic relationships between the built and the increasingly unnatural world. The invisible forces at play in our world, such as radiation, and her love of ecology have inspired her to explore exhibition venues as unnatural environments within which to create models for parallel worlds. She currently lives in Detroit MI and is represented by the Patricia Sweetow Gallery in San Francisco. BFA, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; Resident, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture; MFA, California College of the Arts.

Sarah Wagner investigates the interplay between urban ecologies and biological phenomena as manifest through endocrine disruption, genetic mutation, disruptions of social strata or re-greening. These concepts are particularly evident in her work titled The Ark of Chernobyl. In her Lincoln, NE presentation, she will discuss her most recent work, which explores her neighborhood in Detroit and the evolving, and transformative cultural striations as revealed to her over the past several years. Her work incorporates advanced patterning and sewing skills as a way to create complex organic forms within actual or often metaphorical built environments.

According to Wendy Weiss, director of the gallery and professor of textile design in the Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design in the College of Education and Human Sciences, the artist is designing her newest work specifically for the University of Nebraska’s textile gallery, where viewers will see how she transforms paper, fabric and thread to create a populated urban landscape that reflects impermanence, degradability, and new possibilities. While the artist is deeply concerned about the precarious state of the global environment, she speaks about hope and discovery. Turning her attention to her local environment, she says, “there’s something about our neighborhood, and about its openness that I really, really like. What can happen?”

Sarah Wagner will teach a workshop prior to the opening of her exhibition where she will demonstrate and explains a method of patterning that she has developed for the creation of her own work. The process is predominantly intuitive yet based on her extensive experience in industry. Students will learn to create and discover patterns using hybridized basket-weaving methods to create any sort of form – organic or rectilinear – that they can imagine. This method is similar to fashion and millinery flat patterning but is done with less, if any, measuring or mathematical formula. A few spaces remain for those wishing to learn more, please visit the gallery web page at: for exact dates, times and registration fees. The exhibition opening and reception are free and open to the public.

The annual meeting of the Friends of the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery immediately precedes the artist’s talk in room 31 of the Home Economics Building. The public is invited to attend the meeting and become a member.

The Hillestad Gallery is part of the Department of Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design in the UNL College of Education and Human Sciences. The gallery is on the second floor of the Home Economics Building on East Campus, on 35th Street north of East Campus Loop (map at Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday-Friday and by appointment. Admission is free. Guest parking is available near the building and metered stalls are located in the Nebraska East Union lot. For more information, call (402) 472-2911 or visit


Yard Zone 3.  Photo Courtesy of Sarah Wagner


Yard Zone 4.  Photo coutesy of Sarah Wagner