The ancient fiber art of knitting is back in a big way and showing up in unexpected quarters. Bowersock Gallery’s, “Men Knitting, and Then There’s Jeff,” is a not to be missed exhibit that explores the current resurgence of male knitters. The show, which also features the wonderfully abstract works by painter Jeffrey Fitzgerald, will benefit the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod (ASGCC.ORG).
Men Knitting, and Then There's Jeff, opens with a reception on Friday, June 3rd, 2022 from 7-9p at Bowersock Gallery, 373 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA, and runs through June 21st.
The first show of its type in the region, this juried invitational fiber show features more than a dozen knitters both seasoned amateur and neophyte alike, many, members of male knitting groups. It will include a variety of objects and wearables including Kirby Caps, Scarves, and Fisherman’s sweaters, featuring both traditional and individual designs.
Fun facts: an early version of knitting (a pair of socks) can be traced back to Egypt, 11th Century CE. In many eras and cultures, it was a male-dominated practice (with all-male guilds requiring six years for master status). Then in the 16th Century, William Lee (1563–1614) an English clergyman and inventor devised the first stocking frame knitting machine in 1589, the only one in use for centuries and its principle of operation still in use, today.
Somewhere along the line knitting became more culturally associated with women (often older grey-haired ladies in rockers), and male knitting eventually dwindled. But in more recent times, though often ridiculed for choosing the art, men have started exploring the ancient form once again.
“Creative outlet just can't be stymied or limited to a sex, or age, and now the boys are back, growing in numbers,” says Bowersock. “With needles in hand, they are creating wearables and other items which blur the lines between craft and art. As for pairing Jeffrey’s paintings with the collection, he was my first pick because his colors, form, and light are perfect when matched with the fiber work. I can't wait to see it all come together,” he adds.
So, how can this show be anything other than interesting, informative, and exciting when more than a dozen male knitters share their slipknot and purl stitch savvy alongside the vibrant, paintings of Fitzgerald? Oh, and why not join the likes of actors: Ryan Gosling, David Arquette, Christopher Walken, Paul Rudd, and ex-football player Rosey Grier for good measure?
Over the centuries, it’s true, that knitting was traditionally about attire, but when the practical marries the human need for expression in the 21st Century, expect to see what you always do from a Bowersock show – pure, unadulterated creativity. Come join us to celebrate knitting!