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Clothing As Ceremony: Etar's Globally-Influenced Fabric Art

Sep 18, 2019

Credit Christin Kay / Aspen Public Radio

Long-time Roaring Fork Valley fabric artist Etar owned a high-end clothing store in Aspen for over thirty years. Now, in her eighties, she works out of her Carbondale home.

Her new exhibition at the R2 Gallery, “Transcultural Bonding,” highlights the role clothing plays in cultures around the world. 

 

She says the title of this show refers to the time she spent in places like Bolivia, Uzbekistan and Dubai, learning from locals about traditional weaving and fabrics.

 

"You absorb the culture that you’re working in, and it’s not sight-seeing and it’s not being a peeping Tom," she said.


She calls her work "wearable art;" the handmade pieces sparkle with gold, silver and beading.  She says she believes clothing should be ceremonial. 

 

 

"In America, the only thing people think of as a ceremony is a wedding or a bar mitzvah or something. To me, a ceremony is your connection within your soul and it’s expressed in clothing, as in ancient days," she said, adding that farmers in Uzbekistan would harvest potatoes wearing fine fabrics.  

 

 

“Transcultural Bonding In Clothing” is on display alongside a retrospective of bronze sculptures by another local artist, Jack Bredlinger, at the R2 Gallery