Curiosity about cotton results in art exhibit

An exhibit of cotton-based art is on display at the Kent Library at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Mo. The exhibit — seven tapestries and wall hangings made from and about cotton — was created by artist and teacher Vicki Bean.

According to Bean, “All but one of the pieces in the exhibit are made entirely from cotton.” The weavings, made with cotton yarns, threads, and raw cotton, depict images of cotton plants, fields, and field workers from days gone by.

Two large abstract weavings have been created using white cotton roping.

The exhibit is the final requirement for a Master of Arts degree at SEMO. Bean's thesis included an in-depth research project on cotton and an art exhibit, which served as the creative project required for art education majors.

Bean said she picked cotton for her subject because she wanted to learn about the history of cotton and experiment with cotton as an art medium. “Even though I grew up in Memphis and am now a member of a farming family, I didn't know as much about cotton as I wanted. As a teacher, I understand the importance of understanding the background of a subject, especially one that is so important to our region.”

Bean, a Missourian for 10 years, resides in Peach Orchard, Mo. Her husband and family are active in the cotton business as merchants and producers.

The exhibit opened June 10 and will remain on display through July. Kent Library is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday; and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday.

For more information call the director's office at the Kent Library, 573-651-2235, or Vicki Bean, 573-276-7592.

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