Featured Member Exhibition: Abigail Engstrand
January 20 – March 31, 2023
MUSIC TO MY FINGERS
is a collection of fiber art connecting to music, while and looking at musical and performing artists at work.
Relationships inspire and inform both my choice of subject matter and my process. I observe and build connections; physically, literally, metaphorically too.
I am a sensual thinker. I draw what I see, paint with colors I feel, and felt…
meaning I arrange fibers together, rub and smooth them with my fingers
and poke them into place using a sharp, barbed felting needle, to bond different
natural animal fibers, like wool, alpaca and silk.
What I really enjoy about working with these materials is that they are made of dead cells, once very much part of the living, that already hold the stories of life cycles. These fibers have kept an animal warm, camouflaged, and protected. They have been sheared, combed, dyed and woven into blankets and clothing to serve another life keeping humans warm, and adorned. More stories are imagined when I make pictures from scenes in my life using these materials. And now these fibers tell another story to you.
In the creation of the art you see here, I have listened with my heart, and all 5 senses, to these other artists at work, writing, dancing, singing and playing their songs to the world.
I am in it. I felt it.
A born Midwesterner, Abigail Engstrand has lived and worked most of her life within a few miles of Lake Michigan. She earned her B.F.A. and her Art Teaching certificate at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, in 1988. Since then, she’s lived in California and Georgia, and has visited 40 states and 3 continents. She loves big cities, people watching, cultural exchange, and traveling to different natural spaces, then returning to her garden, where she can listen to the birds. She currently resides in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, where she raised 3 healthy humans who have successfully left their nest. She is a member of Walker’s Point Center of the Arts, Milwaukee Artists Resource Network, Pewaukee Area Arts Council and ARC Gallery and Education Foundation in Chicago.
Engstrand’s art is in private collections across the United States, and in France, Austria, Italy, and Thailand. In addition to her watercolor, acrylic, mixed-media paintings and wool felts, Abigail has created numerous murals for private individuals, businesses and schools, as well as stage backdrops for plays. Another way she enjoys engaging the public is her practice of 5 minute live charcoal portraits. Her studio practice is set to music. She loves to enliven space with color, find connecting threads and hidden images, and make art that carries memories forward.
See more of Abigail at