Senior Jill Bergantz’ art has been changing and adapting for many years. She is now making three-dimensional art from textiles. It is very unusual for someone to study three-dimensional textile art and Bergantz has taken a long road to studying it.
“I have a long history of textile work in my family, going back six generations. I’m drawn to this work because I was brought up in a community of artists working this way. The sense of the necessity of this craft has been passed to me through them,” said Bergantz. “When I wanted to study the skills I already knew with others who loved them, with others who had known a similar upbringing, I found myself at San Francisco State University studying under Candace Crockett and Victor De La Rosa in one of the last surviving textile departments in the nation.”
However, Bergantz transferred to Knox for the last two years of her college career and encountered new obstacles to the pursuit of her art.
“Our department is not set up for a person who wishes to weave, and so the obstructions of studying fibers in the sculpture department have forced me to go back to basics,” said Bergantz. “Needles, both for sewing and for knitting, are transportable, and so this fiber work has become my primary medium.”
Bergantz has used many different techniques and materials in her work and has included knit bowls and a body bag woven from garbage bags.
“I learned dyeing, I learned basketry. I learned silk screening, pattern design and production, embroidery, weaving, felting, fulling, spinning. I learned that if I took my sewing machine apart and left only the bare needle, I could quilt in ways my mother and grandmother had never quilted,” said Bergantz.
“Professor De La Rosa, who works with textile futures, pushed me to the far edges of this work: I began using vaccine vials in my weaving, and my work became more sculptural,” Bergantz said about her years at San Francisco State University.
All of this work culminates in Bergantz’ senior art show on April 17 beginning with a talk at 5 p.m. in CFA and a reception at 6:30 at the Box Gallery at 306b, East Simmons Street in Galesburg.