A Beautiful Mess: Weavers & Knotters of the Vanguard

February 25 - June 25, 2023

From micro artworks the size of your hand to mammoth room-sized installations, the national roster of women artists in A Beautiful Mess push the boundaries of their textile-based medium. Using rope, yarn, clay and wire, this group of conceptual artists knot and twist their media into sculptures that range from minimal and hyper-organized to utter pandemonium. They explore personal and political ideals — order and chaos to the extreme — and freely break the rules to create their beautiful artworks. Serious about making a strong cultural and intellectual impact, this group deftly weaves their message into works that demonstrate extraordinary technical skill.

Artists include: Windy Chien, Kira Dominguez Hultgren, Kirsten Hassenfeld, Dana Hemenway, dani lopez, Hannah Perrine Mode, Liz Robb, Katrina Sánchez Standfield, Meghan Shimek, Lisa Solomon, and Jacqueline Surdell.

A Beautiful Mess: Weavers & Knotters of the Vanguard was organized by Bedford Gallery at the Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, CA.
Bedford Gallery

This exhibition is made possible, in part, with generous support from:

Platinum Sponsors
Shari and John Hicks

Silver Sponsors
Isabel Becker
Gerald and Sondra Biller
Keith Monda and Veronica Brady

Tourist Development Tax Logo


Kirsten Hassenfeld, (American, born 1971) Millefleur (detail), 2019, salvaged textiles with mixed media, 78 inches diameter, (c) Kirsten Hassenfeld
Kirsten Hassenfeld, (American, born 1971), Millefleur (detail), 2019.
Salvaged textiles with mixed media. 78 inches diameter. (c) Kirsten Hassenfeld
Emilee Enders
Emilee Enders Curator of Exhibitions and Programs, Bedford Gallery, Lesher Center for the Arts

A Beautiful Mess Curator Tour

Emilee Enders

Saturday, February 25

11 AM and/or 1 PM 

Meet in the Wendy G. Surkis & Peppi Elona Lobby
FREE for Members ; $20 Not-Yet Members

Join Emilee Enders, Curator of Exhibitions and Programs, Bedford Gallery, Lesher Center for the Arts, for a guided gallery tour of A Beautiful Mess. Enders will walk attendees through the twisting, tying, and braiding processes used by the 11 female artists in the exhibition. The stunning works push the boundaries of fiber art and elevate the traditional status of weaving, knotting, and macramé, using tactile and utilitarian materials. Enders will examine the works through the retelling of the profoundly personal and powerful stories of the artists and the societal traditions and norms we honor — but also, those traditions and norms that need to be addressed or eradicated. The tour will end with a discussion of the fiber arts renaissance currently taking place in the contemporary art world, questions are welcome throughout.

About Emilee Enders

Over the past twelve years, Emilee Enders has held a range of positions in the art world. She has worked at Bedford Gallery since 2018, where she has curated a number of exhibitions, such as Reclaimed: The Art of Recology (2021), Cultural Currency: Contemporary Art from the Riemer Collection (2022) and Erin Fong | The Sensation of Color (2023). Before her time at Bedford, she worked at several other galleries including Franklin Bowles Gallery and Patricia Sweetow Gallery, both in San Francisco, CA. From 2016-2018, Enders ran an independent artist and creative professional advisory company where she helped individual artists advance their careers through establishing an online and social media presence. Her exposure to these many facets of the art world has greatly informed her curatorial interests placing a heavy emphasis on artists, exhibitions, and programs that explore genres and disciplines often overlooked in contemporary exhibition spaces. She is drawn to work that blurs the line between craft and fine art and looks for themes that break down barriers to art appreciation. Enders studied at the University of Colorado at Boulder where she earned a BS in English and art history.