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A preview of Sweet Tooth Hotel’s “Intangible”

A preview of Sweet Tooth Hotel’s “Intangible”

A preview of Sweet Tooth Hotel’s “Intangible”
April 10
07:44 2020

The smell of fresh paint hangs in the air. Seven rooms of vivid walls in every color have been converted into creative spaces for six fiber artists and a muralist/illustrator. The artists are preparing for the interactive installation, “Intangible,” at Sweet Tooth Hotel.

The installation is unique in that it consists of all-female artists, many are from the Dallas-Fort Worth area with two others from California. All of the artists are in Dallas for a limited time for their Artist in Residence (AIR) Program.

One of the artists, UNT alumna Jackie Lawrence, was the subject of a feature in November about the installation, which had just been announced at the time, at the Dallas-based art gallery Sweet Tooth Hotel. Then, Lawrence gave a look into her studio and the bundles of yarn donated to her through Craft Yarn Council, the nonprofit paired with Sweet Tooth Hotel to sponsor the installation.

Now, a month before the opening date, Lawrence pokes and hooks that same yarn into a latch-hook piece in front of a pink wall.

“So far, I have finished five 10-foot panels, I have two more to go,” Lawrence said. “Then I’m working on these tube-like columns to create these tree-like columns.”

London Kaye, a yarn-bomber considered a ‘yarn-celebrity’ in the fiber community, attaches crocheted characters onto sky blue walls. A giant chain link-frame, yarn covered rock with sea-themed yarn designs and openings on top sits near the entrance of the room. 

“This is a more interactive part of it, so the rock is up higher than it’s going to be right now,” Kaye said. “So people will stand behind it so it looks like they’re wearing a mermaid tail and can take a picture.” 

A few feet away on the other side of Kaye’s wall, a giant, blue mouse with a cheese block in one paw dangles from the ceiling low enough to hug. Giant, pink cat paws have been tufted for the cat accompanying the mouse.

This is the work of Hannah Buskerus, a multi-disciplinary fiber artist and graphic designer, who has tufted pieces for her space. Tufting is basically making carpets or rugs, which Buskerus does by applying the yarn with a tufting gun into fabric.

“For the face and this right here, I did all the illustrations, then broke them down into the shapes I needed, and I have a projector that projects the images onto my frame with my fabric and then I can draw with a sharpie and then fill it in,” Buskerus said. “It’s like painting by number, but with yarn.”

The space in the back, she said, is about diving into childhood memory and about how one is raised connects to and affects who one is now as an adult. Weaver and textile designer Molly Sydnor’s rainbow space includes aspects that are tangible and within reach, like the yellow and green yarn and pipe monkey bars in the center back.

“I’m making a playground room, but emphasis on the jungle gym,” Sydnor said. “I’m working on bringing memory into my work from childhood to adulthood and the dualities of the two and juxtaposition of what we learn as children, how we see things as adults. So this is my jungle gym world of memory. Each wall has a different element.”

Artificial leaves spotted with a few crocheted flowers line the hallway to create a secret garden leading to the other end of Sweet Tooth Hotel where three other artists prepare.

Inspired by sweet, baked goods and amigurumi, crochet designer Twinkie Chan’s designs are well displayed in her bakery-themed space.

“I really like cute, colorful things, I’m really inspired by Japanese street fashion and Japanese baked goods,” Chan said. “So that’s where the whole aesthetic comes from.”

Nikki Dionne, an illustrator and pom pom artist, has giant pom poms on the floor of a room surrounded by carnival-like mirrors covering the walls as well as a pom pom claw machine, an interactive element for guests.

“These are based off my illustrations, so I pulled inspiration from that,” Dionne said. “My inspiration comes from black women, care-free black girls. That’s what I try to fill up in my space, and [there is] a shark back there, and there’s a sun with a face.”

The room void of color belongs to the only non-fiber artist in “Intangible,” muralist and illustrator Alli Koch. Koch plans to incorporate an element of each of the other rooms as a nod to the other artists featured in the style of a black hotel room, which is illuminated by lamplight.

“Every little thing in here is going to be black or gray,” Koch said. “I’ve been following Sweet Tooth Hotel from the original start, and that kind of how [the concept] started. The original concept is I wanted to bring it back to this actually being a hotel room. It’s gonna be little nods to [the other artists’] rooms inside the suitcases.”

This will be Sweet Tooth Hotel’s fourth art installation. Intangible was originally scheduled to open on April 18, but has since been pushed back due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“For now, we’re giving the artists more time to finish their installs and we hope to be open in June,” founder Jencey Keeton said. “If anything happens and we have to extend the opening, we’ll explore some virtual options instead.”

Featured Image: Courtesy Craft Yarn Council

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Raven Jordan

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