Women's Caucus for Art District of Columbia Chapter Juried Show: Believing is Seeing
Drop Off of Work: November 28, 2016, 10-4pm
Opening Reception: December 2, 2016; 6-9pm
Show Closes: December 20, 2016
Pick Up Work: December 21, 2016
MacAllister's grandmother had taught her embroidery and knitting many years ago, but MacAllister took up embroidery in earnest in 2012."I used to paint and use a lot of potentially toxic materials. My husband had cancer, so I found a new way of expressing myself without toxic materials," she said. Her husband survived cancer and MacAllister realized that embroidery is lighter weight and easier to transport than painting. It's also therapuetic, MacAllister said. "I feel like it's healthier. I equate it to doing yoga. It's a mind and spirit as well as a physical action."
The Delaware Art Museum displayed one of her paintings, but she has had much more response to her embroidery, she said. Her wax and oil paintings were more abstract, while the embroidery pieces are portraits, she said.
For her art, MacAllister starts with raw wool from farmers and herders. She stretches and spins it into yarn on a handmade spinning wheel from a nonprofit in Tanzania. Then makes garments, bracelets, and felted fabric that she uses to embroider.
To create an embroidered portrait, MacAllister starts with a line drawing, then transfers it onto felt, then crafts a colorful image using embroidery thread. It takes her approximately a month to create a 4 x4 inch or 6 x 6 inch embroidery portrait.
“I am honored to work for the commonwealth. My job at DHS has offered me the opportunity to help Pennsylvania’s needy citizens,” MacAllister said. “This award is an honor to be recognized in my daily work life for having special abilities.”
MacAllister has shows coming up at the Wohlfarth Galleries in Washington, D.C.; iMPeRFeCT Gallery in Germantown, and Philadelphia Open Studio Tours East of Broad at the CultureWorks 1315 Walnut Street, Suite 320.