About The Program
“Microbes are omnipresent. Let us look slowly, together.” – Rachel Hefferan
A Guided Art + Virtue Cider Tasting event led by Michigan-based weaver Rachel Hefferan. Join us Thursday, February 17 6:30PM – 8:30PM as Rachel takes guests on a journey through her practice, pairing the unique notes found in Virtue Ciders with the visual metaphors woven into her art. Ticket includes six different ciders each intricately paired with different woven textiles in the exhibition. There will also be a special VIP tour through the gallery led by the artist where participants will learn more about the stories behind the weavings and how they are made.
Thoughts from Rachel Hefferan
“Tasting Notes is a guided, interactive experience focused on a mindset where our senses might cross. In this case, the senses are sight and taste. To me, weaving is an intuitive way to talk about the function of microbes in our world. Yeasts that are used in fermentations are fungi – like mushrooms (this is important to note, because not all microbial life is bacteria. Although it is also important to mention that not all bacteria is harmful!). Fungi perform an essential function of ‘recycling’ the basic materials of literally everything. That, I imagine, to be like taking apart an old lego set and making something new. In my mind, weaving is the perfect way to express that process. As I move through an artwork, threads are rearranged into different groups, different patterns and structures. There is a process of transformation, sugars/starches become ethanol (alcohol) and gasses, threads become united as fabric. During the process of fermentation different species of microbes might taste different, and those same microbes might be different yet at different temperatures. I think about my use of color like a heat map or colorized images of the worlds that surround us, both those too big and those too small for the naked eye. Images of deep space and of subatomic particles are made sense of with aesthetic, yet intentional, use of color. The colors you see in my weavings are not meant to duplicate an image, but highlight areas to take note of, depth of field or denoting different textures, and occasionally different species – within a yeast community (a pellicle). My hope in pairing these abstract visuals with tasting notes is to encourage the viewer to expand their vocabulary for both senses – what they see and what they taste, and come away with a new appreciation. Tasting Notes is a way to access the abstraction beyond “visual to visual” association.”
Rachel Hefferan is our 2022 kick-off Visiting Artist, featured in the gallery and corridor with her exhibition, “here, within.” A Michigan-based weaver, is a self proclaimed homesteader, fermentation nerd, and hopeful environmentalist – which is shown in her work by creating abstractions of an invisible living network that functions unseen all around us.